Tag: Stoke

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: Leicester City sign defender Robert Huth on loan from Stoke City

Leicester City have signed Stoke City defender Robert Huth on loan until the end of the season.

The 30-year-old made 187 appearances for the Potters after joining the club for £5m from Middlesbrough in 2009.

“I’m not expecting to walk into the team,” he told Leicester City’s YouTube channel.  “I will need to prove my worth and hopefully I can do that.”

The German is currently serving a two-game Football Association ban for comments made on social media.

He will miss the Foxes’ Premier League match against Crystal Palace at the King Power Stadium on Saturday, but will be available for the trip to Emirates Stadium to face Arsenal on 10 February.

Huth started his professional career at Chelsea in 2002, and won the Premier League twice in his four years at Stamford Bridge.

Read more at BBC Sport

Premiership: Stoke striker Bojan Krkic ruled out for season with knee injury

Stoke City will be without striker Bojan Krkic for the rest of the season after he suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury during Monday’s FA Cup fourth-round tie at Rochdale.

The Spaniard, 24, was hurt chasing down the ball during his side’s 4-1 victory, and left the ground on crutches.

A scan on Tuesday confirmed the ligament damage in his left knee.

“It’s bitterly disappointing for the club but even more so for Bojan,” said Potters manager Mark Hughes.

“He was making such a big impact on the Premier League and clearly enjoying his football.”

The former Barcelona player, who joined the Potters on a four-year deal in July 2014, opened the scoring at Spotland with his fifth goal of the season.

Read more at BBC Sport

Premiership: Arsenal 3-0 Stoke

Arsenal climbed above neighbours Tottenham and into fifth place in the Premier League with a dominant display against Stoke.

Laurent Koscielny took advantage of slack marking to head the hosts into an early lead from Sanchez’s cross.

The Chile international then finished off a neat move with Tomas Rosicky to double Arsenal’s lead before half-time.

Sanchez, 26, added his second goal of the game and 18th of the season from a free-kick shortly after the break.

It proved a relatively routine victory for an Arsenal side and for David Ospina, who retained his place after the 2-0 FA Cup third round win over Hull.

It was the 26-year-old Colombia international’s first Premier League start, with Wojciech Szczesny dropped to the bench following reports he was caught smoking in the showers after the New Year’s Day defeat at Southampton.

Stoke were given early warning of Arsenal’s intent when Sanchez and Tomas Rosicky forced goalkeeper Asmir Begovic into saves in the opening five minutes.

And within 60 seconds Koscielny took advantage of Arsenal’s third corner of the match by heading in Sanchez’s delivery.

Arsenal were forced to substitute defender Matthieu Debuchy when he dislocated his right shoulder in a challenge from Marko Arnautovic and collided with the advertising boards behind the goal.

Stoke created little throughout the game and their first real chance came when Glenn Whelan blazed a smart free-kick from Bojan over the bar on 25 minutes.

Peter Crouch also headed a tame effort wide from an Arnautovic cross.

Sanchez then stretched Arsenal’s lead with his 17th goal of the season – a low shot in to the bottom left-hand corner after a smart one-two with Rosicky on the edge of the area.

Soon after the break, Sanchez was among the goals again. His free-kick squeezed through the wall and Begovic was unable to stop the ball crossing the line via his body and a post.

By then, the game was over as a contest but Stoke rallied.

Geoff Cameron had a goal ruled out for offside when he strayed ahead of the Arsenal defence from Crouch’s flick-on.

And, as full-time approached, substitute Stephen Ireland forced Ospina into his only real save of note with a low right-foot effort.

Read more at BBC Sport

Premiership: Stoke 1-1 Man Utd

Manchester United drew their third successive away game after coming from behind to earn a point at Stoke.

The result leaves United nine points behind Premier League joint-leaders Chelsea and Manchester City.

Radamel Falcao swept in from a corner to equalise for United after Ryan Shawcross had given Stoke an early lead with a close-range volley.

Stoke were denied a penalty when Chris Smalling appeared to handle, while a Peter Crouch header hit the post.

A point was the least Stoke deserved, with the home side coping better with the blustery conditions and looking more likely to carve an opportunity from open play.

Balls delivered into the box caused problems for United’s three centre-halves, who at times were reduced to arguing amongst themselves, while the majority of possession was not enough for a visiting side that lacked the guile to break down an organised Stoke defence.

