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Stoke City v Manchester City Live Commentary, 05/12/2015

2 - 0
M. Arnautović (7)
M. Arnautović (15)
bet365 Stadium


FULL TIME! What a result for Stoke! The home side close out a 2-0 win against previous Premier League table toppers Man City, courtesy of two goals from Arnautovic! The hosts could have netted four, with Bojan, Shaqiri and the aforementioned Austrian causing havoc. That's all that we have time from the Britannia, we will see you again next time!
We're into the first of a few minutes of stoppage time.
Only a few minutes remain, with Hughes patrolling his technical area with purpose. He has overseen a brilliant result, with Stoke's counter-attacking football proving to be too much for the visitors to handle.
Navas and Arnautovic have a disagreement off the field, with the latter attempting to block the former Sevilla winger from getting the ball back quickly. Man City continue with their attack, but it only results in Sterling blasting a terrible effort high into the stands - much to the amusement of the home supporters.
J. Walters
I. Afellay
Stoke City
Walters now comes into the front three, with the ex-Ipswich striker being asked to work hard and offer an outlet up top. 
Man City are looking lost, with the Citizens set to surrender top spot today as it stands. Stoke, meanwhile, will clamber further away from the relegation-zone mire and hope that this result breathes some confidence into a long run of good form.
Stoke slow the game down whenever they can, holding onto the ball and finding the spare man providing by Fernando's absence. Joselu is happy to do plenty of running, after only coming on during the last 15 minutes, with Man City unable to wrestle control from the hosts.
We're into the final 10 minutes on Stoke's stomping ground, with Pellegrini's side looking utterly out of ideas. Despite making a few changes, the Citizens have been unable to do much more than force Butland into relatively easy stops at his near post. Both Bony and Ineanacho have been kept extremely quiet.
It's end-to-end stuff at the moment, with both teams reluctantly edging their way back and forth. Butland is happy to take his time over his goal kicks now, with Man City running out of time to stage a comeback. The same goes for Pieters, who takes time to applaud the home fans while collecting the ball for a throw in.
M. van Ginkel
X. Shaqiri
Stoke City
Van Ginkel will look to add some fresh legs into the midfield for the dying minutes at the Britannia.
Stoke look to have the perfect opportunity to secure the three points now, with the away fans watching on in disbelief. Given that the home side can sit back with six or so players, it will be tough for Man City to break their resolve. Kolarov breaks down the left, but can only slam a powerful finish into the side netting!
Only a quarter of an hour remains at the Britannia, with Fernando now hobbling off with an injury. Due to already making a trio of changes, Pellegrini's side will be forced to play on with merely 10 men.
Stoke City
After an energetic and dangerous performance, the former Roma forward takes his leave for the fresh legs of compatriot Joselu.
OFF THE LINE FROM DEMICHELIS! Bojan manages to scramble beyond Sagna and go on-one-on with Hart, after teeing himself up from a Shaqiri through ball! The Spaniard stretches, lifting a finish over the goalkeeper, but the recovering ex-Atletico Madrid defender spares his teammate's blushes!
Sterling is picked out bustling his way into the Stoke penalty box, but the former QPR youngster can only guide a tame shot directly at Butland! Man City have simply not been clinical enough this afternoon, they don't deserve to come away with anything as it stands. There is activity on Hughes' men, with a substitution soon in the offing.
How has he managed that! Arnautovic is fed into the Man City penalty area by Bojan, before the Austrian sets a fantastic ball across the six-yard line! With Hart out of position and the unguarded net at his mercy, Shaqiri can only pass wide of the target! It would have been easier to make it 3-0!
Navas and Sagna combine down the right-hand side, but a cross from the former is easily headed clear at the near post! Bojan tries to lead a break as a result, but Fernando lumbers across to outmuscle the former Ajax man. Moments later, Stoke attack again, but Demichelis is on hand to dispossess the ex-Barca forward on this occasion.
Delph musters up an attempt from range, but the former Leeds midfielder can only send a looping effort high and wide of the target! Butland will be happy to deal with efforts like that all afternoon. There's a definite sense of urgency from the away side now, but Stoke are defending in numbers and congesting the edge of the penalty box.
