Arnautovic snatches late point at West Ham
11th April 2015 3pm
Attendance: 34, 946
Marko Arnautovic scored a dramatic injury time equaliser to stop Stoke`s succession of defeats.
Aaron Cresswell had opened the scoring with a sublime early free-kick but Arnautovic finally scored after having two goals disallowed for offside deep into to stoppage time which meant the points were shared and stopped Stoke`s run of three straight defeats.
The Potters made two changes to the team that lost 2-1 in the Capital last weekend to Chelsea, with Victor Moses and Marko Arnautovic coming in for Stephen Ireland and Mame Biram Diouf.
West Ham were to start the brightest as the returning Enner Valencia looked lively and managed to win a free-kick in a dangerous position.
Mark Noble looked the favourite to take the kick with his right, but ran over the ball for Aaron Cresswell to slot home past a flat-footed Asmir Begovic, who should have done better.
The Hammers looked to add to their lead as they pushed the Potters defence deep, as Kouyate found space to shoot at Begovic and Valencia was unlucky not to get on the end of a Sakho run at the far post.
The Potters finally woke up and got a foothold in the game as Charlie Adam had a number of efforts from distance (Not as far as the week before, and not as accurate too).
Walters was his usual combative, tireless self up-front and had a chance as he cut inside from the left, only to find the side netting, whilst Victor Moses fired wide just before half time.
The Nigerian on-loan winger would shortly be forced off once more with an injury, with Mame Diouf replacing him.
The Potters thought their pressure had finally been rewarded when Austrian Marko Arnautovic picked up the ball in the penalty area after sublime pass from Charlie Adam and fired home but his celebrations were short lived as the offside flag was raised.
Stoke continued their pressure, amounting 65% of possession in the game, but with 10 minutes to go their luck was rotten as Mame Diouf raised highest in the penalty area, only for his effort to hit the inside of the post and run all the way across the goal, to the despair of the following Potters faithful.
The game ran into injury time and Arnautovic had thought that he`d levelled the game once more when Stephen Ireland found the winger once again, who fired home, but not for the first time, his celebrations were cut short once more by the assistant`s flag.
Mark Hughes` men did not give up though and once again rolled up their sleeves and were finally rewarded with an equaliser as it was third time lucky for Arnautovic who ran onto Ryan Shawcross` header, held off two defenders as he powered into the box and fired across Adrian and into the far corner to give Stoke a well-deserved point, on a day where it could have been much more.