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March 30, 2013
• Goodison Park, Liverpool
Referee: M. Jones
• Attendance: 33977
K. Mirallas 28'
And that is that. Everton pick up the three points thanks to a narrow 1-0 win over Stoke at Goodison Park. On the whole, Mirallas' goal gave them a deserved win, but they did make hard work of it at times, with Stoke putting up a good fight. Thanks for joining me today, I hope you have enjoyed the match. Feel free to find me on Twitter @RyanRyanBenson.
90' + 3'
Adam takes a shot from his wide position, but Howard punches it away and the referee blows his whistle for full-time.
90' + 2'
Yellow Card Ryan Shotton
90' + 2'
Stoke have little more than a minute to get an equaliser and Adam fortuitously wins a free kick on the right side of Everton's area. The hosts are absolutely incredulous.
Stoke pressuring for a late equaliser, while Everton are frantically just trying to get the ball away whenever they get the opportunity.
Yellow Card Ross Barkley
A few tackles go flying in in midfield, and Barkley times two absolutely perfectly. However, the referee obviously disagrees as he shows the midfielder a yellow card.
Excellent example of work rate from Anichebe there as he tracks all the way back, tackles Walters and then wins a free kick from him. Pressure off.
Gibson's delivery ends up going all the way through the penalty area. Barkley eventually gets possession, but after attempting some fancy skill, he puts the ball straight out of play.
A heavy cross from the left drops kindly for Coleman on the right. Despite under pressure from Walters, he does well to keep possession before being hauled to the floor. Free kick.
And now Mirallas - who has just taken a slight knock - leaves the pitch for Everton. On comes the young and talented Ross Barkley.
Stoke are now making a double change. On come Kenwyne Jones and Charlie Adam, while Peter Crouch and Geoff Cameron make way.
Good move by the visitors as Shotton back-heels the ball from the byline, cutting it back into the danger area where Jerome is waiting to try his luck, but he fires over.
In goes the free kick, but it is headed wide of the far post.
Stoke work their way down the right very well, as Cameron, Shotton and Crouch combine. The former England striker flicks the ball past Distin, drawing a foul just to the right of the penalty area.
This time Jelavic takes the kick and he curls it just past the far post. It was a very good strike and replays show that Begovic got a slight touch. Regardless, the referee awards a goal kick to Stoke.
In the ensuing melee, Shotton leaves Osman on the floor and Everton win a free kick in an almost identical position.
Three Everton players stand over it, but it is Baines to strikes it... And straight in the wall.
Osman brings the ball forward from midfield and then pokes it through to Jelavic. The forward is barged over by Shawcross right on the edge of the area. The referee made the right decision giving a free kick and not a penalty.
Yellow Card Ryan Shawcross
Both sides are battling this out in midfield, with a lot of it becoming scrappy. This time Huth leaves Jelavic in a heap with a rather uncompromising challenge.
Great cross from the right by Coleman, and Jelavic rises well to get a header in on goal, but Begovic makes the save.
This match is nice and open at the moment. Both sides are looking to get the next goal.
Stoke get a throw-in, thus signalling danger for Everton, but bizarrely Shotton's effort doesn't beat the second man and Gibson brings it out. He beats on man before playing Mirallas in down the left, but he must settle for a throw-in.
What a chance for Stoke! Jerome took up possession on the left and crossed towards the far post, but after the ball took a nick off Distin, Shotton arrives and heads the ball over from about four yards out. That was an absolute sitter.
Good effort from Mirallas as he calmly brings the ball down and then fires a half-volley towards the goal, but a deflection off Shawcross makes it a bit easier for Begovic.
Mirallas takes the set-piece, but almost as soon as the ball is kicked, referee Mike Jones blows his whistle for a foul to Stoke.
However, it doesn't take long for Everton to be back on he attack again and they win a corner out of very little.
Whelan lofts the free kick to the far post where Huth heads it just wide of the next. Unlucky for Stoke, let-off for Everton.
