Stoke City 1 Man City 1
GARETH BARRY struck a late equaliser as Manchester City claimed a controversial draw at 10-man Stoke to move fourth in the Premier League last night.
Barry cancelled out a fine Glenn Whelan strike five minutes from time at the Britannia Stadium but Stoke thought they had won it in injury time when Ryan Shawcross headed in a Rory Delap throw-in.
But Roberto Mancini’s men, who should have taken control after Abdoulaye Faye was sent off on 52 minutes, were reprieved as referee Alan Wiley spotted a foul on Shay Given.
The two teams face each other again in an FA Cup replay next week.
Before then City face Liverpool, and it was perhaps with that game in mind that Mancini rang the changes last night.
The Italian left Wayne Bridge, Pablo Zabaleta, Stephen Ireland, Shaun Wright-Phillips and Martin Petrov on the bench. Micah Richards, Javier Garrido, Patrick Vieira, Roque Santa Cruz and Johnson were called in.
After 25 minutes of soaking up pressure — including four dangerous Rory Delap throws — City finally created a clear-cut opportunity when a Richards cross was flicked on by Santa Cruz but Barry sliced horribly wide.
City went down the direct route themselves after the break and Adebayor caught the Stoke defence napping on 52 minutes as he raced onto a long ball from Given. The Togo striker had the beating of Faye had the defender not dragged him down by the shirt 35 yards out. Wiley brandished a straight red card.
The Potters snatched the lead after 72 minutes following a break by Delap down the left.
The Irishman’s cross was missed by Fuller but Johnson sliced his attempted clearance into the path of the onrushing Whelan who hit a powerful 20-yard strike the bottom corner.
City hauled themselves level five minutes from time after a punt into the box was headed on by Adebayor. Barry raced behind him to hook a shot onto the post but then reacted quickly to tuck home the rebound.
Stoke thought they had won it when Given missed a Delap throw but Shawcross’ header was disallowed for a foul on the keeper.
STOKE: Sorensen, Huth, Shawcross, Abdoulaye Faye, Higginbotham (Collins 46), Delap, Whitehead, Whelan, Lawrence (Diao 60), Sidibe, Fuller (Beattie 80).
MAN CITY: Given, Richards (Zabaleta 81), Toure, Lescott, Garrido (Wright-Phillips 60), Adam Johnson (Petrov 86), Vieira, De Jong, Barry, Santa Cruz, Adebayor.
Referee: A Wiley (Staffordshire).
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