Stephen Ireland

Tottenham Hotspur 2-2 Stoke City: Potters fight back as Spurs squander 2-0 lead

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  • Spurs lead 2-0 at half time 
  • Both Butland and Lloris made several superb stops
  • Geoff Cameron plays 90 minutes at CB for Stoke
  • Late goals from Arnautovic, Diouf grab Stoke point

Stoke City launched a remarkable comeback at White Hart Lane on Saturday, as Tottenham Hotspur squandered a 2-0 lead to draw 2-2 with the Potters.

Eric Dier and Nacer Chadli put Spurs 2-0 up at half time, but late goals from Marko Arnautovic and Mame Diouf grabbed Stoke their first point of the season. Spurs have one point from their first two games, as do the Potters.

[ RELATED: Watch full match replays ]

Tottenham came flying out of the traps at the Lane, with Christian Eriksen twice forcing Jack Butland into saves. Spurs took a deserved lead in the 19th minute as Ryan Mason’s shot deflected went wide for a corner. Eriksen whipped in the corner kick and Dier lost his marker, Marco van Ginkel, to head home at the near post. 1-0 to Spurs.

[ RELATED: Latest Premier League standings ]

Stoke had a good chance to draw level before the break but Diouf sent his header straight at Hugo Lloris and moments later the Potters were made to pay for that slack finishing. Chadli found space in the box and his shot deflected past Butland, who had earlier saved well from Mason, to make it 2-0 to Spurs on the stroke of half time.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

In the second half Spurs continued to push forward and Butland made a wonderful reflex stop from Harry Kane after Chadli’s pinpoint cross. A wonderful stop from the young English goalkeeper.

Soon after Stoke had a great chance to pull one back but Jonathan Walters sent his header the wrong side of the post to waste a glorious chance.

[ MORE: Click here for full lineups, stats, box score

Late on Stoke sent on Stephen Ireland and Joselu to try and get back into the game, and a wonderful save from Hugo Lloris denied Diouf pulling a goal back. The away side kept going, and late on Stoke won a penalty kick as Ireland wriggled free from Toby Alderweireld but the Belgian defender brought him down. Arnautovic scored the spot kick in the 78th minute to make it 2-1 and then five minutes later it was 2-2.

Diouf finally won his personal battle with Lloris and headed home Ireland’s cross to put the Potters level as Spurs squandered a 2-0 lead and gave up three points. Late on Ireland came agonizingly close to winning it but his header squeaked inches wide of the far post.

Stoke City 2-1 Southampton: Adam’s goal seals comeback; dashes Saints top four hopes

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Stoke City beat Southampton 2-1 at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday, as the Potters fought back from 1-0 down at half time to record their first win in five matches.

[ RELATED: Watch full match replays ]

Morgan Schneiderlin gave Saints a deserved early lead as he tapped home Jose Fonte’s header to make it 1-0. However a bizarre goal just after the break pulled Stoke level as Steven Nzonzi’s looping effort hit the crossbar and dropped down to Mame Diouf who slammed home. Late on substitute Charlie Adam pounced on a loose ball on the box and made it 2-1 to send the home fans wild.

With the win Stoke moved up to ninth on 46 points, while Saints stay in sixth but missed the chance to close the gap on Manchester City in fourth to two points.

[ RELATED: Latest Premier League standings ]

Saints started the brighter of the two sides and early on Sadio Mane went down in the box under contact from Stephen Ireland but referee Mark Clattenburg waved away penalty appeals.

After 22 minutes the visitors took a deserved lead as Fonte’s flicked his near-post header towards goal and Schneiderlin was on hand to tap home his fourth goal of the season. 1-0 to Southampton.

Before half time Saints had a great chance to double their lead as Mane and Nathaniel Clyne combined but the latter blazed an effort well over when others were waiting in the box. Moments before half time Stoke had a glorious chance to equalize as a free kick found Geoff Cameron who nodded the ball across to Nzonzi at the back post but the French midfielder somehow failed to convert as he skewed his effort wide.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Just two minutes into the second Stoke were level as a looping effort from Nzonzi crashed off the crossbar and went straight to Diouf who hammered home. 1-1.

