Etherington earns Stoke point
Injury-time Etherington equaliser after Richards opener
Last Updated: 27/11/10 5:48pm
Etherington: Late equaliser
A last-gasp Matthew Etherington goal saw Stoke earn a point against Manchester City at the Britannia Stadium.
After a goalless first period, James Milner had to clear a header from Kenwyne Jones off the line.
Micah Richards then looked to have won the game with nine minutes to go after Milner passed to the England defender who sold Danny Collins a dummy before shooting low under Asmir Begovic into the far corner.
But Stoke pulled level deep into injury-time when Jones flicked on to substitute Tuncay Sanli on the edge of the box, who back-heeled the ball to Etherington on the left to slot home.
Big-spending Manchester City found themselves under pressure for long spells in the first half and must have been delighted to go in at the break on level terms.
Stoke showed their credentials as early as the fifth minute when a long throw from Rory Delap was flicked on by Ryan Shawcross.
Jermaine Pennant got on the end of it, clearing the bar with his effort before Delap caused further confusion in the visitors' penalty area.
Ricardo Fuller found himself clear following a long throw, only to see his shot blocked by Vincent Kompany.
England keeper Joe Hart then pulled off a fantastic double save on 15 minutes to deny Etherington.
First he was quickly off his line to save at Etherington's feet before then denying the winger on the rebound.
The home side should have taken the lead soon afterwards when Fuller and Jones played a neat one-two.
Fuller was released in the area but failed to test Hart, steering his effort wide of the post.
The visitors were again forced on the back foot in the 22nd minute when Robert Huth cleared the bar from a good position.
Mancini's side launched a quick counter-attack in the 31st minute when David Silva released Carlos Tevez.
The striker found Milner but the move broke down following a timely challenge by Andy Wilkinson and Robert Huth.
Back came Stoke and Fuller got goal-side of Kolo Toure only to send his shot into the arms of Hart.
Play switched down the other end and Aleksandar Kolarov tested goalkeeper Begovic from distance in the 36th minute.
Stoke were nearly undone in the 42nd minute following a mistake by Danny Collins. He played a casual back-pass to Begovic, unaware Tevez was lurking on the edge of the area.
But Begovic came to the rescue, racing out of his goal to divert the ball to safety.
Mario Balotelli had started the second half with purpose for the visitors and showed good strength and pace to rattle in a shot in the 52nd minute that went narrowly wide.
Stoke hit back and Fuller got on the end of a ball from Etherington two minutes later and skipped into the area but sent a soft shot into Hart's body.
Then Etherington's miscued effort was met at the back post by Shawcross, however the defender was off balance and headed over the bar.
Jon Walters replaced Fuller in the 75th minute and his arrival gave Stoke a bit of impetus, with Jones seeing his effort cleared off the line by Milner before Tuncay fired the rebound over the bar.
Manchester City, however, made the breakthrough in the 81st minute with a marvellous piece of skill from the recalled Richards.
He latched on to a ball from Milner, sold a dummy to Collins before rifling a shot into the corner from the right side of the box.
Stoke, though, secured a point in stoppage-time through Etherington, who got on the end of a clever back-heel from Tuncay.Although Hart got a hand to the ball he could not prevent it going into the net as the Potters made it four top-flight games unbeaten to dent the visitors' title hopes.
|Stoke City||Team Statistics||Manchester City|
|0||1st Half Goals||0|
|4||Shots on Target||4|
|10||Shots off Target||5|
Barclays Premier League
|12||West Bromwich Albion||1||1|
|16||Queens Park Rangers||1||0|
|18||West Ham United||1||0|