Stoke Wins Seven-Goal Thriller

Stoke City beat Everton 4-3 at Goodison Park on Monday in an entertaining English Premier League clash.  The visitors opened the scoring and took a 2-1 lead into the break courtesy of brilliant strike from Xherdan Shaqiri.  Romelu Lukaku scored either side of half-time to equalise for the home team and combined well with Ross Barkley in the build-up to the Toffees’ third.

It looked as though Everton had completed a remarkable comeback but then up stepped Marko Arnautovic.  The Austrian winger assisted Joselu in the 80th minute for the Potter’s leveller before earning a penalty in the final minute and slotting away the winner to move Stoke into eighth position.

Arnautovic came close to opening the scoring for the visitors in the 12th minute but could not keep his effort on target after a menacing run from Bojan created the opportunity.  Immediately, the hosts tried to reply at the other end through Lukaku but the Belgian winger skied his effort after Barkley had spotted his run in behind the Potters defence.  In the 16th minute, first blood went to Mark Hughes’ side as Bojan, Arnautovic and Shaqiri combined once more.

After another great run from Bojan, Arnautovic helped the ball on to Shaqiri who planted his finish into the bottom corner of Tim Howard’s goal.  The visitors’ lead did not last long and six minutes later Lukaku atoned for his earlier miss with a cool finish following James McCarthy’s cleverly disguised pass.  The goal seemed to rejuvenate the hosts and Barkley was at the centre of the Toffees attack, twisting and turning to find space.

In the 32nd minute, he set up Brendan Galloway inside the box with a flamboyant back-heel but the effort was steered wide by the defender.  The two teams looked to go in all-square at the break before Shaqiri doubled Stoke’s lead, lobbing a half-volley over Howard’s head after controlling a long diagonal pass.  The goal stunned the home crowd as the visitors took a 2-1 lead into the break.

Lukaku continued his impressive form in the second stanza, bringing down Tom Cleverly’s ball over the top before finishing clinically to draw Everton level in the 64th minute.  Barkley and Lukaku were impressive for the Merseysiders and in the 71st minute the two combined well in the build-up to Everton’s third; a Gerard Deulofeu tap-in at the back post.  With 10 minutes of the match remaining it looked as though Roberto Martinez’s men had sealed the points, still there was time for some late heroics.

Arnautovic, Stoke’s star player against Manchester United turned catalyst once more.  In the 80th minute, the winger’s cross evaded the finger tips of Howard to set up Joselu for the equaliser before slotting away the winner in the 90th minute, an effort from the penalty spot.

Teams:

Everton: Howard, Coleman, Funes Mori, Stones, Galloway, Barry, McCarthy, Deulofeu, Kone, Barkley, Lukaku. Subs: Robles, Baines, Gibson, Naismith, Cleverley, Besic, Osman.

Stoke City: Butland, Johnson, Wollscheid, Shawcross, Pieters, Whelan, Affelay, Cameron, Arnautovic, Shaqiri, Bojan. Subs: Haugaard, Joselu, Wilson, Van Ginkel, Adam, Diouf, Walters.

Venue: Goodison Park