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August 30, 2014
• Etihad Stadium, Manchester
Referee: L. Mason
• Attendance: 45622
M. Diouf 58'
I am Alex Moretto and I would like to thank you all for joining me here today in what proved to be a thoroughly entertaining match. Good bye!
FULL TIME: MANCHESTER CITY 0-1 STOKE CITY. Fantastic performance from the visitors, who performed admirably from start to finish. City lacked creativity for much of the match, and failed to really test Begovic on more than a few occasions. Mame Diouf is the hero, as he gives Stoke their first top flight win at the Etihad since 1980.
90' + 4'
Demichelis rushes onto a loose ball in the box, but cuts it back for no one. Stoke clear and the final whistle sounds! Historic win for the Potters who hand the defending champions their first defeat of the season.
90' + 3'
Another corner for Stoke and into the final 60 seconds we go! Diouf's cross is into the hands of Hart, who starts City back the other way.
90' + 2'
Anxious moments at the Etihad as a City cross rolls helplessly behind for a goal kick. Precious seconds left on the clock, and Stoke win a free kick right at the half-way line. It is taken quickly and Diouf holds it up near the corner flag before winning a corner kick.
Fernandinho, who has had a nightmarish time since coming on, commits a silly foul on Adam and Stoke can get back in possession as we enter the first of four minutes of stoppage time.
APPEALS FOR A PENALTY! Toure goes down in the area after the challenge of Pieters. Mason has a good look and calls a foul on the midfielder, then showing him a yellow for simulation. Good call this time around, as there was very little contact. It would have been especially harsh considering the non-call in the first half on Diouf.
Yellow Card Yaya Touré
Lovely stuff from Stoke as they pass the ball around and play keep away from the champions, winding precious seconds off the clock. They have the experience in their side and it shows here.
Chances at both end, but nothing materializes. Charlie Adam's back pass goes astray, and Aguero nearly gets on the end of it, but an alert Begovic rushes out to clear. At the other end, Crouch takes on three defenders and nearly gets through, but just loses control at the vital moment.
The Potters get the ball forward following the substitution and hold it up well in the attacking half, until a poor cross sees City back into possession. Stoke have won just five of their previous 48 away matches in the Premier League!
City pouring the pressure on! Victor Moses and Peter Crouch back in defence to block a pass and then clear the danger. But Stoke are starting to look a bit tired here, which is understandable given the amount of running they have done in this second half. The Potters make their final substitution, with Moses coming off for defender Marc Muniesa.
ALMOST THE CRUELEST OF DEFLECTIONS! Toure's bullet from 25 yards out takes a wicked deflection off N'Zonzi, with Begovic diving the other direction, but it rolls wide of the near post by the narrowest of margins.
Nicely done by Wilson to usher a Silva cross behind for a corner, with Aguero lurking behind him. The corner comes in quickly and Toure gets a shot off, but it is an easy one for Begovic to collect.
City get forward in numbers, but Fernandinho gives the ball away with yet another sloppy pass and Stoke break through N'Zonzi, holding the ball up inside the hosts half. Lovely stuff from the Potters as they try and see out what would be a shock victory!
INCHES AWAY FROM PETER CROUCH! Bardsley gets forward and sends a brilliant cross in to pick out Crouch. The striker sends a looping header back across goal, but it falls just onto the wrong side of the post. City are being exposed on the counter here!
What a run by Aguero! He shields off three defenders before unleashing a shot. It takes two deflections and nearly fools Begovic, before rolling behind for a corner kick.
Boos echo across the Etihad as play is stopped as Peter Crouch goes down with a head injury. It is going to take something special for City to find an equalizer, the way Stoke are defending.
Pieters gets forward in attack, as he breaks into the area. He gives the ball away, however, and City can break with the defender caught out of position. Excellent cover from N'Zonzi, though, as City cannot take advantage. Dzeko takes a pass in the area, but Stoke are throwing bodies in front of everything!
Stoke forced to make their second change, and it is the substitute Peter Odemwingie who comes off after picking up an injury. Charlie Adam is the one to replace him.
Jesús Navas González
Wholesale changes now for City as they look for an equalizer. Edin Dzeko and Jesus Navas into the game with Samir Nasri and Stevan Jovetic coming off.
NEARLY A SECOND FOR DIOUF! Odemwingie beats Demichelis and sends a picture perfect ball in for Diouf who slides in but just cannot manage to get the vital touch needed to turn the ball into the back of the net!
City trying to get forward quickly now, but Stoke have nearly everyone back to defend. The home fans are urging their side on, but Stoke look a team possessed at the moment!
Assist Erik Pieters
Goal Mame Biram Diouf
THE ETIHAD IS STUNNED! INCREDIBLE SOLO EFFORT FROM DIOUF! The former Manchester United man picks up the ball just inside his own half and charges at the defence. A lovely nutmeg sees him beat Fernandinho and run clean in on goal, where he makes no mistake, slotting the ball home through the legs of Joe Hart.