Shaqiri lines up a shot from the edge of the area, but Hart makes a comfortable save! Man City respond by heading up the other end, but a low cross from Kolarov is gathered up by Butland before Ineanacho can get there! Solid goalkeeping yet again from the young Englishman.
David Silva
Manchester City
Silva is pulled out of the fray for the visitors, with Navas introduced. If the Spain international didn't pick up a knock, that is a very curious change indeed.
Only half an hour is left on the clock at the Britannia, with Hughes' men happy to grind out a fantastic result in limited fashion. The hosts are content to try and retain possession, before spraying passes out to their exciting wide options. 
Navas is now stripping off on the bench too, with Pellegrini seemingly close to making his final change of the afternoon. Given their injury woes of late, the Citizens don't have a wide range of options to call upon in order to turn this fixture around. Yet again, faith has had to be put in Ineanacho.
K. Iheanacho
W. Bony
Manchester City
Ineanacho comes into the game after netting against Hull during the week, with the disappointing Bony leaving the field of play.
F. Delph
Manchester City
Pellegrini opts to introduce a new midfield option, with Fernandinho taking his leave. Delph comes into the mix.
Sagna plays a pass down the right flank, with Pieters stepping ahead of De Bruyne to concede a corner! Ineanacho and Delph are being readied on the touchline for the away side, with Pellegrini recognising that he needs to change something and fast.
Man City perhaps had a claim for a penalty, with a cross from the left possibly being blocked by an outstretched arm from Shawcross! Arnautovic and Bojan nearly combine to goalscoring effect on the break, but the Spaniard can only test Hart at his near post, before the Austrian hooks a tame finish wide!
Stoke are approaching the second half in the same way as they did the first, with six players sat back and four roaming about up top. The Potters are causing problems with their quick transitions upfield, with Otamendi and Demichelis not looking the sturdiest of pairings.
N. Otamendi
Yellow Card
Manchester City
Shaqiri manages to turn the Argentina international with ease, with the Swiss winger continuing to cause all kinds of issues with his neat dribbling. A deserved yellow for a cynical foul.
A long ball forward from Sterling is cut out by Butland, with Bony continuing to feed off scraps up top. Moments later, a cross from the left-hand side is gathered up by the England international, who did flap at the delivery slightly! A few early nerves for Stoke, perhaps.
Whelan is left in a heap by Bony, with the former Swansea striker clattering into the Irishman's head with his hip! That takes any sting or momentum out of the game immediately for Man City, who may have hoped for a high octane start to the second half.
We are back underway in the second half at the Britannia! Man City need to find at least two goals from somewhere if they are to even take home a share of the spoils this afternoon!
HALF TIME! The hosts go into the break with a 2-0 lead over Man City, but it so easily could have been four! Butland has made some good saves in the Stoke net, but the free-roaming inspiration from Shaqiri, Arnautovic and Bojan has proved to be too much for Otamendi and Demichelis to handle. Pellegrini needs to put together a miraculous comeback in this second half!
The swirling wind causes mayhem in the Man City box, with both Otamendi and Demichelis unable to get rid of a looping cross! Bojan nearly manages to flick a header into the path of Arnautovic, but the attempted through ball escapes the latter! Stoke really should have put this contest beyond any doubt by now.
ARNAUTOVIC STRIKES THE WOODWORK! So nearly his hat trick! Yet again, the Austria international is fed into the clear, but perhaps has too much time to think about his finish! The former Bundesliga wide man waits for Hart to go down in a one-on-one situation, before guiding a poor finish onto the top of the right-hand post!
Another delivery in towards Bony is scrambled away by Stoke, with Hughes' men defending brilliantly in the first half. Cameron and Whelan have sat back in disciplined fashion, with even Afellay dropping in to aid his teammates in the midfield battle. 
Only five minutes remain in the first half, with Man City looking to be very much off the pace at the moment. As it stands, Leicester, Man United and Arsenal could all look to stride ahead of the Citizens in the Premier League standings this weekend. Sterling feeds a pass out wide to an overlapping Kolarov, but the Serbia international is denied at the near post by Butland!
