Stoke City fight back to hold Everton to a 1-1 draw at the Britannia Stadium
Last Updated: 16/12/12 7:27am
Stoke City and Everton settled for a point apiece at the Britannia Stadium following a bruising 1-1 draw in the Premier League.
But the main talking point of the game was Marouane Fellaini's clear headbutt on Ryan Shawcross, which referee Mark Halsey failed to spot.
A Shawcross own goal gifted the Merseysiders the opening goal 11 minutes before half-time, but the hosts hit back thanks to Kenwyne Jones' first top flight goal in 16 months, seven minutes after the break.
Best of the Match
- Man of the match: Both defences were on top but one man stood out in a real blood and thunder encounter. Left-back Andy Wilkinson was an unsung hero as he produced a calm and composed performance.
- Goal of the match: Stoke's equalising goal was route one stuff, but Kenwyne Jones' header was mighty impressive at the end of it.
- Controversy of the match: Marouane Fellaini was lucky to stay on the field after a clear headbutt on Potters' skipper Ryan Shawcross.
- Talking point: Was this a well-earned point in the end for Everton? Will Tony Pulis be wondering why so many decisions are going against his side this season?
- Stat of the match: Stoke are now unbeaten in their last 15 Premier League games at the Britannia Stadium (W7 D8 L0), their best such run in the top-flight since November 1974 (23 games unbeaten).
After that, both teams had chances to claim all three points, but they happily settled for a share of the spoils.
Fourth-placed Everton have now drawn nine of their last 13 Premier League away games and five of the last six, while ninth-placed Stoke stretched their unbeaten home record to 15 league games.
Everton made a lively start to the contest, with Nikica Jelavic seeing his shot from Seamus Coleman's tee-up blocked by Shawcross in the ninth minute.
The Potters fell behind in the 36th minute through an own goal from captain Shawcross, who inadvertently nodded in a Steven Pienaar cross.
Having gone in front, Everton swiftly looked to go for the jugular and Leon Osman really should have made it 2-0 but blasted wide from Leighton Baines' cut-back, drawing an angry reaction from his manager David Moyes.
Stoke appeared full of purpose after the restart and within three minutes, Tim Howard was called into action to save a mis-hit close-range volley from Charlie Adam.
However, the American was eventually beaten as Jones, retaining his starting place up front, equalised in the 52nd minute, heading Shawcross' long-range delivery past Howard.
Having broken his long scoring drought in the league, Jones looked in the mood for more and moments later he dinked the ball over Howard, only to see it hit the woodwork.
Everton then seemed lucky to escape punishment, with Fellaini appearing to headbutt Shawcross as the two players marked each other in the box. The Stoke man was left lying on the turf, but the officials took no action.
Given that the sides had drawn eight top-flight games each this season before Saturday's encounter, it perhaps came as little surprise that the points were shared.
|Stoke City||Team Statistics||Everton|
|0||1st Half Goals||1|
|5||Shots on Target||2|
|7||Shots off Target||5|
|48.5||1st Half Poss.||51.5|
|50.2||2nd Half Poss.||49.8|
Barclays Premier League
|15||West Bromwich Albion||15||15|
|17||West Ham United||15||13|
Stoke v Everton
Sylvain Distin has warned team-mate Marouane Fellaini about coping with opponents who try to unsettle him.
Marouane Fellaini could find out today if he faces a long ban for a series of clashes with Ryan Shawcross on Saturday.
Marouane Fellaini's headbutt was awful, but far from an isolated incident in today's penalty areas.