Stoke City 1 Manchester City 0
Report of match 31st January 2009
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James Beattie scored a priceless winner on his home debut as ten-man Stoke City moved out of the relegation places with a memorable victory.The odds were stacked heavily against Tony Pulis' men when Rory Delap was sent off after a clash with Shaun Wright-Phillips.
But Stoke defended magnificently to frustrate Mark Hughes' team and Beattie swooped to head the winner seconds from the end of the first half.
Manchester City dominated the early possession and a sloppy pass by Glenn Whelan presented Stephen Ireland with a chance he volleyed a yard wide.
And Robinho should have done better than scuff his shot in the 19th minute after he started and ended a flowing move involving Ireland and Craig Bellamy.
But Stoke gradually eased their way into a tight contest, mainly through set-plays, and Ryan Shawcross headed narrowly over from a trademark long throw by Rory Delap.
And Shawcross soon threatened again when his audacious flick from another Delap delivery flew straight into Joe Hart's grateful arms.
But Stoke were really up against it in the 37th minute after Delap was sent off. Wright-Phillips felled Matthew Etherington and Delap fouled the England winger in retaliation and then kicked the ball against him in anger.
Perhaps a yellow card would have sufficed, but referee Martin Atkinson showed red to incense an already hostile home crowd.
Stoke responded by defending in depth but then stunned the visitors by taking the lead in the fifth minute of stoppage time at the end of the first half.
In a very rare breakaway, Etherington delivered a tremendous cross from the left and Beattie rose to bury a far post header inside Hart's left-hand post.
Richard Cresswell replaced the injured Ricardo Fuller for Stoke at half-time and the predictable onslaught ensued, starting with a Robinho shot which flashed wide.
Mark Hughes introduced Elano for Pablo Zabaleta in the 55th minute to add more creativity, but the Brazilian was booked within seconds for a foul on Etherington.
And Stoke, with Shawcross and Abdoulaye Faye rock solid, defended in some comfort and threatened a second on the break with Beattie's shot being deflected for a corner.
Robinho and Craig Bellamy threatened late on, but this day belonged to Stoke.
|Competition: Barclays Premier League Date: Saturday, 31st January 2009 Kick off: 12:45 Venue: Britannia Stadium|
|1 - 0||Man. City
|26||Matthew Etherington (Sonko 86)||8|
|19||Amdy Faye (Griffin 78)||7|
|10||Ricardo Fuller (Cresswell 46)||5|
|2||Andy Griffin (Faye 78)|
|33||Ibrahima Sonko (Etherington 86)|
|9||Richard Cresswell (Fuller 46)||7|
|5||Pablo Zabaleta (Elano 55)||6|
|34||Nigel de Jong (Caicedo 72)||6|
|10||Robson de Souza||6|
|11||Blumer Elano (Zabaleta 55)||6|
|20||Felipe Caicedo (de Jong 72)|
|14||Joćo Alves de Assis Silva|
|Stoke City cards shown|
|38 mins||Rory Delap||Violent conduct|
|89 mins||Andy Wilkinson||Unsporting behaviour|
|Man. City cards shown|
|55 mins||Blumer Elano||Unsporting behaviour|