Shawcross claims innocence
Ryan Shawcross insists he had no part in the sending off of Emmanuel Adebayor in Stoke's clash with Man City.
By Danny Wright
Last Updated: 25/02/10 4:34pm
Stoke City defender Ryan Shawcross has insisted he had nothing to do with Emmanuel Adebayor's red card in his side's 3-1 FA Cup win over Manchester City at the Britannia Stadium.
Adebayor was dismissed in the 83rd minute of the encounter after he was adjudged to have raised his arms too high in trying to shrug off a Shawcross challenge.
City boss Roberto Mancini said after the game he was left baffled by the decision, with the sending off coming at a crucial time.
The visitors had just equalised through Craig Bellamy when his Togolese team-mate was given his marching orders.
The goal sent the tie to extra time - cancelling out Dave Kitson's goal for Stoke - but Mancini's side had to battle through the extra half hour with only ten men.
The hosts capitalised on the advantage, a header from Shawcross and a classy finish from Tuncay Sanli booking a date against Chelsea in the quarter-finals.
But 22-year-old Shawcross played down his role in the red card incident, denying he had overreacted to get the Blues man sent off.
"He caught me in the face," he said. "I went down but got straight back up.
"It is an unfortunate thing but the referee made his decision. We won 3-1 and that is all we are concentrating on."
Potters striker Ricardo Fuller also gave his backing to the defender, adding: "Ryan is an honest lad, a hard-working lad and he wouldn't do anything to get anyone sent off, so I think he (Adebayor) deserved it."
Shawcross' 95th minute header came from a trademark Rory Delap long throw before Tuncay sealed the win with a fine individual effort four minutes later.
Shawcross nearly notched a winner in the Premier League meeting between the two teams last Tuesday, only to see what looked like a legitimate goal - from a Delap throw - ruled out for a foul on Shay Given.
He was not to be denied this time, however, and he admitted he was delighted to have nodded his third goal of the season at the second time of asking.
The former England Under-21 international hailed his side's two other goals, and said he hoped the stylish manner of the strikes would not be overlooked in light of the direct tactics associated to Tony Pulis' team.
He added: "They took their goals well and it shows the calibre of players we have got.
"Mine was a bit more direct but you have to go for them. I think we showed what a good football team we are.
"We get tagged for kicking and heading it but we have got some very talented footballers, big international players. I think we played some good football.
"It is a fantastic result. The fans got behind us and it is a big win after the disappointment of the last game against them. It is a fantastic win and hopefully we can go to Chelsea and get a result."