Tag: Peter Crouch

FA Cup: Blackburn 4-1 Stoke

Stoke knocked out of FA Cup as Josh King scores Blackburn hat trick

Ten-man Stoke suffered FA Cup embarrassment at Ewood Park as they were torn apart 4-1 by a second-string Blackburn side with Josh King, one of those fringe players, scoring a hat trick.

The 23-year-old, on only his 14th appearance this season and with just one league goal to his name, was a nuisance for a Potters defence which was severely hampered by the sending off of Geoff Cameron just before half-time.

Former Rovers boss Mark Hughes, a three-time FA Cup winner with Manchester United, could only watch as the ex-Red Devils youth team player sent his side crashing out of the competition and Rovers into the quarter-finals for the second time in three years.

King’s poacher’s finish equalised Peter Crouch’s early goal before he won the penalty from which Rudy Gestede scored his 14th of the campaign when he was pulled back by Cameron.

The 23-year-old Norway international had caused the visitors problems with his blistering pace before the break but he enjoyed the extra space available against 10 men for 45 minutes and twice raced clear to score with virtually identical goals just 10 minutes into the second half.

King, who attracted some interest from struggling Barclays Premier League clubs in the January transfer window, is out of contract in the summer and if this performance cannot persuade manager Gary Bowyer to offer him a new deal then it will certainly have made someone else’s mind up.

Despite beating another top-flight side Swansea at home in the last round, the priority for Rovers is to close the 10-point gap to the Sky Bet Championship places so, with that in mind, manager Gary Bowyer made eight changes from the midweek win over Rotherham.

Hughes, by contrast, was targeting some silverware and his only alteration from the team which lost to Manchester City on Wednesday was a switch of goalkeepers with England international Jack Butland replacing established number one Asmir Begovic.

There was a sense that Rovers were missing an opportunity and that was reflected in the crowd of 13,934, although that would have been more had police not objected to Stoke having an extra allocation of 2,000 on safety grounds.

When Crouch, on target for the third successive match, smashed home a 10th-minute Victor Moses corner it appeared the script was being followed.

Marko Arnautovic and Mame Biram Diouf had chances to put the game bed inside half-an-hour but let Rovers off the hook and King, at the heart of every real threat, took full advantage.

He should have equalised midway through the half with only the goalkeeper to beat but his shot grazed the crossbar and he also guided a header wide before, after 36 minutes, he deflected Shane Duffy’s powerful header past Butland from close range.

Having created a good chance for Gestede after stripping Philipp Wollscheid for speed, only for his team-mate to fluff his shot, King was fouled by Cameron in the eight minutes of stoppage time for three lengthy injury breaks.

The Stoke defender was shown a straight red card by referee Anthony Taylor and Gestede did not make a mistake with his second chance from the spot.

Rovers ensured there would be no turnaround of momentum in the second half as King – had scored five goals in his previous 68 appearances – twice raced through to slot the ball past Butland in carbon-copy goals within five minutes of each other.

Stoke were deflated and dejected and home fans took great delight in taunting their former manager.

It all got a bit too much for some of the visiting supporters, some of whom became involved in a minor scuffle with stewards and police late in the game.

Hughes ordered his players to go acknowledge what was left of the travelling fans at the final whistle.

It looked more like an offer of an apology but that should not take anything away from another impressive cup performance from Blackburn.

Read more at ESPN

Premiership: Stoke 1-4 Man City

Sergio Aguero and Manchester City rediscovered their touch as the champions turned on the style in the second half to win 4-1 at Stoke.

Aguero struck twice as City won for the first time in five Barclays Premier League games to keep some pressure on Chelsea at the top of the table.

Aguero’s first strike in six games since returning from injury was cancelled out by Peter Crouch before the break but he grabbed a second from the penalty spot after James Milner had put City back ahead. Samir Nasri claimed the fourth with a fine strike 14 minutes from time.

The first half was a compelling affair but both sides might have had more than a goal apiece after efforts were ruled out at each end.

Crouch was first denied by an offside flag and Aguero had what would then have been his second chalked off in confusing circumstances on the stroke of half-time.

Handball was the offence, although it was only the faintest of touches and possibly not deliberate.

But City reacted well to the controversy and finally showed some champion quality after a disappointing few weeks by running in three second-half goals.