Saints continued to push forward after being pegged back and Mane skipped around Asmir Begovic and set  up Dusan Tadic but the Serbian twice had efforts cleared off the line. The away side were made to rue those missed chances as substitute Adam smashed home in the 84th minute after Walters’ shot had been blocked. 2-1 to the Potters.


Stoke City: Begovic; Cameron, Shawcross, Wollscheid, Pieters; Nzonzi, Whelan (Sidwell, 76′); Walters, Ireland (Adam, 45′), Arnautovic; Diouf (Crouch, 76′)

Goals: Diouf (47′), Adam (84′)

Southampton: K. Davis, Clyne, Fonte, Alderweireld, Yoshida, Bertrand (Long, 86′), Schneiderlin, S. Davis (Elia, 86′), Tadic (Ward-Prowse, 67′), Mane, Pelle

Goal: Schneiderlin (22′)

Stoke City 1-2 Crystal Palace: Eagles soar to seal comeback win

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Stoke City squandered an early lead at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday as Crystal Palace came surging back to win 2-1.

[ RELATED: Watch full match replays ]

Mame Diouf put the Potters ahead as the dominated the majority of the first half but Palace then hit Stoke with two blows just before half time. First Glenn Murray converted a spot kick following an unnecessary challenge from Asmir Begovic and then Wilfried Zaha punished slack defending to make it 2-1. In the second half both teams had a host of chances but Alan Pardew’s side held on for their third victory in four.

With the win Palace climb to 11th on 36 points, while Stoke drop to ninth on 42 points.

[ RELATED: Latest Premier League standings ]

After an even start Stoke took the lead in the 14th minute when Charlie Adam’s free kick bounced around and Diouf tucked it home. 1-0. The Potters put Palace under real pressure after that as Peter Crouch went close after some nervy goalkeeping from Julian Speroni with the home side dominating proceedings.

However just before half time Palace were handed an unlikely route back into the game as Yannick Bolasie burst through and was taken out rashly by Stoke goalkeeper Begovic who got nowhere near the ball. Penalty to the Eagles, as Murray slammed home his fourth PL goal in his last four games.

 [ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Then right on half time Palace scored again as a long ball forward from Speroni was flicked on by Murray and Zaha tucked the ball home. Route one soccer, as the Eagles led 2-1 at half time totally against the run of play.

At the start of the second half Palace continued to surge forward and Jason Puncheon wasted a glorious chance before defender Scott Dan struck the post with a controlled volley. Stoke also went close as Diouf couldn’t get on the end of Adam’s teasing cross in and end to end match at the Britannia.

[ RELATED: Premier League schedule ]

Stoke had a golden chance to make it 2-2 soon after as Mark Arnautovic’s shot was collected by Stephen Ireland but Speroni made a wonderful sprawling stop. Speroni once again denied Palace soon after as he saved from Steven Nzonzi.

With less than 15 minutes to go Diouf then had a great shout for a penalty kick waved away as Joel Ward looked to have blocked his shot with his hand, but Palace held on to secure yet another impressive win as Stoke lost for the second-straight match.


Stoke City: Begovic; Cameron, Shawcross, Wilson, Pieters; Nzonzi, Adam; Diouf, Ireland, Arnautovic; Crouch (Walters, 78′)

Goal: Diouf (14′)

Crystal Palace: Speroni; Ward, Dann, Delaney, Souare (Kelly, 70′); Ledley, McArthur; Zaha (Gayle, 80′), Puncheon, Bolasie; Murray (Ameobi, 86′)

Goals: Murray (41′), Zaha, (45′)

Stephen Ireland sidelined after vicious challenge from Maynor Figueroa

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WARNING: There is a graphic picture of the injury embedded at the bottom of this page.

Stephen Ireland faces a spell on the sidelines after Hull City defender Maynor Figueroa went studs-up into the Stoke City midfielder’s calf, causing a gash that needed 12-15 stitches to close.

