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February 8, 2014
• St. Mary's Stadium, Southampton, Hampshire
Referee: C. Pawson
• Attendance: 27987
R. Lambert 6'
S. Davis 41'
P. Odemwingie 38'
P. Crouch 44'
Well, that was fun, wasn't it? I hope you have enjoyed our coverage today. I have been Hayden Gribble and however you are spending your weekend, stay classy!
WHAT THE RESULT MEANS FOR BOTH CLUBS. Maurico Pochettino's side remain ninth in the Premier League table but now move within a point of Newcastle who endured a heavy defeat to Chelsea today. For the Potters, they are joined on 26 points by Crystal Palace who sit just below them on goal difference as they look to pull themselves away from the threat of relegation in 12th place.
FULL TIME - SOUTHAMPTON 2-2 STOKE. An entertaining game comes to an end as it is honours even at St Mary's Stadium. The home side went ahead twice in a fantastic first half but found themselves immediately pegged back by the Potters on two occasions. The second half gave way to a tighter and more defensive performance from both sides as both fully deserve their point.
90' + 2'
Peter Crouch has really thrown himself about today at his old club. It looks as though his goal has given his latest team a valuable point here as we approach full time...
Yellow Card Peter Odemwingie
There will be THREE minutes of added on time.
The Southampton tide is still strong as Davis and Schneiderlin are trying their best to find the frontmen but the Potters are throwing bodies in the way and making it very hard. It looks like Mark Hughes' side is happy with a point!
I am not exaggerating...it is bucketing it down out there! If this continues then the Stoke penalty area might be rechristened the deep end! The conditions are becoming almost impossible to play in.
SIDE NETTING! Oh my, the Saints should be marching their way to three points! Schneiderlin found the ball at his feet at the back post but finds the wrong side of the net with a low side footed effort.
Yellow Card Jonathan Walters
As both sides are ringing the changes, the life is being drawn out of this game slowly but surely. Stoke really have shut up shop here and the home side are finding it difficult to break them down.
Adam is shaking his head as he makes his way to the substitutes bench. The midfielder made up for his early handball to thread a perfect pass through to Odemwingie for the Potters' first equaliser and has had a great game for Mark Hughes' men today.
STAT ATTACK: The Saints are currently enjoying 70 per cent possession...can they make it count?
With 15 minutes to go, Southampton just keep on coming. Luke Shaw has again impressed down the left-hand-side but Stoke are keeping it very tight at the back and the defender cannot pick a killer pass out.
The game has gone a little quiet here as the wind continues to swirl around St Mary's. The elements may be tricky to play in but I don't think this will be the final result...
STAT ATTACK: All but one of the nine league victories by Mauricio Pochettino's side this season have come when they have kept a clean sheet.
Yellow Card Peter Crouch
Crouch is getting a little tetchy out there. The former Spurs man is fouled but his reaction earns him a yellow card back at his old club.
CHANCE! Oh, so close for Cork! A free-kick from Davis finds the backpedalling Lambert, who cushions the ball down for the midfielder but his half volley flies a couple of yards wide of the post!
Both sides are probing now as the game is really opening up again. Can Stoke go ahead for the first time in this game?
POCHETTINO MOMENT OF MAGIC! The Argentine has just plucked a stray ball out of thin air and chested the ball down calmly like the old pro he is! Maybe he should be out there on the pitch!
PENALTY SHOUT? On further inspection, the pass from Lallana looks like it hit a hand on the way through! It would have been harsh to give a spot kick as Shawcross' hand was down by his side but had the skipper appealed he may have got a penalty for that!
Yet another Saints' counter attack has the home fans rocking as Lallana just manages to poke a pass through to Rodriguez in the penalty area but Stoke are fighting for their lives at the back!
The red tide is ascending as Lambert, Rodriguez and Lallana are threatening a third for the home side. They will have to be careful on the break though as the Potters have already taken advantage of their open midfield once this game!
OUCH! A clash of heads between Shawcross and Schneiderlin leads to the midfielder needing treatment on the sideline. It was a fair challenge but both men should be okay to continue.
STAT ATTACK: Mark Hughes' side have not kept a clean sheet in nine league games.
FREE HEADER! Rodriguez is in acres of space in the box but his effort is well wide after the England striker did well to allude his marker.
If the Saints are to regain their lead I feel as though they need to get Lallana on the ball more. The midfielder has been rather anonymous in this game and needs to have more of an impact.
PUNCHED CLEAR! Davis tests the Stoke keeper again as he drifts a dangerous free-kick into the box but the man between the sticks comes off his line to get a good strong hand to the ball.
The home side get us back underway, kicking from left to right.
The Saints lead lasted only three minutes after that weird wind-assisted goal from Davis. Can they go ahead again here and stay in front? The players are coming back out onto the pitch.
HALFTIME - SOUTHAMPTON 2-2 STOKE. What a fantastic half of football we have witnessed here. Both sides head towards the tunnel on level terms in an entertaining and enthralling 45 minutes that has seen a sublime free-kick, a freak goal and two goals that will give the visitors heart after going behind so early on. More action coming right up!
OUCH! Begovic is receiving treatment after colliding with Rodgriguez in a 50/50 aerial challenge. It looks like the keepr will be okay to continue as we go into stoppage time.
Assist Charlie Adam
Goal Peter Crouch
GOAL! A second equaliser from the Potters and it is 2-2! Crouch meets an Adam corner and Boruc is caught in no man's land again as the striker bundles the ball into an empty net. This has been a great half of football!
