Friday 23 March 2018

Peter Crouch joins Premier League 100 club but Everton earn draw on Seamus Coleman's 200th appearance

Stoke City's Peter Crouch celebrates scoring 100th Premier League goal
Stoke City's Peter Crouch celebrates scoring 100th Premier League goal

John Percy

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’s 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.

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.

Stoke’s climb up the table has gone under the radar and there has been much irritation at the bet365 Stadium that their 1-1 draw with Manchester United went unnoticed, with all the focus on Rooney breaking Sir Bobby Charlton’s record.

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, with Adam nearly catching out Robles with a trademark effort from 50 yards and Crouch heading wide from a corner.

Saido Berahino, the £12million signing, 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.

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