Belfast Telegraph

Yaya equaliser sends City top

Yaya Toure struck a fine equaliser as Manchester City regained top spot but dropped two valuable Barclays Premier League points in a 1-1 draw at Stoke.

Toure cancelled out a stunning long-range volley from Peter Crouch with his own powerful strike.

City might argue Stoke could have had a man sent off when Dean Whitehead caught David Silva with his arm but they had a let-off when Pablo Zabaleta cleared off the line.

The result was enough to take City back above Manchester United on goal difference but their rivals could now move further clear when they play their game in hand against Fulham on Monday.

Controversy broke out when Whitehead caught Silva in the face with his arm challenging for a high ball. Silva's discomfort was obvious as he required lengthy treatment and eventually returned to the action wearing a bandage.

There were further problems moments later when Mario Balotelli was hauled back by an arm around the head from Ryan Shawcross. Edin Dzeko headed a fine chance for City over soon after.

Stoke thought they were about to take the lead in the 41st minute when a Matthew Etherington corner was met by a deft glancing header from Shawcross but Zabaleta cleared off the line. City had another moment of alarm as the ball was lofted into the their box but Joe Hart blocked an effort from Jonathan Walters at point-blank range.

Stoke claimed the lead with Crouch's sensational strike just before the hour. The striker brilliantly flicked up a return header from Jermaine Pennant and twisted to volley into the top corner from 30 yards.

With 15 minutes remaining, Toure, with seemingly nothing on, unleashed a ferocious shot from 30 yards. It took a crucial deflection off the head of Shawcross and Asmir Begovic could do nothing but palm it into the back of the net.

Shawcross turned the ball in but Webb disallowed the goal for an infringement.


From Belfast Telegraph