Johnson sees a ball down the line blocked by Kolarov, but Man City can only counter and see a terrible through ball by De Bruyne cut out. The visitors try to mantain their pressure, but an errant touch from Bony is gobbled up by Whelan. There's a slight stoppage in play, as Afellay receives some treatment after being caught late by Fernandinho.
Nearly a hat trick for Arnautovic! Whelan is found overlapping down the left-hand side, before lifting a cross towards the Austrian forward! He meets the ball with a deft header, but it bobbles its way just shy of the near post! Hart was worried for a moment there.
Sterling slides a pass out to the right-hand side, before a cross from Sagna is turned behind for a corner. The resulting set-piece delivery loops its way out of the danger zone, before a second cross from the aforementioned ex-Liverpool winger is headed clear by Shawcross! Bojan leads a one-man break as a result, but loses possession after bundling his way through three tackles.
Pieters is left in a heap on the turf, following a push from Bony, with Man City conceding a lot of unnecessary fouls during the first half at the Britannia. The Dutchman takes his time to get back to his feet, after appearing to land slightly awkwardly. 
Shaqiri slides yet another dangerous through ball into Arnautovic, before the ex-Werder Bremen winger plays a one-two with Bojan! After getting to the byline and receiving the return pass, the Austrian cuts back a cross to Shaqiri that is cut out easily by Sagna! Man City counter, but Bony can only power a horrendous effort high into the stands.
Arnautovic is hobbling about, with Stoke's goalscorer clipped by a stray stud from Sagna. The hosts won't want for their counter-attacking threats to slope off the field. Stoke win a corner on the left flank, but Man City clear their lines, before a foray forward from De Bruyne results in a poor delivery into the area from the ex-Wolfsburg man.
Walters is warming up for the home side, with a couple of Stoke forwards looking to be harbouring minor knocks. Pellegrini is looking rather bemused on the Man City bench, with the Chilean coach perhaps needing to chop and change things slightly. Bojan is moving gingerly, after being caught by a late challenge from Demichelis.
Despite falling behind, Man City have been unable to muster up anything more than a couple of snapshots from just inside the penalty area. Silva hasn't had much possession, with De Bruyne and Sterling causing more problems while drifting in from the flanks. The ex-Valencia midfielder tries to pick out Bony at the back post with a dipping cross, but Wollscheid lashes a simple clearance away.
Butland is caught straying off his line by a looping header from Sterling, but the effort from the former Liverpool man is off target. Stoke respond with a counter attack, but a cross in from Cameron is deflected away from the danger zone by Otamendi! Kolarov is not having an easy opening half an hour to contend with.
Bony has been exceptionally quiet thus far, with the Ivory Coast international simply not being given the service required to have an impact on proceedings. Stoke take the sting out of the game with a lengthy spell of possession, with Man City definitely having a real task on their hands to turn this contest on its head.
Cameron hasn't been called into question while sat in defensive midfield, with Stoke essentially sat with a permanent defensive six. Bojan, Afellay, Shaqiri and Arnautovic are given all of the offensive responsibility, meanwhile. Sterling tries to break into the penalty area and beyond Johnson, but the England international is penalised for pulling on his ex-Liverpool teammate's shirt.
Once again, Butland is proving his worth for the home side, with the ex-Birmingham's shot-stopper save to deny De Bruyne looking all the more vital now! Pellegrini's men need to find three goals to take three points now, with Hughes' side certainly not looking like falling apart defensively at the moment.
X. Shaqiri
Stoke City
It's that man again! The Switzerland international manages to turn Fernando inside out, before sliding a neat pass through to Arnautovic! The former Bayern man is pulling all of the strings at the moment in this first half.
M. Arnautović
Stoke City
GOOOOOOOOOOAL! ARNAUTOVIC TUCKS HOME A SECOND! It's the same combination on the break yet again for the home side, with the former Werder Bremen forward being released beyond the last man and into the clear! After holding his nerve, the Austrian places a low finish through Hart to double the Potters' advantage!
Butland is forced into another neat stop at his near post, with the Englishman definitely the busier of the two goalkeepers thus far! Stoke are weathering the early pressure, but still find themselves with a one-goal lead over the league leaders.
