Stoke ended a nine-match winless streak to beat Birmingham 3-1 in the Championship and put manager Wayne Rooney into more trouble at St Andrew’s.
Victory for the Potters – secured by Jordan Thompson, Lynden Gooch and Andrew Vidigal before Jay Stansfield’s late consolation – was the first for new manager Steven Schumacher in his second match in charge, and the first since they beat Middlesbrough 2-0 on October 28.
Rooney can only look on in envy at the record of his former Everton youth team-mate as the former England and Manchester United captain has now taken nine points from a possible 39 available as Birmingham were jeered off.
Stansfield was twice denied as Birmingham started on the front foot.
But it was Stoke who stunned a raucous St Andrew’s by taking the lead after just 12 minutes.
Skipper Gooch’s shot was cleared off the line by Emanuel Aiwu after Vidigal’s cross was allowed to travel right across Blues’ box.
But the ball fell for Thompson, whose 25-yard bullet flew past goalkeeper John Ruddy into the bottom right-hand corner after being deflected off Juninho Bacuna.
Birmingham huffed and puffed as they tried to find a way back in to the game.
Boos rang out from frustrated home fans as Vidigal ballooned over on the half-hour mark when he should have scored as Birmingham’s back-four disappeared yet again.
The boos rang right around the ground just a minute later as Gooch darted down the left in a lightning counter before coolly slotting under Ruddy to double Stoke’s lead.
James held his head in his hands after coming within a whisker of sliding home Aiwu’s fantastic ball deep into the first 45.
But Vidigal nearly bagged a third for the visitors as he volleyed just over with Ruddy well off his line on the brink of half-time.
Marc Roberts wasted the chance to pull one back when he headed Bacuna’s dinked ball wide from five yards.
Birmingham were made to pay a heavy price as the Potters made it 3-0 after 54 minutes.
Wouter Burger fed Vidigal, who twisted inside skipper Dion Sanderson before lifting the ball over Ruddy to send shell-shocked Birmingham fans heading for the exits.
Stoke supporters chanted “You’re getting sacked in the morning” at Rooney as Blues struggled to lay a glove on them.
Ruddy smothered at the feet of Ryan Mmaee before the hosts grabbed a goal back after 69 minutes through Stansfield.
Teenage substitute Romelle Donovan, 17, saw his effort saved by keeper Jack Bonham after a brilliant mazy run before the loose ball was swept in by Stansfield.