Joe Allen

Getty Images

Joe Allen to miss Euro 2020 with ruptured Achilles

Leave a comment

Wales international Joe Allen will miss Euro 2020 after rupturing his Achilles tendon in Stoke City’s 5-1 win over Hull City, the club confirmed on Saturday.

Allen went down on the stroke of halftime after a challenge from Dan Batty saw the Stoke midfielder stretchered off the field.

“It’s not good news unfortunately, it looks like Joe has ruptured his Achilles which would obviously rule him out for the rest of the season,” Stoke City manager Michael O’Neill said after the match. “I’m devastated with that because he’s been fantastic since I came to the Club. Not only in terms his importance to the team and his importance to the Club, but what he has to look forward to in the summer as well at EURO 2020 with Wales. It’s really disappointing news to hear.”

The 29-year-old midfielder debuted for the national team in 2009 and has been a mainstay in the Wales midfield since first earning a starting role in 2011, with 53 total caps for the national team. He played nearly every minute of Wales’ run to the Euro 2016 semifinals in what was the country’s first appearance at a European final tournament.

“He’s been terrific and is a terrific player,” O’Neill said. “He’s everything you want in a player, he takes responsibility and as a leader, without being particularly loud and vocal, he leads by example in terms of the way he plays the game. Things like that you don’t want to see happen to any player, but particularly a lad like Joe, so I’m a bit upset and disappointed, as well as gutted for the player.”

Allen has been an absolute workhorse for Stoke City since joining from Liverpool in 2016. The former Swansea City youth product has made at least 36 league appearances for the Potters in every season since joining the club, accumulating at least 2,900 league minutes in every season. He racked up a whopping 4,132 minutes last Championship campaign, which is just eight minutes shy of a perfect full season of 46 90-minute performances.

Derby midfielder Johnson banned four games for biting Joe Allen

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Derby County will be without midfielder Bradley Johnson for the next month after video caught him biting Stoke City midfielder Joe Allen during Stoke’s 2-1 win in Championship play on Wednesday.

In the aftermath of Oghenekaro Etebo’s 33rd minute red card, Johnson clearly bit Allen in the shoulder/neck area during an on-field scrum. The referee did not see the incident, allowing the FA disciplinary committee to issue the four-match ban. All in all, Johnson will miss the next five matches, having earned a yellow card accumulation ban on Wednesday, having been cautioned for further participation in the 33rd minute scrum. That will keep him out until the December 29th match against Bolton.

The usual ban for violent conduct is three matches, the standard for a direct red card, whether it be for a violent foul during the course of play or outside it. However, the FA said Johnson had been “found to have committed an act of violent conduct for which the standard punishment would be clearly insufficient,” leading to the four-match punishment.

In an unusual turn, despite the FA handing down the punishment, Allen came out after the match to defend his alleged aggressor, saying, “it might look a certain way but he hasn’t bit me.” He didn’t think Johnson should be banned at all, saying, “he might have got a little bit of the shirt but nothing that I’m worried about and I don’t think it should go any further that that.”

Derby narrowly missed out on promotion yet again last season, falling to eventual champions Fulham in the playoff semifinals. They’re in the mix for a playoff spot again this season, sitting seventh with 31 points. Johnson has been a key player for the Rams this year, but recently lost his starting spot. He started eight of Derby’s first 12 matches, but the Stoke match was his first start in the last seven.

Swansea City 1-2 Stoke City: Swans relegated

Leave a comment
  • Swansea relegated after seven-year stay
  • Swans finish in 18th place 
  • Stoke finish in 19th with relegation already confirmed

Swansea lost 2-1 against Stoke City at the Liberty Stadium on Sunday with the South Wales side relegated from the Premier League after a seven-year stay.

The Swans took the lead via Andy King but Stoke scored twice in the first half through Badou Ndiaye and Peter Crouch to seal a comeback win and just their second victory under Paul Lambert. Xherdan Shaqiri misses a penalty in the second half as Stoke eased to victory.

With the win Stoke finish in 19th, level on points with Swansea in 18th but five goals worse off in goal differential.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Stoke were forced into an early change as former Swansea midfielder Joe Allen was forced off and Darren Fletcher replaced him.