Pieters earns plenty of applause from the home fans, with the Netherlands international flying into a brilliant crunching tackle on Sagna! The Frenchman dusts himself down gingerly to take the throw in. The Potters are competitive and fiesty in the opening stages on home soil, all while sitting back and waiting for the chance to lethally counter.
Butland is forced to parry away a pretty simple save, with the England international pouncing upon the rebound with ease. Whelan gives away a terrible pass in midfield, with the visitors making progress down the left as a result. Silva looks to lift an intricate through ball into the path of Sterling, but the Spaniard gets his angles wrong and the pass skids through to the aforementioned hosts' goalkeeper.
Man City find themselves behind in the early stages, with the Britannia certainly not an easy place to carve out results in difficult circumstances. The visitors earn themselves a corner on the left flank, but it is well cleared, with Bojan trying to lead a Potters' break. The former Barcelona forward is denied well by Otamendi.
X. Shaqiri
Stoke City
The ex-Inter winger weaves his way to the byline, before curling in an inviting cross that Arnautovic simply couldn't help but polish off!
M. Arnautović
Stoke City
GOOOOOOOOOOOAL! STOKE TAKE THE LEAD! Shaqiri goes on a great run down the right-hand side, before delivering a ball that Arnautovic can't help but tuck home! The Austrian winger ghosts to the edge of the six-yard box, before thumping a close-range finish beyond Hart and into the back of the net!
Wollscheid comes across well to lash a clearance away from De Bruyne, with the Belgian winger on the left-hand side for the time being. Sterling is playing his trade on the right, which is completely different to how the two figured together against Hull. Stoke try to break upfield at pace through Pieters, but Sagna recovers brilliantly to deny the Dutchman.
Butland is called off his line quickly, with the ex-Birmingham goalkeeper asked to gather up a deflected through ball! Shawcross managed to get enough on the pass to divert it away from Sterling, with Man City calling the shots with some early possession at the Britannia.
We are underway in the first half! Stoke are in their customary red and white, with Man City taking a dark strip to offer some contrast.
Man City substitutes: Caballero, Navas, Delph, Clichy, Ineanacho, Manuel Garcia, Humphreys.
Man City starting line-up (4-2-3-1): Hart; Sagna, Demichelis, Otamendi, Kolarov; Fernando, Fernandinho; De Bruyne, Silva, Sterling; Bony.
Stoke substitutes: Joselu, Wilson, Van Ginkel, Adam, Diouf, Walters, Haugaard.
Stoke starting line-up (4-2-3-1): Butland; Johnson, Shawcross, Wollscheid, Pieters; Whelan, Cameron; Shaqiri, Afellay, Arnautovic; Bojan.
TEAM NEWS: Eliaquim Mangala misses out due to suspension for the visiting team, with Vincent Kompany and Pablo Zabaleta also absent from the back four due to injury. Martin Demichelis partners Nicolas Otamendi in central defence, with Joe Hart returning in between the sticks. Fernando and Fernandinho make up a sturdy screen for the Man City defence, with only one selection surprise up top. Sergio Aguero and Yaya Toure are still struggling with injuries, meaning that ex-Valencia midfielder David Silva supports Wilfried Bony through the middle. 
TEAM NEWS: After scoring during the week, Ibrahim Afellay gets a start in for the hosts, with Bojan deployed up top as a lone striker as a result. Charlie Adam drops to the bench, with Geoff Cameron slotting into defensive midfield alongside Glenn Whelan. Glen Johnson is preferred to Phil Bardsley at right-back, with Philipp Wollscheid chosen to link up with Ryan Shawcross in the heart of the defence.
Both sides find themselves marching into the League Cup semi finals, after defeating Hull City and Sheffield Wednesday respectively during the week, with Stoke actually in better form of late. The hosts have lost merely once during their last five outings, despite that loss coming at the hands of struggling Sunderland. The visitors, meanwhile, haven't kept a clean sheet in four games.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of Premier League table toppers Man City's visit to Staffordshire to face Stoke, in the English top flight's early kick off! Manuel Pellegrini's men find themselves above Leicester on goal difference, with ex-Citizens boss Mark Hughes having the Potters sat safely in mid table for the time being.