Six successive victories had led United bossLouis van Gaal to talk of a title challenge, but dropping six points over the Christmas period leaves cementing a top-four place as the more realistic ambition.

Stoke had enjoyed their own period of consistency in December, a run of three wins and a draw only interrupted by a 2-0 defeat by Chelsea.

The Potters lost the influential Bojan to a hamstring injury in their latestwin against West Brom, but that mantle was picked up by Marko Arnautovic.

It was his corner in the second minute that was delivered deep to Crouch, who nodded down for the unmarked Shawcross to score against his former club.

Another Arnautovic ball should have led to Mame Biram Diouf putting Stoke further ahead, but he fired wide when given a clear sight of goal and, soon after, United were level.

A corner from the left was helped on by Michael Carrick, with Falcao finishing from inside the six-yard box.

However, that did not provide United with the inspiration to improve, with their best chance of the second half coming when the ineffective Robin van Persie poked a volley wide.

Instead, it was Stoke who came closest to winning it, with Crouch hitting the woodwork and Diouf firing over, both from deliveries into the United area.

And the hosts were aggrieved – perhaps justifiably – when Crouch’s header into the raised arm of Smalling did not result in a penalty.

Read more at BBC Sport

Premiership: Stoke 0-2 Chelsea

Chelsea ensured they will be top of the Premier League on Christmas Day after a hard-fought victory over Stoke City

John Terry’s header inside two minutes kick-started a spiky contest that threatened to spill over at times.

Yet for all Stoke’s desire, Chelsea always looked in control and deservedly doubled their lead through Cesc Fabregas’ scuffed finish on 78 minutes.

Steven Nzonzi had Stoke’s best chance but his deflected shot was well saved.

Read more at BBC Sport

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: Man Utd 2-1 Stoke

Manchester United continued their recent revival with a fourth successive win which strengthens their place in the Premier League top four.

The home side led when Marouane Fellaini headed in Ander Herrera’s left-wing cross at the far post.

Stoke equalised through Steven N’Zonzi’s low shot, but they slipped to a third straight loss when Juan Mata’s free-kick from the right sneaked in.

However, Stoke’s Mame Biram Diouf was twice denied an injury-time equaliser.

The 26-year-old Stoke forward, who had an undistinguished spell at Old Trafford earlier in his career, saw United keeper David De Gea claw out his header before emergency full-back Ashley Young cleared another effort off the line seconds later.

Diouf was left mystified at the final whistle by his inability to earn a point for the visitors, shaking his head in disbelief as he slowly trudged off the pitch.

A draw would have been harsh on United, who controlled the game throughout, but had to rely on a piece of fortune for the winner.

Spain midfielder Mata’s set-piece evaded all the players waiting in the penalty area, although team-mate Marcos Rojo claimed he flicked in the final touch.

However, United boss Louis van Gaal will not be too bothered about the identity of the goalscorer. The Dutchman breathed a huge sigh of relief as he marched down the Old Trafford tunnel as his team continue to build momentum, despite failing to turn almost 70% of possession into more goals.

Van Gaal was unable to call on skipper Wayne Rooney or Angel Di Maria, with the pair missing from United’s squad through injuries sustained against Hull on Saturday.

And for large periods, the home side sorely missed the pair’s attacking guile.

But Stoke rarely looked like ending a dismal run of 11 successive Old Trafford defeats – until the late drama involving Diouf.

Old Trafford lost some of its famed ‘fear factor’ last season as United slumped to seven home Premier League defeats in a terrible first campaign following Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement.

That aura of invincibility appears to have returned under Van Gaal, whose team have taken 19 home points from a possible 21 since defeat by Swansea on the opening day.

Potters boss Mark Hughes indicated his side would not be afraid to “have a go” at United, but they rarely looked like carving open a makeshift home defence until stoppage time.

United controlled the tempo and deservedly led when Spanish midfielder Herrera was allowed too much time and space to pick out Fellaini, who outjumped Erik Pieters to powerfully nod in.

Hughes was furious with the space that his side allowed Herrera, but his demeanour changed when N’Zonzi calmly guided a 20-yard shot past De Gea with Stoke’s first attempt on goal.

But Mata’s intervention moved United within two points of second-placed Manchester City, who travel to Sunderland on Wednesday, while Stoke remain four points above the relegation zone.

Read more at BBC Sport