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Etherington spoils Mancini's day


Matthew Etherington

Matthew Etherington

Matthew Etherington

Stoke midfielder Matthew Etherington spoiled Roberto Mancini's birthday celebrations with a stoppage-time equaliser in their 1-1 draw against Manchester City at the Britannia Stadium.

Mancini, who turned 46 on Saturday, claimed his side, who went ahead through Micah Richards in the 81st minute, deserved to win. Pulis disagreed and could not resist a dig at a manager and a club who have spent millions in an attempt to reach the Champions League.

He responded: "What game was he watching? But he is entitled to his opinion. That is what this country is all about. I will leave it to the experts to decide. When you are on top against one of the best teams in the league you have to take your chances."

Pulis continued: "That was the one thing that let us down. We need to do better in that respect. On the whole we played well. You can have all the money in the world and all the top players but you need to be a team.

"We played like a team, as one. It takes a lot of beating, irrespective of who the opposition is and the players they have."

Stoke spurned a host of opportunities and they were left stunned in the 81st minute when Richards opened the scoring with a marvellous effort. He picked up a ball from Milner, sold a dummy to Danny Collins before rifling a shot into the corner.

Stoke's equaliser was also well crafted with Etherington finding the corner with his effort after a clever back heel from substitute Tuncay Sanli.

Mancini was unconcerned his title-chasers had slipped further behind Manchester United and Arsenal, who both chalked up convincing wins.

He said: "The season is very long. Every game for every team is difficult. This was a good test for us on a difficult pitch. I am disappointed with the result because we deserved to win. It was a fantastic performance in the second half.

"Richards scored a good goal, he was not 100% but played well and I am happy for him."