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September 15, 2012
• Britannia Stadium, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire
Referee: M. Clattenburg
• Attendance: 27101
P. Crouch 15'
Javi García 35'
90' + 4'
Fulltime at the Britannia, and oh how important that last clearance was by Shawcross! Stoke hold on for a hard-fought point, while City might feel a little disappointed.
90' + 3'
What a clearance by Shawcross!! A ball is played long and high by City and Dzeko beats Begovic to the it and knocks it over his compatriot. The ball was just about to go over the line and back came Ryan Shawcross to clear.
90' + 2'
Great save by Begovic! Fantastic! Javi Garcia heads a corner towards goal and the Bosnian keeper gets down, tips the ball on to the post and then collects the rebound as it bounces towards him. Immense save.
90' + 1'
Owen didn't need very long to make an impact against City a few years ago for United, so maybe he can get a late winner for Stoke.
Two subs coming on, both No.10s as Edin Dzeko and Michael Owen enter the pitch.
Nasri involved again, this time he turns and shoots from the edge of the area, but Begovic saves and Shawcross heads away the rebound.
City shouting for a penalty as Nasri flicks the ball over his head before launching himself to the floor in desperation. Referee not convinced.
Some more disappointment from Etherington as he smashes a deep free-kick behind when trying to find the head of Crouch. Owen continues to jog up and down on the side of the pitch.
The throw-in ended up seeing play move over the left, but Etherington's use of the ball was poor. City were soon on the counter-attack with Toure surging through the centre before picking out Silva. Eventually Stoke get a goalkick as Nasri's pass in the final third had too much on it.
Stoke have a throw-in in an attacking position, but there is no Rory Delap to take it.
There has been very little in terms of goalmouth action in this second-half with both sides trading the majority of their blows in the midfield, but none have been lasting. City looking the more bent on winning as we enter the final 10 minutes.
Balotelli is back to his feet after he received what appeared to be an elbow to the face from Andy Wilkinson. Shock horror.
Halt in play here as Mario Balotelli rolls around on the floor. Didn't see what happened, but unsurprisingly Andy Wilkinson is in the vicinity.
Some of City's passing has been sloppy today, particularly from Maicon who gives it away again. However, they soon win it back. Toure plays a long ball forward towards Silva, but Begovic claims with ease.
Stoke have been better in the second-half, but City aren't giving up. Barry kept the ball from going out for a goalkick, playing the ball into Balotelli. The Italian knocked it back for Nasri, but his shot was blocked and cleared.
Stoke still looking the most likely to score here, while City are looking to get more control following the introduction of Barry.
Good bit of play by Sinclair as he turns Wilkinson, then cuts inside on to his right and to the edge of the area, but his subsequent pass to Toure was so sloppy. Sinclair has had such an ineffective match.
Excellent break by City as they get straight down the other end. Tevez darts in towards the centre, and although he is tackled the ball falls kindly for the unmarked Toure who shoots from the edge of the area, but the on-rushing Begovic gets a palm to it and concedes a corner. It was a quite brilliant save.
City finding Crouch very difficult to deal with at the moment. Kightly crosseed deep to the far post and the striker headed back across goal, but Hart got to it.
Michael Owen has start warming up ahead of potentially making his Stoke debut.
Balotelli going ballistic out there as he is bundled to the floor by Wilkinson, but the referee gives nothing. Wouldn't have been a surprise to see the Italian booked for that reaction.
Yellow CardJavi García
Yellow card to the Man City goalscorer Javi Garcia after a rather wild tackle on Whelan near the halfway-line.
Corner to Stoke, but the move promised much more. Adam charged towards the City defence and elected to pass to his left to Kightly, but the winger's effort went straight into the first man and it goes behind, while the corner comes to nothing.
Stoke have really come out for the second-half in a determined mood. They are giving City a real run for their money at the moment.
Stoke making City do all the running so far in this second-half. The hosts have been knocking the ball around nicely as Adam picks out Crouch on the edge of the box. The forward controls with his chest then attempts a volley, but a deflection takes the sting out of it.
... Or not, as the corner is pretty awful and cleared at the first chance by City. However, Stoke keeping the visitors in their own area at the moment.
Having said that, Walters gets down the right and wins a corner off Garcia. Good opportunity for Stoke.
Neither side has really got their foot on the ball yet in this second-half. A bit messy.
The action is back underway at the Britannia Stadium.
45' + 1'
Halftime at the Britannia Stadium and the score is 1-1, but Man City will feel aggrieved to not be in the lead after dominating.
Sinclair hasn't had a good half. Until now he has done little, and then when given a great opportunity to cross he smashes his effort high and behind.
This time the corner curls round so much that it goes out for a goalkick.
The corner comes to nothing, but Whelan plays a great pass out to Adam back on the right and the midfield wins another corner.
Stoke have themselves a corner after Walters' cross was deflected behind by Clichy.
