- Arnautovic scores twice
- City lost two of last three
- Stoke up to ninth in table
- Toure, Kompany, Aguero out for City
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Shaqiri set up Arnautovic for both of his goals inside the first 15 minutes as Stoke raced into a 2-0 lead and they were the more likely side to score again as a subdued and injury-hit City never got going as they suffered a fourth defeat of the season.
With the victory Stoke move on to 22 points, while City momentarily remained top of the league but have 29 points after 15 games.
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In the seventh minute Stoke went ahead as Shaqiri’s mesmerizing stepovers on the right fooled City’s defense and his cross into the six-yard box was neatly tucked home by Arnautovic. Cue pandemonium at the Britannia Stadium.
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U.S. international Geoff Cameron kept the ball well on the right flank and found Shaqiri who slipped through a wonderful ball to Arnautovic who then clipped it past the advancing Hart for his and Stoke’s second goal of the game, with the Austrian forward taking his tally to five goals for the season. Bojan forayed forward and took on four players before finally giving away a free kick in the box as City struggled to get going in the blustery conditions.
The Potters could have been 3-0 up before half time with Arnautovic again racing clear of the defense but slipped as he shot and the ball bounced against the post and out.
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In the second half Stoke sat back and soaked up City’s pressure with Raheem Sterling and De Bruyne trying to get in-behind a solid Stoke backline but Pellegrini’s side couldn’t break through with Fabian Delph having an effort from distance go well over and Sterling claiming a penalty kick
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City finished the game with 10-men as Fernando limped off with a hamstring injury after Pellegrini had already made all three subs. Aleksandar Kolarov sent an effort into the side-netting but the PL leaders couldn’t trouble Butland. A bad day at the office for City as they missed Vincent Kompany‘s leadership and could be down in fourth place by the end of the weekend.