Southampton and Stoke draw again
St. Mary's Stadium
8th February 2014 3pm
Stoke twice came from behind to take a point away from St. Mary`s on a wet and windy day on the South coast.
England striker Rickie Lambert gave Southampton the lead with a pin point free kick in the first 10 minutes, before a hectic final 10 minutes before half time in which three goals were scored.
Stoke first pulled level with Peter Odemwingie`s first goal for the club after latching on to Charlie Adam`s pinpoint through ball before Steven Davis regained the lead for the Saints with a freak goal as his cross bamboozled and evaded everyone before nestling into the bottom corner but Peter Crouch headed home a Charlie Adam corner to leave the game level at half time.
Neither side were able to find a winner in the second half as the elements made the playing conditions very hard, which resulted in the fourth consecutive draw between the sides in the Premier League.
Both teams were willing to play an aggressive pass and move style of play even in the difficult windy conditions.
The Potters were forced into two changes from the side that beat Manchester United last weekend, as Marko Arnautovic failed to shake off a knock and was replaced by Oussama Assaidi, as Marc Muniesa deputised at centre half in the absence of Marc Wilson, who had a chest infection.
The Saints also made two changes from the team that beat Fulham last weekend as Nathaniel Clyne and Jack Cork came into the starting eleven in place of Callum Chambers and Victor Wanyama.
Southampton made the brightest start and were on the score sheet within 10 minutes as Rickie Lambert capitalised on Charlie Adam`s hand ball. The England centre forward dispatched his free kick from the side of the penalty area into the far corner of the goal expertly just out of the reach of Stoke goalkeeper Asmir Begovic.
The early goal did spark the Potters into life. A trait that is enormously frustrating the Potters support.
Charlie Adam was once again pulling the strings in the Stoke midfield and has looked revitalised playing in a deeper role in the absence of Steven N`Zonzi. After his goal scoring heroics of last weekend, the Scotsman turned provided as he picked the ball up in the centre circle and split the defence and found Nigerian Peter Odemwingie with an exquisite pass, who raced onto the ball and calmly slotted home past the on-rushing Artur Boruc for his first goal for the club since moving from Cardiff in January.
A rare Stoke away goal gave the visitors confidence to push forward in search of another goal before half time, but the Potters were shocked by a moment of fortune for the home side.
Nathinel Clyne played a throw-in to Steven Davis on the right hand side, who in-turn whipped in an inviting cross with his left foot which managed to evade everyone in a crowded box and drop into the bottom corner of Begovic`s net with a huge assist going to the blustery conditions.
However, the Saints lead didn`t last long as the Potters again drawn level in a breath taking end to the first half.
Charlie Adam was once again the provider as his corner was nodded home by former Saint Peter Crouch to send the 1,000 travelling Potters into raptures.
A rare header goal for the Potters, only the second in this seasons campaign.
The game was defiantly a tale of two halves as the second half didn`t manage to live up to its first half billing.
Stoke played deeper in the ever worsening weather conditions and still looked a threat on the counter attack.
A good result for the Potters as they pick up four points in a week to help ease their relegation worries.