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January 1, 2014
• 10:00 AM
• Bet365 Stadium, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire
Referee: A. Marriner
• Attendance: 25832
O. Assaidi 50'
L. Baines 90'+
FT: STK 1-1 EVE - Baines' injury time penalty salvages a point for Everton, with Hughes furious at full-time. Stoke had resisted for so long, but they are held to a disappointing draw.
90' + 4'
FULL-TIME: Stoke 1-1 Everton
90' + 3'
Late drama here. Bit of smoke here, with a few flares being projected, but play continues. Assaidi's cross off Coleman wins Stoke City a late corner.
90' + 2'
Penalty Goal Leighton Baines
90' + 2'
GOAL! Stoke 1-1 Everton - Baines! The left-back salvages an equaliser from the spot in dramatic circumstances. Everton are back from the brink, despite a host of fantastic Stoke defending. Butland beaten.
90' + 1'
Yellow Card Jermaine Pennant
90' + 1'
Into the first of four additional minutes - and we have late drama. Kick conceded by Pennant on Osman, with Stoke undoing possibly, all of their good work for much of this game.
PENALTY TO EVERTON!!
NAISMITH!! Wonderful double save by Jack Butland. The substitute strikes at goal, saved once by the goalkeeper, and again - met with another fantastic parry before he collects the ball. Wondeful stuff.
Everton win yet another free-kick in a dangerous position after substitute Jermaine Pennant upends Leighton Baines. Can they make this one count? No. Far too deep from Mirallas.
Coleman comes in off the right, finds Barry and subsequently Osman, but a foul on Assaidi gives Stoke a welcome free-kick from referee Andre Marriner.
Half-chance for Everton, and Stoke are relieved to get it away. Superb run from Naismith, who locates Jelavic inside the penalty box. The Croatian forward looks to have beaten the defence, but one moment of hesitation sees Stoke recover.
SUBSTITUTION: Everton - Romelu Lukaku is replaced by Steven Naismith. Jelavic the lone forward up front.
SUBSTITUTION - Stoke: Wilson Palacios is on for Charlie Adam.
Baines comes in off the left to try and revive the Toffees' rather sticky position at the moment, but to no avail. Roberto Martinez has been forced into a third and final change.
Twelve minutes to go at the Britannia. Still no response from the visitors, who could lose precious ground in the race for the Champions League, with Manchester United to play Tottenham at 17:30.
ASSAIDI! Chance for Stoke to wrap this one up.Lovely move from the on-loan Liverpool winger. Finds Peter Crouch at the far post. The lanky forward attempts to control, and then dribble the ball but is eventually crowded out.
Butland has had precious little to do since coming on 30 minutes ago. Weighted through ball in the path of Lukaku, but Butland races forward off his line to claim.
Oh, calls for a back pass! Barkley is lucky after seeing the ball towards Howard with what appeared to be a deliberate pass, but the referee waves away their claims.
Stoke are heading for only their second win against teams above 12th place in the table. Previously, they had lost seven of their last 11 games in that regard.
SUBSTITUTION - Everton: Steven Pienaar is replaced by Nikica Jelavic.
SUBSTITUTION - Everton: James McCarthy is replaced by Leon Osman.
Two corners awarded, and both wasted by the Toffees, who have no answer to Stoke's solid back four in this game. Roberto Martinez is bringing on two players.
BARKLEY!! Wonderful dribble, and blocked behind for a corner after a late intervention from the defender. Lukaku waiting in the box, but Barkley goes it alone, and wins a corner for his efforts.
Yellow Card Kevin Mirallas
YELLOW CARD - Kevin Mirallas. The tricky Belgian winger is booked for dissent after approaching referee Andre Marriner, and complaining extensively.
MIRALLAS!!! Everton are piling on the pressure once more. Three players waiting in the box after a brilliant pull-back into the box and his effort is superbly blocked by Wilson.
Crunching challenge from Erik Pieters on Seamus Coleman. A fair challenge it seemed, but the referee has his little book out. Not entirely sure the Dutchman has been booked.
What sort of changes can Roberto Martinez make to revive his flagging side? Nikica Jelavic on the bench, as an alternative with Bryan Oviedo also another choice.
Yellow Card Glenn Whelan
Tempo of the game has dropped, with fouls becoming more prevalent. Whelan booked after a late challenge on Pienaar. Free-kick, but the Toffees waste it once more.
Bit of a tussle between Coleman and Assaidi, who go elbow to elbow fighting over a loose ball. Assaidi should've just hoofed it away, but opts to dribble instead. Gives a free-kick away too.
