MX23RW : Saturday, December 15 01:11:04
Mar 17, 2018 at 3pm UK at ​bet365 Stadium
Attendance: 30,022
StokeStoke City
Choupo-Moting (77')
Adam (30')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Tosun (69', 84')

Live Commentary: Stoke City 1-2 Everton - as it happened

Relive Sports Mole's live text coverage of Everton's 2-1 win at Stoke City, as the Toffees picked up their second away victory of the campaign.
Live Commentary: Stoke City 1-2 Everton - as it happened
© Offside

Everton earned a late 2-1 win over Premier League strugglers Stoke City at the bet365 Stadium courtesy of two Cenk Tosun strikes.

The January signing from Besiktas struck from inside the box either side of Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting's leveller in a dramatic conclusion to the match.

A red card shown to Charlie Adam 30 minutes in had been the only real drama up until the frenetic finale, as the Toffees held on for just a second away win of the season.

Relive how the 90 minutes of action unfolded with Sports Mole's live text coverage below.

2.00pmHello and welcome to Sports Mole's live text coverage of the Premier League meeting between Stoke City and Everton at the bet365 Stadium. The Potters have failed to win any of their last six matches and remain one point from safety in 18th place, but they have not lost back-to-back home games since last April and are up against a Toffees side seemingly unable to put together a run on wins.

2.02pmStoke went down 2-0 to Manchester City here on Monday night - an outcome that many would have predicted, and a result that leaves them in need of three points this afternoon. The Potters have become draw specialists since Paul Lambert arrived a couple of months back but, with just eight matches left to play, and the likes of Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal and Liverpool still to face, this will be labelled as a must-win match.


STARTING XI: Butland; Johnson, Zouma, Shawcross, Stafylidis; Allen, Adam, Badou; Shaqiri, Crouch, Ramadan

SUBS: Haugaard, Bauer, Berahino, Choupo-Moting, Jese, Martins Indi, Fletcher

2.06pmStarting with a look at the home team, Lambert has surprisingly made mass changes to the side that lost 2-0 to Man City here five days ago. Arguably the most surprising selection decision of all comes at the back, where Glen Johnson is drafted into the side in place of Moritz Bauer - the English full-back's first start since last October and just a sixth appearance of the season in all competitions.

2.08pmRyan Shawcross, Charlie Adam, Peter Crouch and Ramadan Sobhi are also drafted in from last time out, taking over from Bruno Martins Indi, Geoff Cameron, Maxim Choupo-Moting and Jese. It could be a big afternoon for Crouch, who remains one goal short of the 44 required to overtake Jonathan Walters as City's all-time leading scorer in the Premier League. Crouch will lead the line, flanked by star man Xherdan Shaqiri and the aforementioned Ramadan.

2.10pmJoe Allen, Badou Ndiaye and Adam will line up in what is likely to be a three-man midfield, meanwhile, as Lambert goes with a different ploy for the visit of Everton. There is still no Mame Biram Diouf in the matchday squad due to the shoulder injury sustained against Southampton a couple of weeks back, but Saido Berahino is back among the subs after being sent on a fitness regime and Jese is also among the back-up options today.


STARTING XI: Pickford; Baines, Keane, Jagielka, Coleman; Davies, Gueye, Rooney; Bolasie, Tosun, Walcott

SUBS: Joel, Schneiderlin, Martina, Niasse, Klaassen, Calvert-Lewin, Holgate

2.14pmJust the one change as far as the Toffees are concerned, as Idrissa Gueye returns from illness to take over from the injured Gylfi Sigurdsson. That means Wayne Rooney retains his place in a deeper central midfield role, alongside Tom Davies and the returning Gueye, who will be tasked with sitting in front of the four-man defence which is unchanged from the 2-0 win over Brighton last time out.

2.16pmCenk Tosun has found a bit of form of late and was always expected to lead the line this afternoon, finding the net in back-to-back matches after previously going four without scoring. Theo Walcott suffered from camp in that win over Brighton but is fit enough a week on to take up a place high up on the right, while Yannick Bolasie - now over his injury hell of 2017 - retains his spot on the opposite flank.