Xherdan Shaqiri whipped in a cross which Lukas Fabianski punched clear and the other end there was an almighty goalmouth scramble with Jack Butland saving and several blocks from the Stoke defense keeping Swansea out.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Moments later King put Swansea ahead as Andre Ayew nodded the ball into his path and he calmly slotted home. The chances kept coming for Swansea as Wayne Routledge then went close with Stoke sinking back towards their own goal.

Before the break Stoke were level as a counter saw Ndiaye get free in-behind and he lobbed home a wonderful effort to make it 1-1. And it got better for the Potters as Crouch headed home a free kick from the left to make it 2-1.

Jordan Ayew curled a free kick inches wide just before the break but the Swans were heading for the drop.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

In the second half Ayew went close again as Stoke sat back and soaked up pressure but Swansea had simply ran out of steam.

Stoke missed a penalty as Fabianski denied Shaqiri after a handball call in the box and Swansea just couldn’t find an equalizer.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

At the final whistle the likes of Leon Britton and Fabianski were in tears as Swansea were relegated on the final day.

Stoke City 1-1 Burnley: Deflating draw

Leave a comment
  • Ndiaye opens scoring
  • Diouf assists, then misses big chance
  • Barnes levels for Burnley

Neither Burnley not Stoke City will be pleased with a 1-1 draw at the bet365 Stadium on Sunday.

Badou Ndiaye gave Stoke a first half lead en route to a hopeful three points which could help save the side’s Premier League status, but Ashley Barnes‘ fortunate equalizer gave the Clarets a point.

Stoke has 29 points, four behind 17th place Swansea. Burnley sits four points behind Arsenal with one more match played in the race for sixth.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Stoke led in the 11th minute through a very nice team goal, as Joe Allen found Ndiaye in the middle of the pitch. The midfielder worked a 1-2 with Mame Biram Diouf before sneaking a shot inside a tiny window.

Ashley Barnes bid to level the score when he collected a Kieran Westwood diagonal ball, but his curling effort from the left failed to find the goal.

Johann Berg Gudmundsson curled a free kick over the Stoke wall, and Jack Butland did well to save for a corner.

Diouf flubbed a chance to make it 2-0 when an Ndiaye cross found him alone near the back post.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Butland made an outstanding save to force a Burnley corner in the 55th minute.

Barnes continued his villainous streak all match, and saw Butland’s slap save bound off his thigh and across the line to level the score in the 62nd minute.

Gudmundsson dragged a stoppage time shot millimeters wide of the far post.

Leicester City 1-1 Stoke City: Foxes fight back

Leave a comment
  • Butland own goal rescues point for Leicester
  • Shaqiri’s third goal in three games have Stoke lead
  • Potters remain in bottom three

Leicester City fought back to draw 1-1 with Stoke City at the King Power Stadium on Saturday, with an own goal from Jack Butland in the second half canceling out Xherdan Shaqiri‘s opener.

Stoke took the lead just before half time with a beauty from Shaqiri but after Butland misjudged a cross to knock the ball into his own net, Leicester came alive and hit the post twice late on.

With the draw Leicester momentarily move up to seventh place on 36 points, while Stoke remain in 19th place on 26 points and are without an away win since October.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

A cagey start to proceedings in the sun saw Riyad Mahrez and Badou Ndiaye both go close from distance as Leicester had plenty of corner kicks but couldn’t get behind a solid Stoke defense.

Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy launched counter attacks when they could but the Algerian was off target on a few occasions as Claude Puel‘s men toiled without much reward in the afternoon sun.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Stoke then delivered a hammer blow just before half time as Shaqiri picked up a pass from Joe Allen, drove towards the Leicester defense and curled home his third goal in as many games to give the Potters a half time lead.

A perfect opening 45 minutes for Lambert’s side as Shaqiri had his seventh goal of the season.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

In the second half Leicester battled back into the game but Stoke almost went 2-0 up as Kasper Schmeichel‘s loose pass found Shaqiri and his long-range effort skipped just wide of an empty net.

The Foxes were then gifted a way back into the game as Albrighton’s powerful cross from the right was towards Vardy and although the English striker didn’t touch the ball, he did enough to put off Butland as the ball hit him and went into his own net to make it 1-1.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]  

Energized by the equalizer Leicester battered the Stoke goal as Butland saved superbly from Mahrez, then Vardy drilled an effort across goal which found Harry Maguire who hit the post with a shot.

Late on Charlie Adam‘s backward header let Mahrez race clear but a combination of Butland and Kurt Zouma kept him out and from the resulting corner Matty James hit the post with a header.