Approaching the hour, and Stoke lead 1-0 thanks to Assaidi's powerful strike on 50 minutes. Everton lead the possession count 59% to Stoke's 41%, though they have not dominated at all in the final third.
Yellow Card Ryan Shawcross
Free-kick to Everton, in another decent position, about 25 yards out. Mirallas over it, after hitting the bar in the first half. This time, he strikes it into the wall. Disappointing.
Mark Hughes watches on with a quiet sense of delight, one could presume. His Stoke side have been really solid, maintaining a good defensive shape and snuffing out any Everton chance.
Lukaku's rather indifferent performance continues. Pass played to the feet of the Belgian, who takes a first-time effort and it is an easy take for goalkeeper Butland.
Pienaar! Wasteful. Martinez watches on with frustration as the South African midfielder turns past N'Zonzi with ease, before slicing an effort high and wide. Very poor.
Jack Butland makes his league debut after being recalled after first choice goalkeeper Asmir Begovic suffered a broken finger. Thomas Sorensen, who started this game was forced off at half-time with an as yet unspecified injury.
Yellow Card Geoff Cameron
Everton are searching for an equaliser, and have been presented with an immediate opportunity. Cameron concedes a free-kick with a strong challenge, and is met with a booking. Baines sends it over, turned behind for a corner.
Goal Oussama Assaidi
GOAL! Stoke 1-0 Everton - ASSAIDI!! It had been coming, make no mistake. Stoke recover from a dismissed penalty appeal, and Assaidi absolutely thunders one past Tim Howard from just outside the area.
Stoke have started strongly in this second period. Charlie Adam surges forward past two defenders before being upended in the box. No penalty awarded by referee Andre Marriner.
SUBSTITUTION - Thomas Sorensen has departed, replaced by Jack Butland, with the young goalkeeper making his league debut for the Potters.
UNDERWAY in the second half! Stoke get us going, attacking from right to left in this period.
Stoke have made a half-time substitution. More on that in a second.
HT: STK 0-0 EVE - Mirallas has come the closest to breaking the deadlock at Britannia. Stoke, for the most part, had been dominating, with Assaidi and Crouch spurning decent chances. Remains all square.
45' + 1'
HALF-TIME: Stoke City 0-0 Everton
45' + 1'
MIRALLAS! HITS THE BAR AGAIN! Stunning free-kick from the Belgian, who gets it over the wall, and off the crossbar for the second time. Still in play, delivered into Lukaku, and it's headed narrowly wide.
Into one minute of additional time at Britannia.
Everton pushing for a breakthrough before half-time. Baines & Lukaku combine with a superb one-two, before the former is hacked down by N'Zonzi. About 25 yards out, that is a great spot for the left-back.
It's still raining quite a bit at the Britannia, though the players seem to be coping with the fast, zippy surface well. Nevertheless, neither side can keep a hold on the ball for too long.
Barkley lays off a weighted pass towards Mirallas, but Shawcross is in a fine position to intercept the move. Mirallas picks it up once more, find Barkley with a superb pass. First time shot, and narrowly OVER!
Pieters moves into the opposition half, but his pass intercepted, and eventually caught short as Lukaku surges forward at the other end, but the Belgian cannot find a team-mate.
Edging towards half-time. Everton pushing men forward, but with no luck at the moment. Stoke maintain a solid defensive shape, as Lukaku's header is blocked. Pienaar concedes a foul.
Barry with a superb through ball towards Barkley who gets a bit of space in the box. Finds Baines, who in turn picks out Pienaar, but the South African eventually loses the ball.
ASSAIDI! That could've gone anywhere. What a chance for Stoke. Another delivery from the right. Falls at the feet of Assaidi who turns and shoots. Off the defender, and Howard is lucky to see that behind for a corner.
Stones brings the ball from the defence, and does so well - that he races forward well past the halfway line. Eventually dispossessed by Whelan and Stoke attack now.
What a goal that would've been. At a nice height for Sorensen, who is still beaten by the effort, and beaten by the crossbar. Meanwhile, Walters is down for Stoke and requires treatment.
MIRALLAS! OFF THE BAR! Out of nothing, Everton are denied the opener by the woodwork. A neat move from the Belgian, who tees himself up and smash an effort off the crossbar.
Martinez's men are distinctly second best as we approach the half-hour at the Britannia Stadium. Stoke offering a threat on the wing, especially through Jonathan Walters. Still goalless.
Lukaku drops deeper to start an Everton move. Towards McCarthy, and now Barkley who races forward, but Lukaku is eventually dispossessed.
Everton now beginning to reverse the tide here. Baines picks up the ball on the left hand side. Delivers in a teasing cross right into the midle of the box, but Shawcross is on hand to deflect it away.