2.18pmThe loss of Sigurdsson is a blow for Everton, with the Iceland international expected to miss several weeks, but they do have Davy Klaassen among their back-ups still and Dominic Calvert-Lewin provides another attacking alternative. It is certainly an attack-minded side fielded by boss Sam Allardyce, who has targeted victory in this one to prove that his side do have what it takes to get the job done on their travels.

2.20pmIdrissa Gueye returns to midfield for Everton this afternoon in their only change from the 2-0 win against Brighton & Hove Albion a week ago, taking over from the injured Gylfi Sigurdsson, who is in a battle to return to fitness before the season ends. Stoke City make five changes from their most recent match, meanwhile, with Glen Johnson the most surprising name in their starting XI.

Gylfi Sigurdsson in action during the Premier League game between Everton and Arsenal on October 22, 2017© SilverHub

2.22pmStoke head into this game still occupying 19th place in the Premier League table, and still within a point of safety. Today will be seen as a huge chance for the Potters to finally put three points on the board and potentially claw their way out of the bottom three, as only Huddersfield Town and Crystal Palace of the sides directly above them are in action, and they are set to face off against each other - something has to give in that one.

2.24pmGoal difference is proving to be a huge problem for City at the moment, though, with a number of thrashings earlier in the season leaving them with a GD that is vastly inferior to their relegation rivals. While three points could lift them out of the bottom three today, then, they will almost certainly need to gain a point more than whoever is in 18th place if they are to avoid dropping down to the Championship come the middle of May.

2.26pmIt remains incredibly tight at the bottom end of the division - bar West Bromwich Albion, who have been cut well adrift at the bottom and are now facing life in the second tier - so every point really does count. Everything can change with one big result, although in the case of Stoke they have been struggling to claw their way back above the dotted line following a prolonged winless run of six matches.

2.28pmLambert has won just one of his seven matches in charge; that coming in his first game at the bet365 Stadium helm against Huddersfield Town two months ago. Since then Stoke have lost to Bournemouth and Manchester City, while also playing out draws with Watford, Brighton & Hove Albion, Leicester City and Southampton. Those recent stalemates at the King Power Stadium and St Mary's Stadium were heralded as positive results.

2.30pmThey will only truly be positive results if Stoke can actually pick up three or four more wins, though, as they are still 13 points short of the 40 that managers often target. They have just six wins to their name all season, mind, so doubling that tally over the next two months is a big ask and one that could well be beyond Lambert. It is just the one win in their last 11 under Mark Hughes and Lambert, too - simply not good enough.

2.32pmStoke still have trips to Arsenal and Liverpool to come in the remainder of the campaign, as well as the visit of Tottenham here after the international break. Three games that they will be lucky to claim a point from on paper, putting added significance on picking up all three against mid-to-lower-end teams such as Everton. The bad news for the Potters is that manager Paul Lambert has failed to beat the Toffees in seven attempts, losing four of those.

2.34pmDID YOU KNOW? Stoke City have not lost back-to-back home matches since last April, and have not failed to score in successive games at the bet365 Stadium since between January and February 2016. On that occasion they drew 0-0 with Arsenal and then went down by three goals against today's opponents Everton. A score draw would prevent those stats from being updated, but it is not the result 30,000 expectant fans are after.

2.36pmStoke were not exactly embarassed by Man City here in that most recent outing, but they did not do enough to warrant a point. David Silva struck 10 minutes in and you feared the worst for the Potters at that point, but they managed to remain in the match until the Citizens rather ruthlessly took them apart for a second early in the second half - it was plain sailing from that point on, dragging City within two wins of the title.

2.38pmJack Butland had to pick the ball out of his net a couple of times in that 2-0 defeat to Manchester City here five days ago, taking the tally of goals conceded this term by the Englishman to 49. Only Huddersfield Town's Jonas Lossl has shipped more, yet Butland is one of the very few Stoke City players to have escaped much of the blame for their terrible campaign to date.

