Stoke 2-2 Leicester: Peter Crouch makes big impact to deny Foxes
Last Updated: 05/11/17 10:51am
Peter Crouch sprung off the bench to salvage a point for Stoke City as they drew 2-2 with Leicester City on Saturday lunchtime.
Leicester had won all three games since the departure of Craig Shakespeare and got their noses in front twice at the bet365 stadium, through Vincent Iborra (33) and Riyad Mahrez (60), Xherdan Shaqiri's (39) neat finish sandwiched in between.
The Foxes looked in full control at 2-1 but Crouch, who equalled Shola Ameobi's record of 142 Premier League substitute appearances, made an immediate impact to draw his team level with a powerful header (73).
Stoke: Butland (5), Pieters (6), Wimmer (6), Zouma (5), Shawcross (5), Fletcher (6), Diouf (6), Allen (6), Choupo-Moting (7), Shaqiri (7), Sobhi (6)
Subs: Crouch (7), Berahino (6)
Leicester: Schmeichel (6), Simpson (6), Morgan (6), Maguire (5), Fuchs (5), Ndidi (7), Okazaki (6), Iborra (7), Gray (6), Vardy (6), Mahrez (7)
Subs: Iheanacho (6), Albrighton (6), King (6)
Man of the match: Peter Crouch
This was a contest that took a while to warm up - even referee Bobby Madley was caught cold as he limped off with a calf problem on 23 minutes, to be replaced by fourth official Jon Moss.
The game needed a goal to release the shackles. That breakthrough came on 33 minutes when Harry Maguire's knockdown from a corner was lashed home by Iborra for his first goal since joining from Sevilla.
The visitors could smell blood and Iborra should have doubled his tally but planted a header over the crossbar from a pin-point Demarai Gray cross.
The home fans were becoming restless but Shaqiri eased the tension six minutes before the break by sweeping home a swift counter-attack following a fine ball from Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting.
Mark Hughes opted to keep the same team that won 1-0 at Watford last weekend, which meant no place for Peter Crouch, Saido Berahino or Jese in the starting XI. There was one change for Leicester with Ben Chilwell missing out (knee) and replaced by Shinji Okazaki.
The game swung momentum again on 60 minutes when the Foxes regained the lead just 60 seconds after Kasper Schmeichel had denied Ryan Shawcross with a flying save.
Mahrez picked up the ball down the right channel, cut inside and drilled a low effort past Jack Butland, who will be disappointed to have let the effort slip through his grasp.
Crouch was introduced on 68 minutes and took just five minutes to make a decisive impact, when got on the end of a left-wing corner for his 52nd headed Premier League goal.
The striker nearly made it 53 with the penultimate touch of the game but his near post header was brilliantly palmed clear by Schmeichel, which meant this fixture finished 2-2 for the third season in a row.
- Darren Fletcher has now appeared in 102 consecutive Premier League matches for his clubs (WBA & Stoke combined) - this is the joint-fifth longest run by an outfield player in Premier League history.
- Shaqiri's goal was only the third (of nine in total) that he's scored inside the box as a Premier League player - the last time he scored a league goal inside the box was back in December 2015.
- Shaqiri has now been involved in 21 Premier League goals (nine goals, 12 assists) - more than double the number of any other Swiss player (Ramon Vega - 10 goal involvements).
- Mahrez has been involved in a goal in four successive Premier League matches (two goals, two assists) - the first time he's managed this in the competition.
Man of the match - Peter Crouch
Hailed by Sky Sports analyst Alan Pardew as a "golden cameo", Crouch changed the game when arrived from the bench with 22 minutes to go just when it seemed to be slipping away from Stoke. They were lacking in ideas as Leicester were dominating the chances on the counter but the 36-year-old gave Stoke a direct option and he popped up with the all-important equalising goal.
After the international break, Stoke are in front of the Sky Sports cameras again on Monday Night Football away to Brighton while Leicester host Premier League leaders Manchester City on the Saturday afternoon.