Date: 16th September 2012 at 9:25pm
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Stoke City held on to a vital point against champions Manchester City on Saturday in a thrilling 1-1 draw at the Britannia Stadium, to maintain their unbeaten start to the season.

The Potters took a 1-0 lead on the 14th minute after a very controversial goal by Peter Crouch. Charlie Adam swung in a corner, which was headed into the danger area to Crouch. Crouch took the ball down on his chest, turned and seemingly walked through 2 Manchester City defenders to slot home only 5 yards away from Joe Hart`s goal. There was a suspicion of handball when Crouch beat the defenders, and further replays proved that suspicion was 100% correct. The talismanic striker moved the ball through the defenders with his hand, and when the ball bounced up, he then controlled it with his arm. Unfortunately for City, they stopped playing and appealed for a handball, and didn`t play to the whistle.

Manchester City always looked like a threat throughout the game, with Mario Balotelli leading the threat. Every time that he was on the offense, Stoke always looked scared, and after 15 minutes of solid Manchester City pressure, they finally got their breakthrough. Carlos Tevez floated a free kick into the Stoke box, and out of nowhere popped up new signing Javi Garcia, who lost his marker and headed home a free header to score on his debut.

Stoke looked worried after the second goal, every since they took the lead, you always felt that City were going to go ahead and take the lead, and mercifully, half time came at 1-1.

Stoke came out of the blocks very well in the second half, forcing the Citizens to make countless errors defensively. In a funny moment at the start of the second half, Peter Crouch tried to recreate last season`s ‘wonder-goal`, in practically the same place as last season, only this time, the Manchester defenders knew what was coming and just managed to put him off. Javi Garcia picked up the first yellow card of the afternoon with a dangerous tackle on Kightly.

On the 61st minute, goalkeeper Asmir Begovic made the first of many astounding saves, this coming from a near perfect opportunity from Yaya Toure. Toure was nearly one-on-one with Begovic, with the Bosnian diving towards the ball and putting Toure off, the ball going out for a corner. Balotelli continued to be a threat in this game, however for all of the wrong reasons this time. After a City throw in, defender Andy Wilkinson appeared to elbow Balotelli, prompting the Italian to go down holding his face. Surely one for the FA to look into.

At the very end of the game, Owen made his debut appearance for the club, coming on with Edin Dzeko for Manchester City. Owen didn`t make that much of an impact, however, Dzeko very nearly won it for City, catching Begovic off guard and lobbing the ball over him. Fortunately, Shawcross saw the danger and ran 40 yards to clear the ball off an empty Stoke City line, rescuing a point, and keeping Stoke`s unbeaten start to the season in tact.


5 Replies to “Stoke hold off City in thrilling encounter…”

  • Decent write up on the Man City game but shame on whoever wrote the headline. For a Stoke City fan site to refer to any opponent as “City” is a disgrace. When will the media get it into their heads that there are many Citys just as there are many Uniteds and our opponents should never be referred to as City. You should, in my opinion, also have pointed out that the free kick which led to the Man City goal was awarded following a clear dive by Ballotelli after no foul by Wilko.

  • The other thing I think was worth mentioning was a VERY promising debut by N’Zonzi. Remarkably mobile for a midfielder of 6ft 4ins with good ball winning skills and decent heading and passing. Although nominally a defensive midfielder he wasn’t afraid to get forward either. In the same mould as Ya Ya Tore – although not as good obviously – yet! 😉

  • I personally thought N’Zonzi was motm as he seemed to run the midfield with relative ease, with great composure on the ball and a knack to time a tackle, when all the midfield gel, I really think we’ll be a real threat going forward, so hopefully the forwards can fill their boots this season. I think Tom has gone with Begovic because of his great saves towards the end, but he really does need to sort his kicking out.

  • I’m gonna explain my decision for Begovic as MOTD to clear an issue up here guys – If we had any other goalkeeper in goal for that game, be that Tommy, or maybe even Joe Hart himself in the Stoke goal, we’d have lost. 2 – 1, 3 – 1, maybe more. Begovic deserved the man of the match because his reflexes and reactions were what essentially kept us in the game and kept our unbeaten streak running. All of this from a goalkeeper who’s best days are yet to come!

    And also, i called Man City ‘City’ purely for ease measures, and after watching countless replays of their free kick, i have to agree with Clattenburg i’m afraid. It pains me to do so, but in my eyes it just was a free kick unfortunately!

  • For me Ballotelli seemed to fall INTO Wilko which doesn’t suggest that Wilko fouled him. By that time, though, Ballotelli should have had at least one yellows for diving and would not have risked another. For a big bloke he doesn’t half spend a lot of time on the deck. I agree about N’Zonzi being MOTM – oddly Adam had a poorish game – when he is on form we’ll have a heluva central midfield for the first time in the Puis era.

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