Premier League: Stoke City 1 Manchester City 1
By Football News
The Champions, Manchester City were in complete control of the game for the opening 15 minutes but it was Stoke who opened the scoring through Peter Crouch, the striker scoring a scrappy goal from five yards out after breaking through three challenges.
The visitors were level 20 minutes later from a neat set piece beautifully delivered by Carlos Tevez for Javi Garcia to mark his debut with a goal.
Chances followed for both sides but neither were able to convert and the points were shared for a fourth successive fixture at the Britannia Stadium.
The visitors dominated the opening part of the game with some excellent interplay in midfield between Yaya Toure and Garcia, the Spaniard looking like he had been playing for the club for years.
However it was the hosts who took the lead after quarter of an hour through Crouch, the striker showing great persistence to open the scoring. The tall striker controlled the ball on his chest inside the penalty area, spun past Vincent Kompany, ran through the challenges of Joleon Lescott and Garcia before calmly slotting the ball past Joe Hart .
City were shaken by Crouch's opener but they soon settled back into their passing style and with 10 minutes of the half to go they were level through Garcia.
The Spaniard showed excellent movement inside the penalty area to get in front of Glenn Whelan and head home Carlos Tevez's free kick, giving Asmir Begovic no chance.
The home side managed to get to the break without conceding again and the half-time team talk from Pulis inspired his side as they came out for the second half full of energy.
The control that Manchester City had on the game for the majority of the first half was gone as the Stoke players closed every ball down and applied excellent pressure all over the pitch.
Mancini was clearly concerned about the change in the game's momentum and moved to get a grip on proceedings by introducing Gareth Barry for Tevez. The midfielder definitely gave City more solidity in the middle of the pitch and slowly they began to get back into the game.
The moment a lot of Stoke fans had been waiting for arrived in the final moments of the match as Michael Owen was introduced in place of Crouch to a standing ovation from the crowd, but the striker did not have a chance to give the fans the goal they wanted.
The visitors should have won the game in injury time but were denied twice by last ditch clearances, the first a save from Begovic from a Garcia header and the second a acrobatic clearance by Ryan Shawcross off the line.