Whelan forces Stoke forward with a ton of space in the midfield. Towards Assaidi who provides a neat back pass for Adam on the edge of the area, but it's an important intervention by Alcaraz.
Everton haven't offered too much of an attacking threat, and Stoke's domination in their half continues as Baines concedes a free-kick for a foul on Walters.
McCARTHY! Good chance from the visitors. The midfielder picks up the ball on the edge of the area, holds off his marker before sending his right-footed effort at goal. A good save by Sorensen.
Stoke maintain the pressure - they're in a good spell at the moment. Walters delivers in a powerful cross, with Baines holding off. Peter Crouch gets at the end of that, but heads over.
Whelan holds off the challenge of Pienaar to engineer a move. Towards Shawcross who finds Cameron on the right. Another rushed, poor delivery from the American and it's back into Everton's possession.
McCarthy and Coleman combine as Everton push forward. The visitors aren't being encountered yet, but Gareth Barry's delivery into the box flies behind for a Stoke goal-kick.
ADAM! Fantastic volley, but the linesman's flag hinders the move. Fine Stoke move from Walters who does well to cross the ball in despite losing his balance. Crouch pushes the defender in front of him before Adam brings out a top save from Howard. But the whistle had gone!
Foul on Barkley, though it was apparent that the young England international had already gone to ground. Baines standing over the ball, about 40 yards out.
BARRY!! Everton pick themselves up to gain another corner after good work by Lukaku. Another cool delivery from Baines, and Barry gets his head to it first, powering it onto the top of the net.
Charlie Adam latches onto a loose ball in the box, and is surrounded by four defenders. Gets the shot away, but it has no real power behind it. In the end, it's a neat save by Tim Howard.
Everton win a corner, the first of the game inside nine minutes. Lukaku and Stones in the box, a good delivery from Leighton Baines but headed behind once more by Geoff Cameron.
Poor from Stoke. The hosts counter quickly, sending men forward. From Cameron, into the path of Assaidi, but the cross is far too overhit - even for Peter Crouch - as it flies out for a throw-in.
Mirallas feeds Lukaku on the right, and Everton are progressing. Pienaar is looing for an avenue, shrugging off Cameron but a poor pass allows the hosts to break at pace.
Edgy start from the Potters who will be hoping for a better showing at home, having won their last two at the Britannia. They were on the road on Boxing Day, and at the weekend - which was both followed by heavy defeats.
Stoke are powering forward, opening up the visitor's defence. Walters finds a bit of space, but his cross into the box is blocked. Assaidi on the far side meets the same outcome.
Dangerous ball from the left from Assaidi, with 19-year-old PL debutant Stones clearing the ball. He features after the absence of Phil Jagielka and Sylvain Distin.
Comfortable start from the Toffees, who are keeping the ball and settling into their rhythm. Tim Howard is required to clear the ball hurriedly from the back.
KICK-OFF! Underway at the Britannia Stadium as Everton look to start the New Year in much the same form they finished 2013 in, with three points. They attack from right to left.
The sides are out at Britannia, and kick-off is imminent.
EVERTON: Howard; Coleman, Stones, Alcaraz, Baines; Barry, McCarthy; Mirallas, Barkley, Pienaar; Lukaku
STOKE: Sorensen; Cameron, Shawcross (c), Wilson, Pieters; Walters, Nzonzi, Adam, Whelan, Assaidi; Crouch
CONFIRMED TEAM NEWS
A few statistics to comment on - Everton's defence have scored more (nine) than Stoke's forwards (four) this season. A paltry figure bettered by Seamus Coleman's five goals, three of which have come in his last four appearances.
Form-wise, the statistics point to an Everton victory as the most likely outcome today. Stoke have won just one of 11 games against sides above 12th place in the Premier League, collecting seven points in total.
Everton roared to a 4-0 victory over Stoke City in November, with Lukaku, Deulofeu, Oviedo and Coleman the scorers that afternoon. In fact, Mark Hughes' men have won only two of their last 16 league meetings against the Toffees.
Stoke meanwhile sit in a comfortable 12th place in the table, but can break into the top ten with victory at home against the Toffees. They have lost both of their last two games, conceding eight in the process - a 3-0 defeat at Spurs, preceded by a 5-1 capitulation at Newcastle.
Everton have maintained the challenge for European football and sit, at the start of play, in the fourth and final Champions League place, ahead of Liverpool and Manchester United. After suffering a shock 1-0 defeat to Sunderland last week, they recovered with a win over Southampton at the weekend.
Good afternoon and welcome to a bumper New Year's Day Premier League special. Today's encounter sees Everton travel to the Britannia Stadium and encounter Stoke City in one of ten Premier League games taking place on the first day of 2014.
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