City ended as the dominant force but Stoke had a large say in the early proceedings.

City did have an early chance but Aguero scuffed a shot when he might have been better leaving it to Fernandinho.

After that Stoke looked the more confident for a prolonged spell with the lively Victor Moses troubling Joe Hart with a well-struck shot.

Crouch, back in the Potters’ starting line-up after a late leveller at Newcastle on Sunday, got his head to the resulting corner but Milner cleared off the line. There were appeals for handball against Milner but referee Lee Mason gave nothing.

Crouch thought he had scored when he pounced on a rebound after Hart parried a Moses effort but the flag was raised.

City survived another scare as Hart beat away a strong effort from Steven Nzonzi and Moses smashed the rebound inches wide.

They were chances Stoke looked likely to rue missing as City seized the lead following a moment of Aguero brilliance in the 33rd minute.

The Argentinian seized on a long clearance and ran at Marc Muniesa and finished with a superb low shot across goal.

But City had not yet weathered the storm and Stoke replied immediately.

Marko Arnautovic curled in a wicked cross from the right and Crouch ducked as he slid in to expertly guide home a firm header.

City thought they had reclaimed the lead just before the interval but controversy erupted as Mason denied Aguero.

Stoke were caught flat-footed as Fernandinho picked out Silva with a lofted ball and the Spaniard turned the ball across goal for Aguero.

Aguero appeared to have an easy tap-in but the ball deflected off a defender and he had to readjust to use his head. After doing so the ball brushed his hand on the way in.

Mason initially seemed to give the goal but Stoke’s players protested and it eventually became apparent the referee agreed something untoward had occurred. It may have been that Aguero had cunningly used his hand but replays suggested that would be a harsh interpretation.

If City felt wronged, they soon put it right. Milner made no mistake with his head as he rose to meet a Nasri cross 10 minutes into the second half.

Milner, whose future beyond the end of the season remains uncertain as contract talks continue, celebrated by mimicking the action of a DJ in front City fans.

Whatever that meant, City appeared to be getting back into their groove.

They went further ahead after 70 minutes as Silva proved too tricky for Geoff Cameron and was pulled down. Aguero clinically dispatched the spot-kick.

Nasri made victory certain six minutes later as he drove at the Stoke defence, checked inside on the edge of the area and fired a shot across goal and in at the far post.

Stoke were beaten although Mame Biram Diouf did threaten on the break and might have had a free-kick after tangling with Eliaquim Mangala – who could have been sent off – but Mason ruled contact accidental.

Read more at ESPN

Premiership: Newcastle 1-1 Stoke

Late Peter Crouch strike earns Stoke draw at Newcastle

Stoke striker Peter Crouch came off the bench to snatch a draw at Newcastle with a dramatic late equaliser.

The Magpies looked to have won an instantly forgettable game when Jack Colback fired them into a 74th-minute lead.

However Crouch headed fellow substitute Geoff Cameron’s 90th-minute cross over keeper Tim Krul to claim a 1-1 draw on Tyneside and deny head coach John Carver back-to-back Barclays Premier League victories and leave Newcastle still awaiting as first home win of 2015.

Colback might not have been on the pitch to put the Magpies ahead had referee Kevin Friend issued a second caution for a 71st-minute foul on Victor Moses.

The goal briefly raised the spirits of a crowd of just 47,763 – the lowest at St James’ Park this season – but there were boos on the final whistle with Carver’s men having passed up an opportunity to climb into the top 10.

Newcastle ran out knowing a second successive victory would see them leapfrog Stoke with two points separating them in the table before kick-off, and there was little to choose between the sides during a tight opening 45 minutes.

The visitors, who employed Moses and Mame Biram Diouf as wide men in support of striker Jonathan Walters, enjoyed the greater share of possession before the break without creating clear-cut chances until deep into injury-time at the end of the half.

But the Magpies made more of their time on the ball as they attacked largely on the break through the pace of Ayoze Perez and the skill of Remy Cabella and Sammy Ameobi.

Walters fired across the face of goal after turning Mike Williamson with eight minutes gone, but it took a fine reaction save from Asmir Begovic to deny Cabella at the other end three minutes later.