Jack Butland reacts to United taking a brief lead during the Premier League game between Stoke City and Manchester United on September 9, 2017© Offside

2.40pmEverton make the trip to Staffordshire sitting ninth in the table, three points off Leicester City and six adrift of Burnley - neither of whom are in action this weekend. A chance to close the gap on both, then, in what is now essentially a race for seventh place. As unexciting as that sounds on the face of it, finishing just outside the top six could lead to a backdoor route into the Europa League for next season, as was the case in 2016-17.

2.42pmFor large parts of the campaign it has been tough to ascertain what exactly a good season would be for Everton. The top six was what many had hoped for following a large summer outlay and an impressive showing last time out, but those hopes soon faded following an abysmal start that cost Ronald Koeman his job at Goodison Park. Allardyce, not exactly the first choice of many Everton fans, has since steadied the ship and ensured that relegation is effectively out of the question.

2.44pmAllardyce knows that anything less than a top-half finish will be seen as a disappointment, though, and many are still holding out for that seventh spot, with Burnley and Leicester currently the sides out in front. The 2-0 win over Brighton last time out kept them on course to reach that target, while also easing some of the pressure on Allardyce that had been steadily building. It still remains to be seen whether the Merseysiders will stick or twist in the summer.

2.46pmThat victory over Brighton also made it three in their last six outings, so another three-point haul today and Allardyce will head into the two-week break on a real high. The Toffees have badly struggled on their travels all season long, though, losing 4-0 and 5-1 to Arsenal recently before following those dire results up with defeats at Watford and Burnley. All in all it is five successive away losses - they have not lost six in a row since 1994.

2.48pmEverton have not lost their opening five matches in a calendar year since 1961, meanwhile - another record they will hope to dodge this afternoon. The Toffees have netted just 10 goals in 15 outings this term and hold claim to the joint-worst away record in the division, alongside today's opponents Stoke. Only West Bromwich Albion, who have been terrible for seven months now, have collected fewer points on their travels in 2017-18.

2.50pmThe Merseysiders have managed to pick up 13 points from losing positions this season, a joint-high with Bournemouth, which in many ways just goes to highlight how often they have been left chasing matches. One man who could play an important part for Everton today is a certain Wayne Rooney, who has scored in four of his last four meetings with Stoke, including in the reverse fixture on the opening day of the campaign - his first since returning to the club.

2.52pmPREVIOUS MEETINGS! That 1-0 win on the opening day of the season extended Stoke City's winless run to four matches against Everton, having previously won three in a row. The Toffees have not managed to pull off a league double since 2008-09, however, and the Potters have lost just one of their last eight home meetings against today's opponents.

2.54pmWith kickoff at the bet365 Stadium now a little over five minutes away, let us check out some pre-match thoughts from both camps.

Paul Lambert: "I know what's above me, I know the points. I know everything that is going on but I concentrate on my own team. I have always been like that. I have never tended to look at other people's results. I've always thought 'look after yourself first and foremost'. The main objective is stay in the league and then rebuild for next season."

Sam Allardyce: "We've tried a number of things. Changing system, changing personnel - but changing mentality is the big one. We've been using some more work into the mind in the analysis room. Who we are, what we want to achieve, what we can get. Visualising the performance you give at the top level and thinking of that to put yourself in a positive frame of mind."

2.56pmAllardyce revealed earlier this week that a sports psychologist is being used to help improve his side's away form, having lost each of their last five away from Goodison Park - including heavy defeats at the hands of Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal in quick succession. Everton look to be back on the right path following their home win over Brighton & Hove Albion a week ago, leaving them within six points of Burnley in seventh place.

2.58pmLambert insists that he is only focused on his own side's results, with Stoke still within one point of safety - two if you take their inferior goal difference into account. Huddersfield Town and Crystal Palace lock horns at the John Smith's Stadium this afternoon, so something has got to give in that one. All eyes are on the bet365 Stadium, though, where a record attendance of over 30,000 is expected, emphasising just how important this match is.

