Sunday 21 January 2018

Crouch reboots the Robot after joining elite band with landmark strike

Stoke City 1-1 Everton

Peter Crouch performs his ‘Robot’ celebration after scoring against Everton. Photo: Reuters
Peter Crouch performs his ‘Robot’ celebration after scoring against Everton. Photo: Reuters

Ian Herbert

Peter Crouch had promised to dust off the infamous robot dance when he scored 100 Premier League goals.

And two days after turning 36, Crouch was busting the moves after celebrating the latest landmark in a top-flight career that began in March 2002 under the late Graham Taylor.

The Stoke striker will not have scored many more simple goals in the century but it was the memorable moment in a frustrating evening for Mark Hughes.

Stoke dominated for long periods but could not find a winner after Ryan Shawcross' own goal was controversially given by referee Craig Pawson late in the first half.

And it could have been even more excruciating, with Stoke goalkeeper Lee Grant producing an outstanding save from youngster Tom Davies with four minutes to go.

Yet this game will always be remembered for Crouch's historic goal, which came in the seventh minute as he provided the finishing touch to a clinical counter-attack.

Charlie Adam's sublime long pass sent Marko Arnautovic clear, as Everton's offside trap went horribly awry, and the Austrian's cross presented Crouch with a simple finish four yards out.

The robot celebration, first seen more than a decade ago, returned as Crouch joined an elite club which includes Alan Shearer, Thierry Henry and Wayne Rooney.

Asked about how it felt doing his robot celebration for the first time in a while, he said: "A bit stiff to be honest. It's been 10 years, I think I'll have to retire it. Weddings and parties only now."

It could have been 101 goals in the 25th minute, Crouch volleying just wide after a flick-on from Ibrahim Afellay, and Stoke appeared in control.

Everton could have been blown away, with Arnautovic denied by Joel Robles, but equalised out of nowhere six minutes before the break. Seamus Coleman found space in the area and his low shot deflected off Shawcross and over the line. Pawson initially disallowed the goal as Romelu Lukaku was offside but then overruled assistant Dave Bryan to infuriate Hughes and his players.

Stoke regained control in the second half and £12m recruit Saido Berahino was introduced for his debut with 23 minutes to go and nearly came close to a winner, only for his chip over Robles to be cleared by Ramiro Funes Mori.

But Stoke were indebted to Grant late on, as the keeper dived full-length to claw Davies' header away from the corner.

Independent News Service

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