Although Everton clear, Anichebe immediately gives away a free kick in a dangerous position.
Stoke's corner only results in another, but the second sees a goalmouth scramble ensue, but Everton just get it away.
Mirallas is told to wait to take his kick, and then when he does take it is poor. Stoke go straight down the other end and win a corner for themselves.
Baines get the ball on the left and slides it in to Anichebe. The forward runs at his man before getting a shot away, which is deflected behind.
Gibson takes the free kick and it is kept in play by Heitinga, but Cameron is on hand to blast it away.
Stoke came out well after the break, but Everton are back in the ascendancy again and have a free kick on the right thanks to Whelan.
The delivery is rather unspectacular and Everton deal with it comfortably.
Good play by Stoke as they get the ball forward to Walters, but Distin covers well and concedes a corner.
Here we go. Everton get the second half underway.
Everton take a 1-0 lead into the break, and after a fairly slow start few would argue that they don't deserve to be one up. It took a while for their passing to link up with effect, while at first few seemed to be on the same wave length. However, eventually they got there and they have been in control more or less ever since taking the lead.
45' + 2'
Half-time at Goodison Park.
45' + 1'
Yellow Card Glenn Whelan
45' + 1'
Anichebe does well to steal the ball from a bewildered Whelan who then proceeds to outrageously hold on to the striker. Yellow card for Whelan.
Mirallas takes the resulting corner, but the delivery is a little heavy and Stoke have little problem getting it away.
Excellent play by Mirallas as he comes in from the left, plays a one-two with Osman before shooting on the edge of the area, but his effort is deflected behind.
Free kick for Stoke in a good position towards the left, but just as soon as it is taken, the referee blows his whistle and penalises Stoke. Huth barged over Baines at the far post.
Jelavic obviously unhappy with Shawcross as the two squabble relentlessly.
Good effort from Walters as he cuts in from the left and then curls a shot towards the bottom far corner, but Howard palms it away.
Everton win a free kick 30 yards from goal and Coleman tries his luck, but it is very easy for Begovic.
Shotton's throw-in gets into the area but is immediately headed out. Glen Whelan meets it with a first-time volley which is deflected into the path of Crouch who shoots straight at Howard before being flagged offside. Walters knocks in the rebound, but it of course will not count.
Stoke get forward down the right as N'Zonzi plays in Shotton who crosses, but Baines proves he can defend as well as attack and blocks it. Throw-in for Stoke.
Baines has been very good in the last 15 minutes and he tries to get his name on the scoresheet this time, but after receiving the ball from Coleman about 30 yards out, he fires well over Begovic's goal.
In midfield the visitors are losing possession way too easily as they dwell on the ball. Everton look far more composed, and understandably so.
Stoke look a bit riled after that goal, while Tony Pulis is fuming on the touchline. The visitors are now looking to steady the ship with a period of possession, but it doesn't last long as the boot the ball straight to Howard.
Almost a second for Mirallas! Stoke gift the ball to Jelavic who picks out the Belgian to his right. From the corner of the penalty area, Mirallas drives a low shot towards the bottom far corner but it goes just wide.
Goal Kevin Mirallas
GOAL!!! Everton take the lead against Stoke! The visitors had themselves a corner, but an excellent punch from Tim Howard saw Kevin Mirallas take the game to Stoke all himself. After stealing the ball from N'Zonzi, Mirallas took the ball on from his own half, held off one challenge before beating Cameron and then slotted it past Begovic. Fantastic goal.
Everton build up another attack, but patently. In the end, Baines gets the ball on the left and crosses brilliantly, but Jelavic can only get a slight touch on it with his head.
Walters cleverly beats Baines with a nutmeg near the centre-circle before playing Shotton in down the right. The midfielder's cross is excellent, but luckily for Everton Jonny Heitinga is there to head it away before Crouch can nod it in.
Everton waste the resulting corner and give Stoke the chance to counter.
