Huddersfield 1-1 Stoke: Ramadan Sobhi leveller rescues point for Potters
By Nick Wright
Last Updated: 26/12/17 7:47pm
Ramadan Sobhi cancelled out Tom Ince's early goal as Stoke held Huddersfield to a 1-1 draw at the John Smith's Stadium on Boxing Day.
Sobhi, a first-half substitute for the injured Ryan Shawcross, slid home his second goal in as many games from Joe Allen's low cross on the hour-mark.
Earlier, Ince had given Huddersfield the lead with his first goal for the club, thumping Collin Quaner's cut-back past Jack Butland in the 10th minute.
Sobhi's leveller came against the run of play as Huddersfield dominated the second half, but David Wagner's side were unable to break down the stubborn visitors in the closing stages.
It was a valuable point for Mark Hughes, who has been under pressure in recent weeks, but it looked like it might be a long afternoon for the Stoke manager when Ince scored with the first clear chance of the game.
Stoke's best opportunities in the first half came in the space of a few seconds when Huddersfield somehow survived a frantic goalmouth scramble.
Huddersfield: Lossl (8), Smith (7), Zanka (6), Schindler (6), Lowe (6), Van La Parra (6), Hogg (7), Mooy (7), Ince (8), Quaner (8), Mounie (6)
Subs: Lolley (6), Malone (6), Depoitre (6)
Stoke: Butland (8), Zouma (7), Shawcross (6), Wimmer (7), Cameron (7), Edwards (7), Fletcher (7), Allen (8), Shaqiri (6), Crouch (7), Choupo-Moting (7)
Subs: Sobhi (7), Diouf (6), Adam (6)
Man of the match: Ince
It started with Jonas Lossl parrying a Shawcross header, and ended with the Huddersfield goalkeeper pushing Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting's overhead kick onto the post. The ball was millimetres from crossing the line as it bounced back into Lossl's arms.
Huddersfield's Rajiv van La Parra tested Jack Butland with a curling shot shortly before half-time, and the hosts continued on the front foot in the second half.
Huddersfield made four changes from their 1-1 draw with Southampton, with the in-form Laurent Depoitre surprisingly dropping to the bench. Stoke named an unchanged team from their 3-1 win over West Ham.
But a few minutes after Van La Parra had forced another fine save from Butland, Stoke struck the leveller. Sobhi, who scored his first goal for Stoke in their 3-1 win over West Brom at the weekend, was booked after jubilantly celebrating with the travelling fans.
The closing stages were played at a frantic pace, with both sides seeing strong penalty appeals turned down. First, referee Anthony Taylor waved play on after Allen appeared to bring down Aaron Mooy, then Stoke were equally aggrieved when Christopher Schindler seemed to trip Mame Biram Diouf.
Huddersfield were camped in Stoke's half as the home fans roared them on in the final 15 minutes, but they could not find a way through as the visitors put everyone behind the ball.
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Man of the match - Tom Ince
Ince was in the right place at the right time to net his first Premier League goal since February 2014 and he went on to cause Stoke plenty of problems. In total he attempted six shots on goal, frequently taking up dangerous positions in and around the box and showing a willingness to run at defenders.
David Wagner: "I have seen our situation in the video footage again. It is a clear penalty where the opponent didn't touch the ball, he only touched Aaron Mooy."
Mark Hughes: "We feel a little bit aggrieved if I'm honest. It was clearly a penalty on Mame Diouf in the middle of the box. He is shaping to protect the ball and his legs have been taken away from him, so it's a clear penalty."
- Huddersfield are unbeaten in their last six league meetings with Stoke (W3 D3), in a run stretching back to 1997.
- Only Southampton (11) are on a current longer run without a Premier League clean sheet than Stoke (10, level with Newcastle).
- Ramadan Sobhi has scored in consecutive Premier League games, after failing to find the net in his first 29 appearances in the competition.
- Tom Ince scored his first Premier League goal for Huddersfield with what was his 45th shot in the competition for them.
- In fact, this was Ince's second ever goal in the competition. His first came with his first ever shot, for Crystal Palace back in February 2014, with his goal today ending a run of 59 shots without one.
- Huddersfield kept a clean sheet in their first three Premier League games this season, but have managed to keep a shutout in just three of the 17 since.
Huddersfield are back at the John Smith's Stadium when they host Burnley on Saturday, while Stoke travel to Chelsea on the same day.