Premier League

March 24, 2012


Stoke City

1 - 1

Manchester City

Premier League

17:30 +00:00, March 24, 2012

Britannia Stadium, England

Referee: Howard Webb

  • 96'

    FULL TIME Mancini looks rueful after the final whistle, while Pulis shakes David Platt's hand and walks off without greasing palms with his opposite number. Man City deserved something but looked far from fluid. They go top, but Man Utd can go three clear with a win against Fulham on Monday night.

  • 95'

    Hart came and didn't get anywhere near the ball but Jones then fouled Clichy trying to turn it home.

  • 94'

    Stoke's free kick is about 45 yards out. Box currently being loaded.

  • 93'

    Yaya Toure fouls Palacios and for his protestations, gets a booking.

  • 92'

    Crouch off to a standing ovation and Kenwye Jones is on.

  • 92'

    Another fierce effort from Yaya Toure, it fizzes narrowly over the bar. Great effort.

  • 91'

    Five minutes added time....

  • 90'

    Cracking effort from Palacios as the ball finds him on the edge of the box. Went for the top corner but just a little high and a little wide.

  • 89'

    They are pressing though as both Tevez and Nasri have a chance to shoot - the first is blocked, the second is deflected and is caught by Begovic.

  • 88'

    Man City's title dreams hanging by a thread here, or is that a bit over dramatic?

  • 87'

    Pennant's corner goes out of play before Huth nods it into the net. Good header too.

  • 86'

    Wilkinson wins a corner.

  • 85'

    More positive from Stoke since the equaliser.

  • 84'

    Milner comes on for Zabaleta.

  • 83'

    Stoke looking more dangerous now as Pennant takes on Clichy and crosses, Walters nods down and the ball hits Nasri's thigh.

  • 82'

    Mancini's men are leaving themselves open at the back as Palacios breaks into space. He feeds Pennant but his cross can't pick out anyone in red and white.

  • 81'

    Change for Stoke as Palacios comes on for Etherington.

  • 80'

    Awful delivery from Johnson as his cross bounces once and goes out of play.

  • 79'

    The kitchen sink will now be thrown at Stoke for the final ten minutes. Make no mistake.

  • 78'

    Nice one two between Whelan and Crouch ends with the former shooting, not the latter. Wide.

  • 77'

    A lifeline for Man City. A great strike from Toure but even bearing in mind the touch from Shawcross, Begovic should be doing better with that I think.

  • 76'

    Toure's shot from nearly 40 yards takes a flick off Shawcross' head which wrongfoots Begovic slightly, and he can only palm it into the net.

  • 76'

    GOAL Yaya Toure from distance!

  • 75'

    Tevez's first introduction is a late tackle on Shawcross.

  • 74'

    It's Tevez time - Barry departs.

  • 73'

    Zabaleta is off getting treatement and Stoke break, it ends with a shooting chance for Walters but his effort isn't a patch on Crouch's.

  • 72'

    Plenty of numbers behind the ball for Stoke now as City try to prise a way through. Balotelli nearly gets on the end of Nasri's pass before Yaya Toure's shot is saved by Begovic.

  • 70'

    Etherington gets a free kick as Johnson hacks at the ball which is stuck between his legs.

  • 69'

    Johnson wins a corner when attempting to cross for Dzeko.

  • 68'

    A cry of "Shoot" goes up whenever Crouch gets the ball now. ESPN commentator Jon Champion enjoying it.

  • 67'

    Balotelli is getting charged up here - rushing into a tackle after losing the ball and giving a free kick away. Get him off Roberto.

  • 66'

    Tevez warms up in earnest. Etherington with another bump on the head.

  • 65'

    Wilson is carded for a late clip on Johnson.

  • 64'

    Remember Adebayor's volley for Arsenal against Spurs all those years ago? Crouch's was like that but further out and at more of an angle.

  • 63'

    Silva is not happy at being brought off at all. He's not the same player he was at the start of the season though.

  • 62'

    So, half an hour for City to rescue themselves again with a comeback. Silva comes off, Johnson comes on.

  • 61'

    A good chance for Man City to hit back but Silva's cross shot spins wide of the post. As for Crouch, what a goal. A stunning effort. He hurts City again.

  • 60'

    The entire ground are doing the poznan!

  • 59'

    That, quite simply, is genius! On pretty much the corner of the box, Crouch has teed this one up before volleying it over Hart and into the corner of the net. Just brilliant. Brilliant.

  • 59'

    GOAL Crouch with the goal of the season!

  • 57'

    Zabaleta is fine, and so, eventually, is Richards.

  • 56'

    Aother man down with a sore head. Richards this time, as he jumped with Walters but only succeeded in headbutting Zabaleta.

  • 55'

    Clichy runs onto the cleared corner but used his arm to control it.

  • 54'

    A free kick for Man City, which Balotelli strikes against the wall. Corner.

  • 52'

    Cracking defending from Shawcross as Clichy galloped onto Balotelli's pass. A good tackle, then a clearance that rebounds off him opponent and yielded a goal kick.

  • 51'

    Jerome trots off and Pennant replaces him. A few boos for that swap.

  • 50'

    It caused plenty of dange too - a deep cross, Jerome meets it, Hart can't get there but flaps his arms and just about gets away with it.

  • 49'

    Ehterington wins a corner for Stoke. Whelan to take. Pennant about to come on.

  • 48'

    Now Nasri tries a snapshot from 20 yards. Begovic saves smartly.

  • 47'

    An early chance for Dzeko as he breaks the offside trap and meets Barry's ball - Begovic out smartly to block his shot.

  • 46'

    We begin again....


