Hammers salvage a point against Stoke
Posted: 16 April 2018 Time: 10:25 pm
West Ham United got out of jail with a late equaliser to earn a 1-1 draw at home to relegation-threatened Stoke City on Monday night.
The way the Hammers started showed their intent when Marko Arnautovic looked to nod in a cross but saw his effort saved by the keeper’s legs.
It was happening down the other end too as Ramadan Sobhi picked up a pass from Xherdan Shaqiri that allowed him to have a go at Joe Hart, who covered it well in the end.
On 12 minutes, Shaqiri was at the heart of another move which saw the ball diverting out wide to Moritz Bauer to take it on the trajectory and fired at goal, but Hart once again came up with a save.
A free-kick fell to the home side six minutes later after a foul near the edge of the box. Full-back Aaron Cresswell drew a good save from Jack Butland after curling the ball up and over the wall.
The second-from-bottom Stoke were opened up on the half and hour mark by Inter Milan-owned Joao Mario, who played in Arnautovic but he shot wide from close range.
Pablo Zabaleta ran behind the defence and squared for Arnautovic, who shot straight at a starring Butland, before Mario missed an absolute sitter from a cross into the middle.
Both sides had labored starts to the second half, and West Ham thought they had gone in front but Arnautovic was correctly ruled for offside after sneaking just ahead of the defence.
The Potters then ran at pace through Bauer and Diouf, which led to a cross into the box for the latter but he skied the effort over the top.
Another opportunity to go in front was waved away by the match officials, who again correctly ruled out Manuel Fernandez’s first-time strike from outside the box.
Veteran Peter Crouch came off the bench and rekindled his predatory instinct to poke home the opener after Hart spilled Shaqiri’s initial effort on 79 minutes to become the club’s all-time top scorer in the Premier League.
The game was turned on its head with the hosts equalising with two minutes of second-half stoppage time remaining from another player coming off the bench in Andy Carroll, who volleyed home Cresswell’s cross for a crucial point.