Everton Sinks Stoke

Everton hammered Stoke City 3-0 at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday in what was a comprehensive English Premier League victory for the visitors.  Three first half goals proved to be enough to secure the three points for the Toffees, while Jack Butland pulled off a number of saves in the second half to prevent the visitors from adding to their tally in what was a poor performance from the home team.  It was a difficult start to the match for Everton at Stoke.

First, the visitors were denied a corner in the fifth minute then they conceded one at the other end, with replays suggesting that both decisions had gone the wrong way.  However, in the ninth minute, the Merseysiders’ fortunes would change when Tom Cleverley was brought down inside the box after bursting through on goal.  The resulting penalty kick was slotted away by Romelu Lukaku, setting the away side on their way.

In the 28th minute, Seamus Coleman added a second when he headed in a Cleverley corner to hand the Toffees a two-goal cushion and with five minutes of the half remaining, Aaron Lennon made it 3-0.  The English winger intercepted a loose pass from Phillip Wollscheid and raced towards goal, leaving Jack Butland for dead with a well-placed finish in the right corner.  At the other end Stoke had a couple of half chances but little to show, with Marko Arnautovic coming closest in what was a disappointing first half performance from the Potters.

Although City showed plenty of intent after the restart, it was the visitors who had the better chances, with Lukaku coming close twice.  Butland pushed the Belgian’s header onto the crossbar in the 57th minute and stuck out a leg to keep out a poked effort from the striker in the 63rd minute.  In fact, Butland seemed to be their best player on the field, preventing Everton from scoring a fourth, most notably in the 77th minute when he rushed out to deny substitute Aroune Kone who had raced clear of the Stoke defence.

In summary, it was a frustrating afternoon for Mark Hughes’ side who were restricted to passing backwards and forwards for most of the match, with Glen Johnson arguably having their best effort, a drive from distance in the 63rd minute that was palmed back into play by Joel.  This is the Potters’ fifth consecutive defeat and their second 3-0 loss in a row.

Teams:

Stoke City: Butland, Johnson, Wollscheid, Muniesa, Pieters, Imbula, Whelan, Shaqiri, Afellay, Arnautovic, Diouf. Subs: Bardsley, Ireland, Odimwingie, Joselu, Crouch, Krcic, Haugaard.

Leicester City: Robles, Coleman, Jagielka, Funes Mori, Oviedo, McCarthy, Barry, Lennon, Barkley, Cleverely, Lukaku. Subs: Baines, Kone, Mirallas, Deulofeu, Osman, Pienaar, Stanek.