    It was a busy afternoon in the top flight. If you missed Wigan's win at Liverpool, or Bolton's beating of Blackburn then catch up with our Premier League wrap.

  • 45'

    HALF TIME An even half but Man City probably just edged it. Not much in the way of clear goalmouth action though.

  • 45'

    I think we might just see Tevez in place of Dzeko at half time - the striker has been off the pace.

  • 44'

    Free kick for Stoke, Etherington to deliver .. and my word that's awful. Over everyone's head.

  • 43'

    Excellent run from Balotelli, who is getting a little wound up here, quick feet to get away from a crowd of players but his shot lacked pace and Begovic saves low down.

  • 42'

    Honours reasonably even as we approach half time.

  • 41'

    That is a fantastic bit of work from Zabaleta, Shawcross got a tiny touch on the corner but he kicked it away with his left foot about a yard from the line.

  • 40'

    Etherington's corner flashes past Hart but Zabaleta comes to the rescue by hacking off the line at the back post.

  • 39'

    Howard Webb is having one of those games where both sides aren't happy with him.

  • 38'

    Barry hauls back Jerome and gets carded for his trouble.

  • 37'

    Again it is all too tight on the edge of Stoke's box. Man City can't pick a pass through and Stoke break when play is broken up. Zabaleta should have scored then though as a gap opened on the right - he chose to cross rather than fire an effort off.

  • 35'

    Still no real final ball from Man City. Corner though, after good work from Nasri.

  • 33'

    Good job he nodded wide too, as the ball had gone out of play earlier in the move but the assistant didn't spot it.

  • 32'

    A chance for Dzeko and a very poor header. A good, deep cross from Clichy and Dzeko nods wide from four yards. Slight angle but still, got to do better,

  • 30'

    A good run down the right from Walters - a full 50 yards, winning a throw in.

  • 29'

    It's all getting a bit heated now after that Silva clash - Shawcross wrestles Balotelli to the floor, at the other end Toure nudged Crouch out of the way inside the area.

  • 28'

    Dzeko does meet a cross this time but can't get enough purchase on it.

  • 27'

    Silva is back on with a 1980s Steve Foster style bandage on. Terry Butcher maybe a better reference.

  • 26'

    It was certainly a forearm smash but I don't think Whitehead had any intent. A tricky one. Painful, no doubt about that.

  • 25'

    Silva is rolling on the turf after what looked like an elbow caught him on the head. Whitehead led with his arm and caught the Spaniard but his eyes were on the ball.

  • 23'

    After that flurry of chances a moment ago, the game has reverted to its messy opening flavour.

  • 22'

    Stoke take a free kick down the right to Wilkinson but he can't control the ball. He had time to cross if he had done.

  • 21'

    More excellent passing from Man City but it ends with a short pass to Toure and a pretty ambitious effort.

  • 20'

    Joe Hart calling for the floodlights to be put on as the sun drops behind the main stand.

  • 19'

    Good passing move from City as Zabaleta, Nasri and Silva combine, the latter's cross finds Zabaleta but his shot is weak and wide but also deflected. Corner.

  • 18'

    Stoke asserting themselves now in a lively period of the game.

  • 17'

    Good run from Whelan as he cuts into the box and offloads to Walters whose shot started wide and got wider. Whelan still down after Barry stood on his ankle.

  • 16'

    An awful touch from Dzeko hands possession to Jerome and as Man City's defenders come across he fasils to spot Whitehead in acres of space to the right and then is bundled over. No foul either.

  • 15'

    David Silva has a pop from range and wins a corner after it takes a flick.

  • 14'

    Nice build-up play from Man City but no final ball. Mancini not happy on the touchline.

  • 12'

    First chance of the game as Wilson launches the ball into the box, Crouch wins the header and Jerome, unaware of the time he had, tries an overhead kick.

  • 11'

    Toure and Crouch clash heads. A lot of rubbing going on. Of heads.

  • 10'

    Balotelli has started this game as he finished the last - indifferently.

  • 9'

    And now Hart holds the ball well as Walters crossed for Crouch. It was travelling too.

  • 8'

    City stroke the ball around nicely but Clichy's cross is right at Begovic, who claims down low.

  • 7'

    City looking to get Nasri on the ball as much as possible. He was excellent on Wednesday.

  • 6'

    Struggling for quality in the early stages.

  • 5'

    Balotelli trying to put himself about in the early stages - he needs a performance after a poor 45 minutes against Chelsea on Wednesday.

  • 4'

    Richards towers above Crouch as they grapple for a long ball.

  • 3'

    Dzeko attacks Nasri's free kick but can't connect. Big game for him today - he hasn't looked particularly good in recent weeks.

  • 2'

    Decent early signs from Stoke but then, it always takes teams a while to get used to their style.

  • 1'



    Before we begin, a word that all today's Premier League goals are now available on the ESPN goals app. UK only.


    Here come the teams, to a sunny Britannia Stadium. This is a repeat of last year's FA Cup final of course.


    Stoke can join Sunderland and Everton on 40 points with a win but their goal difference is the worst of any team outside the bottom five clubs.


    So, as long as Man City avoid defeat they will head back to the top of the table and their confidence coffers will have been boosted by that midweek win over Chelsea.


    Stoke reshape their midfield as Glenn Whelan, Matthew Etherington and Dean Whitehead replaced Salif Diao, Wilson Palacios and Jermaine Pennant.


    The big news is that Serio Ageuro is missing for City - he has a foot injury. Edin Dzeko comes in. Elsewhere, Gareth Barry returns for Nigel de Jong.


    Welcome along one and all to live commentary on Man City's tricky trip to Stoke.