Everton 3-4 Stoke: Marko Arnautovic's late penalty earns thrilling win for Potters
By Nick Lustig
Last Updated: 29/12/15 3:45pm
Marko Arnautovic scored a stoppage-time penalty to earn Stoke a 4-3 victory over Everton in a thrilling encounter at Goodison Park.
Xherdan Shaqiri twice put Stoke ahead in the first half, only for Romelu Lukaku to cancel out both strikes with two of his own either side of the break.
But though Gerard Deulofeu put the hosts in front for the first time in the match in the 71st minute, substitute Joselu brought the sides level with 10 minutes remaining, before Arnautovic sealed a dramatic win from the spot after being brought down by John Stones.
Victory for Stoke lifts them into ninth place in the Premier League, while Everton drop two places to eleventh.
Stoke, coming off the back of their 2-0 Boxing Day win over Manchester United, were looking to record their third successive league victory over Everton and started well with Shaqiri, Bojan and Arnautovic proving a handful for the hosts.
Stoke manager Mark Hughes had urged winger Arnautovic to "shoot more" following his outstanding strike in the victory over United and the Austrian international nearly grabbed his seventh goal of the season in the opening stages, but fired just wide of the post following good work from Bojan.
Stoke had lost just one of their previous six matches away from the Britannia Stadium - a 2-0 defeat at relegation-threatened Sunderland - and showed why they have been so impressive on the road, scoring a superb opening goal in the 16th minute
Bojan evaded two Everton challenges before slipping a ball through to Arnautovic, who immediately found the incoming Shaqiri and the Switzerland international guided his effort into the bottom corner of the net.
Everton, who also tasted victory on Boxing Day, beating Newcastle 1-0, burst into life following Stoke's opener and were back level within six minutes courtesy of the in-form Lukaku.
Lukaku had scored six goals in his last six league appearances at Goodison Park and he continued his fine form on home soil, firing past Jack Butland after a superb exchange of passes between Ross Barkley and James McCarthy.
However, Stoke regained the lead just before the half-time interval in stunning fashion as Shaqiri doubled his tally for the afternoon by collecting Bojan's cross field pass before scooping the ball over a helpless Tim Howard.
Everton started the second-half with renewed vigour and restored parity in the 64th minute through Lukaku's 15th Premier League goal of the season.
Tom Cleverley's superb 40-yard pass opened up the Stoke defence and found Lukaku, who controlled the ball expertly on his chest before firing beyond Butland.
Everton continued to press and took the lead for the first time in the match seven minutes later as Deulofeu ghosted into the six-yard box to tap home following great work from Steven Naismith and Barkley.
However, Stoke refused to accept defeat and drew level with 10 minutes remaining through substitute Joselu. Howard failed to deal with an excellent cross from the left from Arnautovic and Joselu was on hand to rifle his effort into the back of the net.
Arnautovic then kept his cool from the penalty spot in stoppage-time after being brought down by Stones to ensure Stoke came out of this topsy-turvy affair with all three points.
Paul Merson's Soccer Saturday verdict
"There was some great football. It was a pleasure to watch the game. I would worry for Everton - they get on top of games, but don't have that killer instinct.
"When it's 3-2, you think it's game over - you think Everton are going to win by four or maybe five. But (Stoke) are so dangerous on the break. They've got footballers in the team who see a pass, and have great movement.
"They were absolutely outstanding today - Everton were as well, but they keep on letting in goals.
"(Roberto) Martinez plays exactly the way he did at Wigan - 'We're going to score more goals than you.' He was letting in goals left, right and centre at Wigan, and he seems to have brought that to Everton. It's great for the neutral, but if you were a home fan you'd be pulling your hair out."
Everton: Howard (5), Galloway (6), Funes Mori (5), Stones (5), Coleman (6), Barry (5), McCarthy (5), Deulofeu (6), Kone (5), Barkley (6), Lukaku (7).
Subs used: Naismith (6), Cleverley (6).
Stoke: Butland (6), Pieters (6), Wollscheid (5), Shawcross (6), Johnson (6), Whelan (6), Affelay (5), Cameron (6), Arnautovic (8), Shaqiri (8), Bojan (8).
Subs used: Joselu (7), Van Ginkel (5), Walters (5).
Man of the match: Bojan Krkic
Watch Everton in Premier League action at home to Tottenham on Super Sunday, live on Sky Sports 1 HD from 3.30pm.