Stoke City and Southampton played out a hugely entertaining 1-1 draw at the Britannia Stadium, as both teams battled away in the wind in the Midlands.
The Potters took an incredible lead just 12 seconds into the game as goalkeeper Asmir Begovic saw his long punt forward catch a gust of wind before bouncing once and going over Southampton ‘keeper Artur Boruc’s head and into the net.
Despite that early set back Saints battled back well and equalized just before half time through Jay Rodriguez header. In the second half Southampton took the game to Stoke both the atrocious conditions turned the game into a midfield battle.
Stoke rise one place to 16th with the point, while the Saints stay in fifth as they extended their unbeaten run in the Premier League to seven games.
So, after just 12 seconds goalkeeper Begovic scored for Stoke City in a bizarre incident at the Britannia Stadium.
Southampton had the kick off, and gave possession away and as the ball went back to Begovic the Bosnian international smashed the ball forward and the gusty conditions in Staffordshire played havoc with Artur Boruc and Saints’ defense.
Begovic’s long punt flew through the air, bounced once and went over Boruc’s head and shocked the entire stadium to give the Potters an early 1-0 lead.
Stoke should have a grabbed a second in the 5th minute when Ryan Shawcross headed wide when unmarked inside the six-yard box.
That early setback didn’t disrupt Saints’ flow and Rickie Lambert came ever so close to equalizing just moments later, as an inviting cross was cleared away. From the resulting corner Saints defender Dejan Lovren missed a glorious chance to equalize by heading wide from close range.
Stoke then continued to force the issue as their high-pressure approach combated the way Southampton usually set their stall up, and the home side carved out several chances as they battered Saints’ defense with long balls and a physical aerial approach.
But Southampton equalized in the 42nd minute through Jay Rodriguez following some lovely build up play by the Saints. The English striker, who netted his third goal in the last four headed home past Begovic by directing the ball down into the turf and into the net.
Some great one-twos from Rickie Lambert and James Ward-Prowse set up the goal, as the two teams went in level at the break at 1-1.
In the second half Stoke started brightly and Boruc made up for his earlier error by making a superb stop from Marko Arnautovic’s effort.
The Potters put Saints under pressure as the windy conditions continued to affect the game, and the wind was behind Southampton as they attacked the home teams goal.
In the 54th minute an extended period of pressure from Saints resulted in 19-year-old midfielder Ward-Prowse whipping a terrific free kick from 20-yards out just over the bar as the visitors pushed to go ahead.
For most of the second period, Saints did most of the pressing with the wind behind their backs and Stoke found it extremely difficult to get out of their own half. A midfield battled ensued in the bluster November weather, with the Potters digging deep to try and claim their first PL win in seven games.
In the 89th minute Southampton had a huge claim for a penalty, as a inswinging free kick from Ward-Prowse looked to have struck Shawcross in the arm. Referee Chris Foy waved away protests from Saints’ players as they game ended level.
Stoke City: Begovic; Cameron, Shawcross, Huth, Pieters; Walters, Nzonzi, Ireland (Assaidi, 65), Whelan (Palacios, 45), Arnautovic; Crouch
Southampton: Boruc, Clyne, Fonte, Lovren, Shaw, Wanyama, Schneiderlin, Ward-Prowse, Lallana, Rodriguez (Ramirez, 69), Lambert