Paul Lambert in charge of Aston Villa in February 2015© Offside

1 minKICKOFF! Great atmosphere inside the bet365 Stadium this afternoon - the ground's first 30,000+ attendance for what is a truly massive contest. Not as much to play for on the face of it for Everton, but they will not roll over.

3 minCharlie Adam, back in the starting lineup this afternoon, gets an early shot away with his weaker foot. The ball flies over Jordan Pickford's crossbar but it was enough to get home fans out of their seats. Positive enough start made by the hosts.

5 minA stoppage in play due to Tom Davies picking up an ankle injury - he should be find to carry on. It is still snowing in Staffordshire, but it is nowhere heavy enough to put the game under threat. Still awaiting the first big chance of the match.

7 minCHANCE! Well here comes that first big chance; Davies drifting away from his man at the back post but somehow sending a free header from five yards flying over the crossbar. Great delivery from Wayne Rooney which should have resulted in a goal.

9 minJohnson attempts to help the ball back into the danger area but only succeeds in finding Butland in the Everton goal. The hosts seeing a fair bit of the ball at the moment but it is the visitors who have created the only chance thus far.

11 minSAVE! Allen clears the corner and Stoke are able to counter. The ball is worked from Sobhi on the left to Crouch in the middle, with the striker's shot from 20 yards being collected by Jordan Pickford at the second attempt.

13 minDavies missing Everton's big early chance at one end and Crouch being denied from further out by Pickford at the other. A lively enough start to the match in Staffordshire, with the snow continuing to swirl around the stadium.

15 minHalf a chance for Shaqiri, who tries to use his man as a shield to curl the ball past Pickford. It came back off an Everton player in the end before being cleared away, though, and now it is Everton's turn to take hold of possession.

17 minRamadan Sobhi gets in around the back and wins a corner from Seamus Coleman. It is aimed towards Crouch but Keane gets there first. A shot then came in from the edge of the box which was never going to find a way past Pickford.

19 minNearly a quarter of the match played and there is not a great deal between the two sides. Stoke will argue that they have done more to deserve a lead, but it is Everton who have created the only serious chance so far - Davies fluffing his lines from close range.

21 minShaqiri with a curled shot, or possibly a cross in his defence, that failed to find the intended target. The game is going through a quiet spell at the moment, with Stoke unable to really make their spell of possession count.

23 minA few Everton players shout for handball after Coleman's cross came back off the hand of Stafylidis's arm, but there was very little intention. The visitors unable to make the set-piece opportunity count, as the Potters eventually clear.

25 minI said a little earlier that this match was not in threat of being called off, but the snow ain't half coming down now. A layer has already formed on the pitch and the officials will be hopeful of no stoppages between now and half time.

27 minGreat delivery from Johnson towards the back post, where Crouch took up a good position but could not quite direct it on goal. The snow is having a big impact on the match all of a sudden; the ball is sticking whenever it is played on the floor.

29 minNearly a third of the match played now at the bet365 Stadium and it is as tight as many predicted it to be. Stoke have enjoyed more of the ball in dangerous areas of the field, but they have not done enough to warrant a first-half goal.

31 minPretty incredible how quickly the snow has settled on the field - the markings on the pitch itself are barely visible now. Lambert is still out on the touchline barking out instructions, desperate to see his side make the breakthrough.

33 minRED CARD! A huge, huge blow for Stoke at a point when they were well on top. Charlie Adam has lunged in on Wayne Rooney and was instantly shown a straight red by referee Martin Atkinson. Tough to tell whether it was the correct call on initial viewing...

35 minHaving seen a replay of the red card incident, what I will say is that Martin Atkinson had an incredibly tough call to make. Adam fractionally mistimed his challenge, which often justifies a red, but the snow also played a part.

