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Arnautovic penalty sees Stoke triumph in Everton thriller

Everton
3 - 4
Stoke City

Goodison Park

28th December 2015 3pm

Attendance: 39,340

Referee:

A last minute Marko Arnautovic penalty gave Stoke a stunning victory in a thriller at Goodison Park.

The Potters had twice lead after a brace from Xherdan Shaqiri, but Romelu Lukaku pegged back Everton twice before Gerard Deulofeu gave Everton the lead for the first time. Stoke managed to rally late on when Joselu levelled and then Arnautovic won and converted a last minute penalty.

The late goal extended Stoke`s record against Everton to four straight victories and moved them up to 9th in the league table.

Mark Hughes was able to name an unchanged eleven from the side that Manchester United on Boxing Day as midfield trio Glenn Whelan, Geoff Cameron and Xherdan Shaqiri proved their fitness.

Roberto Martinez made four changes from their late 1-0 victory at Newcastle United as Leighton Baines, Tom Cleverley, Aaron Lennon and Kevin Mirallas made way for Brendan Galloway, James McCarthy, Gerard Deulofeu and Aruna Kone.

Stoke flew out of the blocks and nearly opened the scoring within the first minute after great play from Bojan on the left flank and the ball found Marko Arnautovic on the edge of the area but his shot was blocked by an onrushing Everton defender.

The Austrian had another sight at goal when he broke away down the right but his shot from the edge of the 18-yard box went narrowly wide.

Stoke finally made their early dominance pay as Bojan expertly turned on the halfway line and ran down the left wing before squaring the ball to Arnautovic in the box, the Austrian then side footed the ball across the box to the on rushing Xherdan Shaqiri, who swept the ball into the corner of the net for his first goal for the Potters.

Everton weren`t behind for long as Romelu Lukaku levelled the score with the Toffees first shot on target as he turned well in the area and slotted underneath Jack Butland.

Everton nearly doubled their lead when Bojan`s stray pass was intercepted and Everton countered at pace, but Brendan Galloway could only drag his shot wide.

With the clock ticking down to half time, Stoke produced a moment of magic, Bojan won possession of the ball on the halfway line before finding Xherdan Shaqiri with an expert pass, the Swiss international had a lot to do, but he managed to cushion a half volley with his weaker foot that floated into the far top corner which left Tim Howard helpless in the Everton goal.

The finish is definitely an early contender for goal of the season.

Everton came out firing in the second half, and it wasn`t long until they back on level terms as Lukaku skilfully brought down a long cross fielded pass before firing it past the helpless Jack Butland.

The Potters were on the rocks, and Everton could sense blood. The Toffees continued to push forward, and finally took the lead of the contest for the time as Gerard Deulofeu tapped in Ross Barkley`s cross following a neat exchange with Lukaku.

Mark Hughes reacted instantly and threw on fresh legs in Joselu and Jonathan Walters to try and drag the Potters back into the contest.

The two substitutes were both involved in the Potters equaliser as first Jonathan Walters produced a neat flick in the box to keep the move alive, Joselu then managed to move the ball into the path of Whelan, who spread the ball wide to the impressive Arnautovic. Arnie produced a tantalising cross into the corridor of uncertainty with his weaker foot. Tim Howard came and flapped at the cross, and the ball dropped to Joselu, who smashed home on the half volley to give the Spaniard his first Potters goal.

Stoke didn`t settle for a point, and this slobber knocker of a match still had a sting in the tail, as Arnautovic managed to surge into the penalty area and was brought down by the stretching John Stones. On second view, it does seem the Stones managed to get a touch on the ball.

Arnautovic dusted himself off and stepped up for the fortuitous penalty. The Austrian`s luck was definitely in as he slipped taking the penalty but still managed to smash his penalty down the middle and give the Potters all three points.


Writer:Lloyd Reddin
Date:Tuesday December 29 2015
Time: 12:56PM

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