Assist Nathaniel Clyne
Goal Steven Davis
GOAL! The Saints are back ahead! Davis takes the ball down on the right flank and curls a teasing ball into the six-yard-box, but the wind carries it past Begovic and into the net! Freak goal and the elements have played their part!
You can't say that they don't deserve it. The Potters have looked alert throughout this game and a fantastic pass was all it needed to split the defence.
Assist Charlie Adam
Goal Peter Odemwingie
GOAL! Odemwingie has his first goal for the Potters! Adam redeems himself with a superb through ball that cuts the Saints' defence like a knife through butter and finds the striker who lifts his shot past the oncoming Boruc. Game on!
STAT ATTACK: All three previous Premier League encounters between these two sides have ended in draws.
BLOCKED! The home side threaten again! A corner finds Clyne who belts it from 15 yards but the ball strikes a Stoke player in the box and bounces clear. I think it is beginning to thunder!
The hoods are up in the stands at St Mary's but it's still not raining goals in this game as Lambert's free-kick still seperates the two sides. Will that goal be yet another reminder to England boss Roy Hodgson?
WEATHER WATCH! The weather must be bad as Mark Hughes has just put his coat on! It is beginning to hail here!
SAVE! Adam gives away yet another free-kick in a dangerous position. Lambert shapes up to take the central set piece, but this time his effort it straight into the hands of Begovic.
Yellow Card Charlie Adam
BREAKAWAY! A Stoke corner falls flat and Davis brings the ball up field in a classic counter attack! The midfielder hold the ball up roughly 25 yards out and finds Clyne, who tries to curl his shot into the bottom corner but Begovic palms it clear!
WELL WIDE! Schneiderlin puts an early ball in, which is cleared to Shaw on the left and the youngster's cross finds the midfielder again who rushes his shot and pulls it well wide of Begovic's goal.
Crouch does well to keep the ball in but the former England man cannot get on the end of Assaidi's ball and the Saints clear it. The response from Mark Hughes' men has been good since that early goal went against them.
The playing conditions are far from ideal here and the wind and rain continue to swirl around St Mary's. The game has gone a little quiet as a consequence but it is the home support who are singing in the rain at the moment.
Assaidi is definitely having more fun down the left than his marker, Clyne. Once again the winger is causing the right-back some problems but his ball is weak and fails to find Crouch the targetman in the centre.
Stoke win their first corner of the game. It causes little jitters in the box for the home side and Boruc comes off his line to pluck the ball from the air.
STAT ATTACK: Southampton are unbeaten in their last four Premier League matches (W2, D2), taking eight points from a possible 12.
It's the visitors turn to threaten with a set piece as the Saints struggle to clear a deep Adam free-kick. The ball makes it's way to Assaidi on the left flank but he is marshalled up the field and the home side regain possession.
The game is just starting to settle down after that sublime effort from Lambert. But what was going through Charlie Adam's head when he handballed it on the edge of the area to give away that free-kick? It's a decision that has ultimately put his side behind in this half.
WIDE AGAIN! Rodriguez is really looking to earn another England call-up as his movement bamboozles Shawcross but the striker's low effort rolls behind for a goal kick.
HIGH AND WIDE! The Saints come pouring forward again and Rodriguez has a pop at goal from distance, but his effort sails into the stands behind the goal. That effort would have been at home on a rugby pitch!
CHANCE! The visitors very nearly draw level within an instance as Odemwingies brings an easy save out of Boruc after turning his man in the area.
Goal Rickie Lambert
GOAL! There is no stopping Rickie Lambert at the moment! Charlie Adam handballs on the edge of the area and the England striker takes the free-kick, expertly curling it into the top corner with Begovic in no man's land. What a start!
Odemwingie latches onto a great through ball but the assistant's flag is up. The former West Brom man bites his nails in frustration as the rain is really pouring down here!
Stoke keeper Begovic - who scored in this fixture earlier this season - is greeted by whistles and jeers as he takes an early goal kick. Thats a bit harsh from the Saints fans!
The Potters get us underway, kicking from left to right!
HERE WE GO! Both teams emerge onto the St Marys' pitch as we await the whistle...
TEN MINUTES TO GO! Are you sitting comfortably? We are close to kick-off!
STAT ATTACK: Here's an interesting one. Adam Lallana has scored four goals and provided three assists in his last eight Premier League appearances, while Jay Rodriguez has scored seven and assisted two in his last 12. Will both men provide the talking points again for the Saints?
Mark Hughes, who will be hoping that the Potters' 2-1 win over the reigning champions Manchester United can spur them on in this one and also makes a few changes. Mark Wilson misses out through illness so Marc Muniesa replaces him whilst Oussama Assaidi comes in for Marko Arnautovic.
Maurico Pochettino makes only two changes to the side that beat Fulham 3-0 last time out with Jack Cork and Nathaniel Clyne coming in for Victor Wanyama and Calum Chambers.
Stoke (4-5-1): Begovic; Cameron, Shawcross, Muniesa, Pieters; Odemwingie, Adam, Whelan, Assiadi, Walters; Crouch. Subs: Sorensen, Wilkinson, Shotton, Palacios, Nzonzi, Ireland, Guidetti.
Southampton (4-4-1-1): Boruc, Clyne, Fonte, Yoshida, Shaw; Cork, Schneiderlin, S. Davis, Lallana; Rodriguez; Lambert. Subs: K. Davis, Wanyama, Ward-Prowse, Guly, Chambers, Hooiveld, Isgrove.
Good afternoon and welcome to our coverage of this Premier League clash between Southampton and Stoke. I am Hayden Gribble and I shall bring you all of the goals, action and talking points of this big game between two sides looking to move further up the table. Team news is on the way...
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