Stoke City beat Everton 1-0 in wintry conditions at Goodison Park on Boxing Day, as 16 minutes of added time arrived in a pulsating clash.
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The game-winning moment came in the first half as Spanish playmaker Bojan Krkic scored a penalty kick and that proved to be the difference as defiant defending from Stoke and poor finishing from Everton combined to hand the Potters a win.
Stoke are now in 11th place on 22 points, while Everton drop to 12th on 21 points after losing two-straight games for the first time this season.
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The Potters had some good efforts on goal early on as Bojan was the chief creator but failed to work Tim Howard. Diouf tested the U.S. international ‘keeper but was denied twice, as lengthy injuries to several players delayed the match in a disjointed first half.
When things got going again Everton looked the brighter side as an in-swinging free kick was somehow missed by Gareth Barry at the back post.
But then Bojan won a penalty after surging into the box and being tripped by James McCarthy, as the Spaniard stepped up and slotted home the PK himself to put the Potters 1-0 up. There were 10 minutes of added time at the end of the first half as Steven Naismith had an effort cleared off the line and Seamus Coleman squandered another great chance.
At half time Howard was forced off through injury, as the USMNT ‘keeper looked to have pulled a muscle in his calf after launching a kick forward. Phil Jagielka also came off at half time, as the Toffees were struggling to stay fit.
Everton continued to push for an equalizer, and came so close as the ball was played into Steven Naismith eight-yards out late in the game but Erik Pieters came from nowhere to clear the danger as Stoke continued to defend valiantly.
Late on, it was Stoke who wasted a good chance as Charlie Adam and Oussama Assaidi broke away but couldn’t make the most of it, as Roberto Martinez’s side continued their struggles in the Premier League with their fourth defeat in five.
Everton: Howard (Robles, 45′), Coleman, Jagielka (Alcaraz, 45′), Stones, Baines, McCarthy (Eto’o, 69′), Barry, Barkley, Naismith, Mirallas, Lukaku.
Stoke City: Begovic, Cameron, Shawcross, Muniesa, Pieters, Whelan, Nzonzi, Walters, Krkic (Adam, 67′), Arnautovic (Assaidi, 76′), Diouf (Crouch, 92′)
Goal: Krkic (38′)