Man City held to 1-1 draw by Stoke
Stoke midfielder Matthew Etherington stunned Manchester City
with an injury-time equalizer Saturday to salvage a 1-1 draw and
put the visitors further adrift in the Premier League title
Etherington received a clever backheel from substitute Tuncay
Sanli and put the ball past City goalkeeper Joe Hart, who got a
hand to the ball but could not prevent it going into the net.
Micah Richards thought he had scored a late winner for City in
the 81st minute when latched on to a ball from James Milner and
rifled a shot into the corner.
City remained in fourth place with 26 points, five behind leader
Manchester United which routed Blackburn 7-1. Chelsea can go level
with United when it plays Newcastle on Sunday.
City found themselves under pressure for long spells in the
first half and were lucky to be level going into halftime. Stoke
had its first chance in the fifth minute when a long throw from
Rory Delap was flicked on by Ryan Shawcross. Jermaine Pennant got
on the end of it, clearing the bar with his effort before Delap
caused further confusion in the City penalty area.
Ricardo Fuller found himself clear following a long throw, only
to see his shot blocked by Vincent Kompany.
The home side should have taken the lead in the 16th minute when
Fuller and Kenwyne Jones played a neat one-two. Fuller was released
in the area but failed to test Hart, steering his effort wide of
City were again forced on the back foot in the 22nd when Robert
Huth cleared the bar from a good position.
The visitors launched a quick counterattack in the 31st when
David Silva released Carlos Tevez. The striker found James Milner
but the move broke down following a timely challenge by Andy
Stoke were nearly undone in the 42nd following a mistake by
Danny Collins. He played a casual back pass to Begovic, unaware
Tevez was lurking on the edge of the area. However, Begovic raced
out of his goal to divert the ball to safety.
Mario Balotelli had started the half with purpose for City and
showed good strength and pace to rattle in a shot in the 52nd that
went narrowly wide.