[ RECAP: Stoke City 1-0 Hull City ]

There was no foul given on the play, just another referee’s decision, or lack thereof, that has a manager irate.

Potters’ boss Mark Hughes was visibly upset after the match, and said Ireland was lucky because the challenge could have ended his career.

It was a shocking challenge. It could have finished Stephen’s career. Why it is not a straight red, I have no idea.

There has been a lot of talk of challenges recently but this was worse than any of them. We have lost Stephen for any number of weeks. He is in a bad way.

He has a slice on his calf and needed 12 or 15 stitches. He has come in at half-time, rolled his sock down, and everyone was taken aback by the severity of the gash.

The referees have got to get their act together. The officials are finding it very difficult to get the key decisions right.

Officiating has been arguably the biggest talking point of the Premier League season so far, and Hughes has the right to be vocal as the challenge by Figueroa was especially vicious and left his player sidelined indefinitely.

[ RELATED: FA chairman Greg Dyke wants more technology in soccer ]

Having already lost Bojan for the remainder of the season with a knee injury, losing Ireland will be a tough blow for the Potters. Stoke City currently sits 10th on the table, four points clear of Newcastle in the bottom half.

Below is a picture of Ireland’s injury. Gruesome.



Stoke City 4-1 Fulham: Fulham are relegated (video)

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Fulham are officially relegated after losing to Stoke City on Saturday. A late goal from Kieran Richardson was not enough to save the side, whose defense looked shaky throughout the match, and whose attack was unable to muster more than two shots on target.

It was the visitors that were fighting for their Premier League lives, yet it was Stoke that very nearly took the lead inside five minutes. A cross from Steven N’Zonzi fell kindly to Oussama Assaidi, but he managed to put his shot both wide and well high.

Fulham did their best to hang on, soaking up any pressure, possibly thinking that a point just might save them from relegation. But Stoke managed to break through in the 38th minute. Stephen Ireland hit the crossbar, but Peter Odemwingie was on hand to mop up the damage. Dan Burn very nearly cleared away Odemwingie’s shot, but fell down instead – possibly a good anecdote to sum up the Fulham season.

Despite an early change from Felix Magath – Ashkhan Dejagah replaced Lewis Holtby in the 34th minute – Fulham just couldn’t muster anything resembling a quality attack. Scott Parker’s shot early in the second half was only their third, and it was the first that required a save from Asmir Begović.

So Stoke’s second came as little surprise. The hosts hit poor, beleaguered Fulham on the break. Almost before the Cottagers knew what was happening, Odemwingie slipped the ball across the face of goal, setting up Marko Arnautović to knock in for Stoke.

Fulham were dead and buried – and they knew it. Sure enough, another Stoke goal came almost too easily for the hosts. Another counterattack saw Arnautović as the provider this time, putting the ball in for Assaidi to tap home.

Up 3-0, Mark Hughes thought it ok to make a couple changes, removing Odemwingie and Assiadi for Jonathan Walters and Matthew Etherington. Shortly after, Fulham managed to score. Darren Bent, getting a rare start, put one in for Kieran Richardson, who dutifully knocked in a low shot. But with the side all but down, there was barely any celebration.

Nor defense, for that matter. Just two minutes later, Walters restored the Stoke lead. Charlie Adam easily slipped a through ball inside the Fulham defense, practically giggling as he did so. It was all too easy for Walters to get on the end of it, easily beating David Stockdale with his low shot.


Stoke City: Begovic; Pieters, Muniesa, Wilson, Cameron; Arnautovic, Nzonzi, Whelan, Assaidi (Etherington 75); Ireland (Adam 70), Odemwingie (Walters 78)

Goals: Odemwingie 39′; Arnautović 54′; Assaidi 73′; Walters 82′

Fulham: Stockdale; Heitinga, Hangeland, Burn (Mitroglou 58), Riise; Holtby (Dejagah 34), Parker, Sidwell, Diarra (Kasami 73), Richardson; Bent

Goals: Richardson 80′