Ameobi slid the ball out to Moussa Sissoko wide on the left and when he crossed to the near post, Cabella glanced a header towards goal, only to see Begovic throw out a hand to turn it past the post.

The Bosnian was quick off his line to prevent Sissoko from reaching Cabella’s 27th-minute return pass, but he was more comfortable in collecting Ameobi’s well-struck shot on the turn seconds later.

However, he was mightily relieved to see Perez’s shot fly inches past the far post two minutes before the break after he had been played in behind defender Marc Muniesa by Cabella.

For all their possession, Stoke, who had Moses, Stephen Ireland and Glenn Whelan booked before the break, did not force Krul into a save of note until the second minute of stoppage time, although it was a good one when it finally arrived as the Dutchman palmed away Diouf’s point-blank header after good play by Steven Nzonzi and Ireland.

The second half started in scrappy fashion with neither side able to exercise any real control, although the Magpies almost worked their way in with 53 minutes gone when Perez and Cabella combined only for the final ball to let them down.

If anything, a game of little genuine quality deteriorated further as the half wore on with neither side able to summon up the inspiration to turn it in their favour.

Carver made his move with 25 minutes remaining when he replaced defensive midfielder Vurnon Anita with striker Papiss Cisse.

Gabriel Obertan replaced Cabella as the game limped towards its conclusion and saw Cisse head his 73rd-minute cross well wide of the target, but redemption was close at hand.

The former Manchester United winger’s cross seconds later was laid off by Sissoko to Colback, who had been booked for a foul on Marc Muniesa before catching Moses late, and he fired home first time off the inside of the post to snatch victory.

Krul made smart saves from Phil Bardsley and Walters to preserve his clean sheet, but Obertan and Perez both passed up glorious opportunities to cement the win in a frenetic conclusion, and they were made to pay when Crouch rose at the far post to loop a header home despite the best efforts of Fabricio Coloccini on the line.

Read more at ESPN

Premiership: Stoke 3-2 Arsenal

Stoke held on to beat Arsenal 3-2 after a dramatic afternoon at the Britannia Stadium.

The Gunners are the team Stoke relish taking on more than any other and the home fans were in dreamland after Peter Crouch, with the fastest goal of the Premier League season, Bojan Krkic and Jonathan Walters put them three up at half-time.

But, after Bojan had a fourth ruled out for offside, Santi Cazorla pulled one back from the penalty spot and two minutes later Aaron Ramsey reduced the deficit further.

There were still 20 minutes to play but the sending off of Calum Chambers for two yellow cards reduced the heat a little and Arsenal could not find a third.

The result brought an end to Arsenal’s run of three successive wins and ended a losing sequence of three for the hosts.

The bad blood between these teams dates back to the challenge made by Ryan Shawcross on Ramsey nearly five years ago that broke the Arsenal player’s leg.

Arsene Wenger was unhappy with pre-match comments from Shawcross hyping up the rivalry and the Stoke captain’s name was greeted with loud boos from the visiting fans.

But they were silenced only 19 seconds into the match as Steven Nzonzi got away down the right and sent over a cross that Chambers failed to clear under pressure from Mame Biram Diouf.

The ball ran to Crouch, making his first start in more than a month – and he had the simple task of tapping it in after goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez lost his balance and fell over.

Teenage defender Hector Bellerin was making only his second Premier League start for Arsenal and his fine cross in the 11th minute should have set up an equaliser but somehow Olivier Giroud headed wide.

Bojan has grown into Stoke’s main creative force and his link-up play, in particular with Crouch, was causing Arsenal real problems.

Stoke were relishing the lively atmosphere and tempo and full-back Phil Bardsley got into the spirit with a fierce shot that Martinez could only push uncomfortably away.

Fortunately for the Arsenal keeper, Chambers reacted quickly to ensure Crouch could not take advantage of the rebound.

Arsenal looked sporadically dangerous and Asmir Begovic may well have been struggling had Cazorla’s 20-yard effort been on target rather than just over the bar.

But largely the game was being controlled by Stoke and it was no more than they and Bojan deserved in the 35th minute when the Spaniard classily converted Walters’ terrific cross.

The gleeful chant of ‘2-0 to the rugby team’ rung around the stadium – mocking a famous Wenger jibe about Stoke’s style of play under former manager Tony Pulis.

