Stoke & Crystal Palace scrap for a draw
13th December 2014 3pm
Attendance: 23, 038
A second successive goal from Peter Crouch helped Stoke come away from London with one point as the Potters drew 1-1 at Selhurst Park against Crystal Palace.
James McArthur opened the scoring for Neil Warnock`s side with a clever header after some good play from the ever dangerous Yannick Bolasie before Peter Crouch swept home his third league goal of the season almost immediately to level the game.
Mark Hughes was forced into one change from the team that beat Arsenal last weekend with Marc Wilson replacing the injured Marc Muniesa.
Warnock managed to name the same side that drew with Tottenham a week prior.
Crystal Palace started the brightest and looked to exploit their pace they possessed on either flank and it only took 11 minutes for the side from the capital to hit the right formula as Yannick Bolasie was able to stretch his legs before cutting back and finding James McArthur with a pinpoint cross, who managed to flick his header into the far corner leaving Asmir Begovic helpless in the Potters goals.
It was James McArthur first goal for the Eagles since his September move to the club from Wigan Athletic.
Crystal Palace weren`t allowed to settle on their early lead though after Peter Crouch equalised for the Potters 92 seconds later.
Spanish maestro Bojan picked the ball up in a pocket of space on the right flank and coasted past a number of Crystal Palace before cutting the ball back to the edge of the area for Jonathan Walters. The Irish forward scuffed his effort but it fell to Peter Crouch in the 6 yard box, who swept home to level the game.
Both sides struggled to create any real opportunities in a game that became increasingly scrappy.
The second half was a real dire affair, with both teams battling hard in the midfield without any real quality.
Stoke lacked any real creativity when Bojan was forced off as a precautionary measure after taking a knock on his hip.
Palace`s wingers seem to run out of steam after impressing in a full throttle first half display.
Both sides did have chances of winning the match through each of the first half goalscorers but both keepers were more than a match for the efforts.
Peter Crouch managed to pick up the scraps in the Crystal Palace penalty area, only to fire his tame left footed half volley into the grasps of Julian Speroni.
James McArthur smashed a drive through a crowded penalty area, but Asmir Begovic managed to push the ball away from danger with a strong hand after seeing the ball late after coming through a number of players.
Stoke will be the happier with the draw as they moved up to 11th in the league but Crystal Palace, who only have one win in their last 10 outings and are only one point from the drop zone.