Good link-up between Balotelli and Tevez. The Argentine finds his strike partner and continues his run before getting on the end of the Italian's back-heel, but when in the area Tevez's shot is saved by Begovic.
The corner doesn't result in much as it is played short. Eventually Garcia scoops it towards the far post but Begovic claims.
City almost get a second with their very next attack. Maicon is played into the area by Nasri and the Brazilian shoots for the near post, but Begovic tips it round for a corner.
GOAL!!!! Manchester City have the equaliser, and you can't say they don't deserve be be at least level. Toure played in an excellent ball from the free-kick and Javi Garcia rose to head it past Begovic on his Man City debut.
Balotelli does well to win a free-kick as he controls the ball, drags it away from N'Zonzi, bursts away from Wilkinson and is then brought down by the full-back.
City resorting to the long-ball now, but Toure's pass to Balotelli has too much on it and Begovic catches with ease.
Adam and Toure tussle in the middle of the Stoke half as the Scot tries to muscle his opponent off the ball, however he can only foul the Ivorian. Toure steps up to take the free-kick himself and narrowly missed the top corner.
The match is very much a battle for the midfield at the moment. City winning it currently, but they aren't creating much from there.
We've had several minutes of little action here. This match certainly hasn't been a classic by any stretch of the imagination.
N'Zonzi barges his way through the midfield, nipping in front of Toure to get the ball and Stoke had a good opportunity to attack with three in front of the midfielder. However, instead of playing a simple ball he put it over Maicon and straight out for a throw-in. Terrible.
Good effort by Balotelli. Nasri threaded a fairly easy pass in front of Balotelli into the area, but the forward get it back and inside before shooting left footed. However, his shot sailed just over the bar.
Crouch causing problems again. The big-man brings the ball down before laying it off to Adam on the edge of the area, but the Scot's effort is ballooned well over. Good move and link-up, however.
It didn't last for long however. Stoke win the ball back, but City's pressing is excellent and they force Begovic to clear to the stands.
City ensuring they have a few moments of possession here, just knocking it around calmly.
City straight back on to the attack. Maicon was involved again down the right, crossing into the centre, but the ball just wouldn't fall kindly for Balotelli or Tevez and Whelan hooks it clear.
GOAL!!! Stoke take the lead at the Britannia Stadium!! The corner was put back into the danger area by Charlie Adam and Crouch bundled himself and the ball through several defenders before poking past Hart.
Corner for Stoke. N'Zonzi got forward down the left, trying to beat Maicon in the process, but his cross was deflected behind by the Brazilian.
Good delivery by Whelan, but even better goalkeeping by Hart as he comes to collect in a commanding fashion.
Free-kick on the right wing for Stoke after Walters was felled.
Another good move by City. Sinclair did well to hold off Wilkinson before playing a pass in to Clichy. The Frenchman curled a great cross in, but it was just too far ahead for Balotelli.
Equally good defending by Clichy. Adam picked out Walters out wide to his right, but the defender stuck a foot in as the Irishman tried to jink past him. Easy enough for Clichy.
Good defending by Wilson. Maicon was looking imperious as he marauded forward down the right, but across came the left-back, tackled and then cleared.
Great play by Tevez! The forward shrugged off the challenge of N'Zonzi and charged towards goal before attempting to curl an effort into the top corner, but it went narrowly wide, seemingly with a slight deflection.
The first five minutes or so have been all City, with Stoke having very little of the ball.
Nice and lively opening so far. City are already doing their best to pick out Tevez and Balotelli, but the link-up between the duo looked a little rusty.
And we're off at the Britannia Stadium.
Kick-off just a few moments away now at the Britannia Stadium, a place where Man City have struggled in recent years as they are looking for their first win here in six matches.
City also have some debutants playing today, with Maicon, Javi Garcia and Scott Sinclair all appearing from the off.
Steven N'Zonzi makes his debut for the hosts today, while Charlie Adam makes his first start for the club following his move from Liverpool.
Michael Owen starts in a familiar role this afternoon as he takes a place on the bench, meaning the reformation of his partnership with Peter Crouch will have to wait a little longer.
The Premier League champions' team is: Hart; Maicon, Lescott, Kompany, Clichy; Toure, Garcia; Nasri, Sinclair; Tevez, Balotelli Subs: Wright, Kolarov, K Toure, Barry, Rodwell, Silva, Dzeko
The Stoke team for today is: Begovic; Wilkinson, Shawcross, Huth, Wilson; Whelan, N'Zonzi, Adam; Kightly, Crouch, Walters Subs: Sorensen, Cameron, Owen, Whitehead, Upson, Etherington, Jerome
Good afternoon folks. Welcome to Goal.com's LIVE! play-by-play of Stoke City vs Manchester City in the Premier League. I am Ryan Benson and I will be describing the action for you today.
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