STOKE TAKE THE LEAD!
FANTASTIC SHOT BY TOURE! The Etihad coming to life as they urge their team on. Toure takes a pass just inside the right of the area and his first time shot it tipped onto the top of the net by Begovic. Important stop!
STAT ATTACK: Stoke have lost just one of their last six league matches on their travels (W2, D3). They were winless in their 12 away matches before that (D3, L9).
Yellow Card Fernandinho
Lovely pace shown by Moses as he strides through the heart of midfield, and rushes forward with real purpose. Fernandinho is forced to make a cynical challenge and he becomes the first City player to be cautioned.
VITAL BLOCK FROM BARDSLEY! Silva acting well as provider, this time laying a pass off for Nasri who gets into a wonderful shooting position atop the box, but Bardsley slides across and gets just enough on the shot to deflect it behind for a corner kick.
The pace has really picked up in the early minutes here, which is far from ideal for Stoke. Silva rushes forward and tries to pick out the run of Aguero, but an important interception from Wilson breaks up the move.
Moses looking ever so dangerous on the left, giving Sagna all sorts of work to do, but he has been up to the task so far. Stoke have returned from the intermission with some real attacking intent about their play.
Stoke kick-off the second half and get right on the front foot as Diouf's shot is put behind for a corner. One change at the break as Walters gives way for Peter Odemwingie.
Stoke will actually feel a bit hard done by after 45 minutes, as their legitimate appeals for a penalty were dismissed by Lee Mason. Peter Crouch has been excellent holding the ball up at the top, while Victor Moses has been lively along the left, although his final ball has been lacking.
HALF TIME: MANCHESTER CITY 0-0 STOKE CITY. Despite some rather lopsided possession statistics, it has been a very even first half at the Etihad. Stoke are doing a wonderful job of frustrating the champions, clogging up the midfield and not giving them a way through. It will be interesting to see what kind of adjustments Pellegrini makes during the half-time break.
45' + 3'
Silva and Jovetic link up well atop the area, and the striker is pushed down, but no foul is given. Stoke clear and that is the last action of the first half as we head scoreless into the break!
45' + 2'
TOURE HITS THE BAR! Much better, this, from the hosts. Aguero takes on two defenders to the left of goal. He picks out the run of Kolarov with a lovely back-heel pass. The left-back picks out Toure at the near post, but the midfielder's first time shot grazes the top of the bar and goes behind for a goal kick.
The injuries to Aguero and Fernando have resulted in three extra minutes to be added on at the end of this first half, as another City turnover sends a chorus of boos through the Etihad.
The Sky Blues are trying to apply any sort of pressure on the Stoke defence as we approach the break. Their attack has been virtually non-existent. The ball is finally worked into the attacking third, but Silva fouls Wilson in the box and the pressure is relieved.
Moses and Pieters link up along the left, and have Crouch and Walters waiting in the centre for a cross. The chance is begging for a good delivery, but again Moses tries to do a bit too much, and eventually Pieters gives the ball away and concedes a foul.
It is incredible how comfortable Stoke appear to be, as they really take the game to City with half-time approaching. Crouch with another nice take-down at the top of the area, but Kompany defends it well and starts his team back up the other way.
Bad news for City as Fernando is forced to leave the game. There was hardly any contact in the play which saw him get hurt, but he looks to have pulled his groin, in which case it is best not to take any chances. Fernandinho comes on to replace him.
Lovely pressure applied by the visitors! Wonderfully worked passing move from Stoke, as the ball comes to Moses on the left. He cuts back and crosses into the middle, but can't quite pick out Crouch who found space in the centre.
Back the other way come Stoke, who seem to be growing in confidence with each passing minute. Some nice possession in the attacking third has City on their heels, but a wasteful cross from Moses sees the opportunity go begging. Meanwhile, we have a stoppage in play as Fernando goes down in a bit of pain.
The hosts win a free kick from 35 yards out. They try a lovely set play, as Nasri picks out Silva atop the box, who curls a through ball in for Jovetic. There is just a bit too much on the final pass, however, as Begovic beats the striker to the ball.
What a lovely touch from Peter Crouch! He bullies Demichelis at the top of the box and does exceptionally well to control a long ball from Pieters, but cannot get much power behind his shot as Hart collects with ease.
STAT ATTACK: Stoke have conceded one goal or fewer in each of their last seven Premier League matches.
A bit of a scuffle after the fact, as tempers start to flair. Shawcross has some choice words for Aguero, and Jovetic jumps in to defend his teammate, almost trying to tackle the defender to get him out of there. In comes Kompany and Toure as well, as Lee Mason is forced to speak to those involved and settle things down.
Toure blasts over the bar! It's one of the few chances they have had in the first quarter of the match. Jovetic picks out Silva, who lays it off for Toure. The Ivorian hits his effort first time, but sends it well over the bar.