Baines involved again as he looks to flash the ball across the goal from deep for Jelavic to get a touch on, but Robert Huth is there to stick it behind for a corner.
Everton's superiority is growing. This time it is Coleman who does well down the wing. The Irishman beats Wilson and then crosses. His ball is slightly too high for Jelavic, but it does drop for Baines. Baines then puts it back it and Jelavic heads the ball into Begovic hands.
A great opportunity opens up for Everton as Osman looks forward to Victor Anichebe. The striker holds the ball up and waits for the run of Leighton Baines before picking out the left-back, but his first touch is too heavy and Stoke snuff out the attack.
As the ball comes into the Everton penalty area, Crouch jumps and gives away a free kick. It looked harsh as all he really did was jump.
Leon Osman brings the ball forward with intent for Everton as he skips past one challenge before sliding a pass into Jelavic. However, the Croatian his pulled away from the ball and it goes straight through to Asmir Begovic.
Steven N'Zonzi shows some clever feet in midfield before playing a simple pass back to the defence. Eventually it is booted up towards Crouch, but he can't bring it under control.
The hosts have come into the match more in the last five minutes, but they are yet to create their first real chance.
Big claims for a penalty from Everton waved away! Coleman laid the ball back for Gibson on the edge of the area and the Irishman's shot seemingly struck Geoff Cameron's arm inside the area, but they get nothing.
Another ball is pumped into the area by Everton, this time from Gibson and Jelavic again is the target. As it comes into him, the Croatian catches the volley on the spin, but his effort is blocked.
Good cross from the left by Mirallas, but Shawcross gets his head to it ahead of the lurking Jelavic.
Clever ball through to Kevin Mirallas from Darron Gibson, but the attack breaks down when the Belgian's pass to Jelavic is poor.
Tony Pulis will be content with his side's start so far. After hitting the crossbar, they have done very well to keep Everton inside their own half. However, the hosts' numbers in attack will cause problems sooner or later.
The delivery from the right is poor, however, and after the ball evades Nikica Jelavic, Stoke get it clear.
Free kick for Everton out on the right as Seamus Coleman goes down rather easily after a nudge from Marc Wilson.
Stoke get forward again, but Sylvain Distin puts the ball out of play to deny Ryan Shotton. Nevertheless, Shotton then delivers the ball into the area with a long throw and Jonathan Walters' effort comes back off the bar. Encouraging start!
We've had a very open first minute as both sides have shown a willingness to get forward. It will be interesting to see just how often Stoke look to attack today.
We're off as Stoke start the match kicking from left to right.
The players are out on the pitch and kick-off is moments away at Goodison Park! What do you think the score will be? I'm going with a 3-1 home win. Send you predictions to me on Twitter: @RyanRyanBenson
Stoke have not been beaten by Everton since 2010, with their last two meetings ending in 1-1 draws, including this season's reverse fixture at the Britannia Stadium.
Stoke City have scored just once in their past four games, while their Premier League return for 2013 is just six goals.
Everton's biggest ever home win came against Stoke - an 8-0 victory back in November 1889.
Such a run has left the Toffees just six points from the top four with a game in hand on Tottenham, who currently occupy the final Champions League qualification spot.
Everton have only lost five times so far this season in the Premier League - a best-ever for the club at this stage of the campaign.
And Stoke's team is: Begovic; Cameron, Huth, Shawcross, Wilson; Shotton, Nzonzi, Whelan; Walters, Crouch, Jerome. SUBS: Sorensen, Jones, Owen, Adam, Whitehead, Kightly, Wilkinson
Let's start with the teams. Here is Everton's: Howard; Coleman, Jagielka, Distin, Baines; Mirallas, Heitinga, Gibson, Osman; Jelavic, Anichebe. SUBS: Mucha, Oviedo, Naismith, Hitzlsperger, Barkley, Stones, Duffy
Good afternoon and welcome to Goal.com's live play-by-play for Everton-Stoke in the Premier League. My name is Ryan Benson, and I shall be describing the action for you today.
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