37 minRooney being jeered every time he touches the ball now for having the audacity to find himself on the wrong end of a Charlie Adam challenge. Now all of a sudden a point would not seem the worst result for strugglers Stoke.

39 minThree-quarters of the pitch now blanketed in snow; the right-hand side remains green and Coleman is looking to make the most of it. Half time, which is now a little over five minutes away, will give both managers a chance to possibly change things around.

41 minThe more I see the Adam challenge the more I think it was a yellow. The midfielder did not have two feet off the ground but simply came out second best in the 50-50 - a caution would have sufficed. The snow has now stopped and the sun is shining.

43 minPlayers slipping everywhere and the bounce is constantly getting stuck. The officials will be glad that the snow looks to have passed for now, or else they may well have had a decision to make in an hour's time - players' safety comes first.

45 minThat red card for Adam was Stoke's first dismissal in a year, spanning some 43 matches. A big debate to be had as to whether the midfielder deserved to receive his marching orders, but it has certainly changed the complexion of things.


3.48pmReferee Martin Atkinson, very much in the thick of things in the opening 45 minutes, brings the first half to a close. No goals scored but plenty of debate to be had at the interval, all centered around the red card shown to Stoke midfielder Charlie Adam.

3.51pmEverton squandered their only chance of the first half inside the opening seven minutes, as Tom Davies ghosted away from Charlie Adam but directed his free header over the bar from close range. The hosts saw more of the ball in dangerous positions from that point on, with Peter Crouch testing Jordan Pickford from 18 yards at the end of a counter, before failing to convert a headed chance at the back post.

3.54pmThat would prove to be it in terms of the first-half chances at a snowy bet365 Stadium, though there is plenty of debate to be had had the interval as Charlie Adam was dismissed with 31 minutes on the clock. The Scotland international, brought back into the side today as one of five changes from last time out, came out second best in a 50-50 with Wayne Rooney and was sent off for what Atkinson perceived to be reckless play.

3.57pmLambert decided against making any changes between Adam's dismissal half an hour in and the half-time whistle, but he may well alter things slightly before the restart. Allardyce, too, will possible chop and change things because the Toffees never truly looked like scoring in the first half - with or without the man advantage.

STOKE CITY SUBS: Haugaard, Bauer, Berahino, Choupo-Moting, Jese, Martins Indi, Fletcher

EVERTON SUBS: Joel, Schneiderlin, Martina, Niasse, Klaassen, Calvert-Lewin, Holgate

Everton manager Sam Allardyce at the Premier League match against Chelsea on December 23, 2017© SilverHub

46 minRESTART! We are back under way at the bet365 Stadium, where neither manager has made any half-time changes. Considerably more snow in Pickford's penalty area compared to Butland's - smart tactics from the home groundsmen, perhaps?

48 minSAVE! An early shot on target in the second half from Rooney, who did not generate quite as much power as he wanted which allowed Pickford to get behind it down low. The Toffees looking to make the man advantage count here.

50 minAnother draw is not what home fans turned up to see this afternoon, but following that red card a third of the way through the match they may well accept a point. Davies and Butland collide and the former looks a little groggy.

52 minEVERTON SUB! Tom Davies is unable to continue after picking up a head injury in that collision with Jack Butland. Dominic Calvert-Lewin is on in his place - another attacking option used by Toffees boss Sam Allardyce.

54 minA nice passing move prior to that Everton change culminated in a Stoke shot coming in from the edge of the box, which the Toffees managed to block away. Bolasie gets forward and sends the ball back across, where Butland is waiting to collect.

56 minCrystal Palace lead at Huddersfield Town through a James Tomkins goal, incidentally, so this could well be the day that Stoke fans' hopes of survival begin to dwindle. What they would give for a goal now, having been reduced to 10 men.

58 minYELLOW CARD! Stoke are looking the brighter early in this second half, despite the loss of Adam. The ball is played into Crouch's feet but he cannot quite pick out a teammate with his back to goal. Shawcross cautioned for a cynical challenge.