Stoke are doing a lovely job of congesting the midfield, frustrating City as they try and get into attack. Whelan creates a turnover and then Toure takes him down in frustration, giving Stoke a free kick which they eventually convert into a corner kick.
Yellow Card Phil Bardsley
Phil Bardsley picks up the first yellow card of the match for going through the back of David Silva, much to the dismay of the Stoke players, and Mark Hughes, who believes they got the short end of the stick just a couple minutes ago.
APPEALS FOR A PENALTY NOT GIVEN! Looks to be a shocking decision from Lee Mason! Diouf does incredibly well to get forward and hold up the ball. He nutmegs Kolarov just inside the top of the area, and as he appears to have beaten the defender, Kolarov sticks out a leg and takes him down. The contact was there but no penalty is awarded!
The visitors are pressing with a bit more purpose in the latter minutes which has made life just a bit uncomfortable for City. The crowd grows a bit restless, but they find a way into attack through Jovetic and win a throw in the final third - their first possession in that area since the Begovic save.
Horrendous pass from Fernado from the edge of his own box gives the ball straight away to Moses. He has a chance to break forward and get a shot off, but tries to do too much and some good defending by Sagna and Kompany sniffs out the attack.
STAT ATTACK: Manchester City have just one loss in their last 20 Premier League matches at the Etihad, winning 18 of those contests.
Fine stop by Begovic! Lovely build-up play, as it comes out to Sagna down the right. He cuts it back for Nasri at the top of the area, but he cannot get enough power behind his effort as Begovic is able to get down to his left and palm it behind.
What makes City so dangerous is the eagerness of their full-backs to get forward. Kolarov and Sagna add numbers in attack, and teams struggle to deal with their quick passing and over-lapping runs. Much of the same early on here, but the final ball has just been lacking.
City win successive corners, and nearly make the most of the first. Nasri's delivery is met by Kolarov at the near post, but his flick on is not attacked well enough and Wilson is able to clear the danger.
Well it looks to be nothing more than a scare for the time being as Aguero return to the pitch at the next stoppage. City enjoying all the possession early on, with no urgency to get forward, but instead force Stoke to chase the game.
Very bad news for Manchester City here. Sergio Aguero tries to get on the end of a one-two with Samir Nasri, but runs into the big Ryan Shawcross who stands firm and holds his ground. The Argentine seems to have gotten the worst of this as he is down and in some significant discomfort as the medical staff makes their way onto the pitch.
And we are off! It is a wonderful day at the Etihad, as the hosts kick-off, moving left to right in their all light blue kits, while Stoke are sporting their red and white striped tops.
STAT ATTACK: Manchester City and Stoke City's last six head-to-head meetings have seen just nine goals scored, an average of 1.5 per game.
Some real attacking changes in place as Mark Hughes looks for some skill and speed on the counter attack. Jonathan Walters, Viktor Moses and Peter Crouch start in a brand new front three, behind Mame Diouf, in place of Marko Arnautovic, Peter Odemwingie and Steve Sidwell.
STOKE CITY SUBS: Huth, Muniesa, Odemwingie, Arnautovic, Adam, Bojan, Sorensen.
STOKE CITY (4-2-3-1): Begovic; Bardsley, Shawcross, Wilson, Pieters; Whelan, N'Zonzi; Walters, Crouch, Moses; Diouf.
Pellegrini has made three changes to the team that beat Liverpool on Monday. Wing-backs Pablo Zabaleta and Gael Clichy make way for Aleksandr Kolarov and Bacary Sagna, who makes his first Premier League start with City. Meanwhile Edin Dzeko, who picked up a bit of a knock last week, starts on the bench and Sergio Aguero comes on in his place.
MANCHESTER CITY SUBS: Zabaleta, Dzeko, Milner, Caballero, Navas, Clichy, Fernandinho.
MANCHESTER CITY (4-4-1-1): Hart; Sagna, Kompany, Demichelis, Kolarov; Nasri, Fernando, Toure, Silva; Jovetic; Aguero.
The teams have been announced, so let us have ourselves a look at the starting line-ups:
Stoke have stumbled their way through the opening two matches. A late Ryan Shawcross equalizer at the KC Stadium on Sunday rescued a point for the Potters, their first of the season after dropping their opening match, a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Aston Villa. Their new summer signings have yet to make an impact, but an adjustment period is to be expected. The question remains, how long will it take?
The defending champions have looked exactly as such, a few weeks into the new season. Their dismantling of Liverpool on Monday was a statement of intent issued by the Sky Blues to the rest of the league. Two wins from two games, and a plus four goal differential has Manuel Pellegrini's men perched atop the table, right where they left off last season.
Good afternoon Premier League fans around the world, and welcome to the Etihad, where the defending champions Manchester City get set to host Stoke City. I am Alex Moretto and I will be your in-game host, guiding you through the match LIVE as it happens!
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