But even the Arsenal boss must have been impressed by the fluidity of Stoke, who were simply outplaying his side.

Begovic had to be alert to preserve the lead in the 38th minute when a Giroud header deflected off Shawcross, but just before half-time Stoke added a third.

Bojan’s corner was headed down by Crouch and an unmarked Walters slammed the 100th club goal of his career high into the net.

Unsurprisingly, Wenger shuffled things around for the second half, sending on Danny Welbeck for Bellerin, with Mathieu Flamini moving to right-back.

Welbeck was straight into the action, seeing a shot deflected wide, but Stoke continued to pose plenty of problems.

Martinez was having an uncomfortable afternoon and he was caught out by a Bojan free-kick in the 51st minute.

The keeper had to dive back towards his goal to keep it out and was fortunate the ball arrived at Geoff Cameron’s feet too quickly for the defender to do anything with it.

At the other end, Alexis Sanchez almost made Nzonzi pay for a poor error when he ran through on goal, beating Shawcross and Begovic, but shot against the post.

It looked curtains for Arsenal when Bojan found the net for the second time in the 65th minute – but a belated offside flag cut short the celebrations.

The Gunners went down the other end and won a penalty when Diouf tripped Flamini. Begovic got a hand to Cazorla’s shot but could not keep it out – and two minutes later Ramsey reduced the deficit to a single goal.

Begovic produced a fine save from Welbeck but Sanchez’s corner picked out Ramsey at the back post and he shot through a crowd of players.

Arsenal pushed hard for an equaliser but found themselves reduced to 10 men 12 minutes from time when Chambers was shown a second yellow card for pulling Bojan.

And, despite putting Stoke under a lot of pressure, the third did not come.

Read more at ESPN

Premiership: Stoke 1-0 Newcastle

Peter Crouch’s early header secured Stoke a first home Premier League win of the season and increased the pressure on Newcastle boss Alan Pardew.

Crouch rose to meet a Victor Moses cross from the left after 14 minutes.

Newcastle were fortunate not to concede a penalty when Moses was bundled over in the area by Yoan Gouffran.

Marko Arnautovic was denied by a post before Newcastle’s Jack Colback thumped against the bar late on to leave the visitors second bottom of the table.

While Stoke move up to 11th, defeat leaves Newcastle, who have only five league wins since the turn of the year, on three points from their six matches this season and supporters once again took their frustration out on manager Pardew.

Papiss Cisse, who scored twice as Newcastle came from behind to draw 2-2 with Hull in their last Premier League match, was only fit enough for the bench and the visitors were reduced to long-range efforts in the first half.

Cisse was brought on at the interval but, other than Colback’s late opportunity, there was little response from Newcastle as Pardew’s side slipped to a third league defeat of the season.

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley’s lawyers have said he was joking  when he claimed that Pardew would be sacked if his team were defeated at the Britannia Stadium.

But the manner of this defeat, with Stoke always looking more incisive and Newcastle managing just one shot on target, will do little to reduce the negativity he will face ahead of Saturday’s trip to Swansea.

The Potters took the lead with the first clear chance of the evening, when Moses made space on the left and crossed for Crouch, who climbed higher than Fabricio Coloccini to turn a header into the corner.

Shortly afterwards, Stoke should have been given a spot-kick when Moses went down under Gouffran’s tackle in the area.

Newcastle had seen Coloccini volley over, before Moussa Sissoko just missed the top corner with a powerful drive from a wide position.

A minute before the interval, Stoke goalkeeper Asmir Begovic was finally worked when he turned away a drive from Darryl Janmaat.

Soon after the break, the hosts almost doubled their lead when Muniesa’s dangerous cross was headed away by Newcastle defender Mike Williamson and Potters substitute Arnautovic thumped a shot against the inside of the post.

Stoke’s Charlie Adam also tested goalkeeper Tim Krul with a bending free-kick as the home side continued to enjoy the better of the match.

Krul pulled off a fine save to deny Moses after Janmaat hit his attempted clearance straight at Williamson.

Paul Dummett missed from 30 yards for the visitors, but Colback should have equalised when he collected a Gabriel Obertan cross and managed to hit the woodwork from four yards out.

Read more on BBC Sport