60 minCHANCE! For the second corner running, the ball bounces around in the Stoke box and Keane so nearly swoops in to convert. The centre-back perhaps would have found the net if not for the arm of Crouch, but there was little distance and Martin Atkinson ruled out a penalty.

62 minSAVE! Everton win a free kick 30 yards from goal and Rooney was always the favourite to take it. The ball went up and over the wall but found Butland at the end of it - a simple enough catch for the English stopper to make.

64 minA very open match on our hands now as both teams look for a goal. The visitors stole back possession and Walcott had space to run into, but he looked right and not left - the wrong option, as the attack eventually broke down a fair distance from goal.

66 minCHANCE! Glorious through-ball from Rooney to pick out Calvert-Lewin, who could not bring the ball under control when he had just Butland to beat. Everton really starting to turn the screw now in search of the breakthrough.

68 minHome fans urging their players on now, knowing that they are needed more than ever. Stoke unwilling to settle for a draw but, at the same time, they are risking throwing away what could well be a precious point. Stick or twist time for Lambert.

70 minCenk Tosun so nearly connects with a cross from the left. Still 20 minutes to go at the bet365 Stadium and you would not rule out either of these sides snatching a winner. Lambert still has three changes available to make; Allardyce two.


72 minEverton have been turning the screw over the past few minutes, with Butland being forced to punch away a Keane drive, and they now have a lead to protect. The ball was initially cleared off the line by Stoke, before Tosun pounced from close range.

74 minChoupo-Moting is now on for Sobhi in the home side's first change of the afternoon. This match is not over by any means, but Everton now have a lead to protect and will surely have more and more gaps to capitalise on up top.

76 minSTOKE CITY SUB! Xherdan Shaqiri has been unable to influence this match as much as he would have liked, and he has now been replaced by Saido Berahino. Lambert has now made two of his changes, while Allardyce has two more to make.


79 minOn the pitch for just five minutes, Maxim Choupo-Moting has bundled the ball over the line for a vital equaliser. Pickford was left stranded when the free kick came into his six-yard box, and the substitute stuck out a leg to help it over the line.

81 minSTOKE CITY SUB! Rather incredibly, Maxim Choupo-Moting picked up a knock when scoring that leveller and has now been replaced by Jese Rodriguez for the final 10 minutes. On the field for less than 10 minutes, but what an impact!

83 minYELLOW CARD! Phil Jagielka concedes a free kick in a dangerous position - Stoke scored from the last one - and earns a yellow card for his troubles. Allen with the delivery once again, but this time Everton stand firm at the back.


86 minIncredible conclusion to this contest! Walcott with a cross into the middle from the right, which Tosun makes enough contact with to beat Butland. Questions of the Stoke keeper there, though - he got something to the ball and should have kept it out.

88 minEVERTON SUB! Morgan Schneiderlin is now on for Wayne Rooney, with Sam Allardyce learning his lesson and looking to protect this slender lead. This would be a big win for Everton, and a cruel blow for Stoke, if it remains this way.

90 minA thrilling conclusion to this match and it is not over just yet, as four minutes have been added on. Some Stoke fans have started to make their way out of the ground, but there is still plenty of time to nick a leveller - a point would be welcomed now.

90+2 minEverton just two minutes away from back-to-back wins, and just their second away victory of the Premier League campaign. Butland ruing that second goal, which somehow managed to sneak past him from close range. Time now fast running out.


4.57pmThe full-time whistle sounds, meaning that Everton have won on their travels for just the second time this season. Stoke City did well to hit back after falling a goal behind to Cenk Tosun, but the January signing from Besiktas took his tally to four goals in three games six minutes from time to settle what had been a tight and tense affair.

4.59pmThat concludes Sports Mole's live text coverage of events at the bet365 Stadium. An on-the-whistle report can be found by clicking here, while reaction from this and all the day's other Premier League and FA Cup games can be found elsewhere on the site. Thanks for joining!

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Paul Lambert in charge of Aston Villa in February 2015
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