Sunday 9 December 2018

Stoke boss adamant that penalty row is behind players

Stoke City manager Paul Lambert. Photo: Reuters
Stoke City manager Paul Lambert. Photo: Reuters

John Percy

Paul Lambert insists there will be "no overspill" after the remarkable row between Charlie Adam and Jese Rodriguez over who should have taken Stoke City's late penalty in their 1-1 draw with Brighton.

Jese was furious after winning the penalty only for Adam to take the ball and then have his spot-kick saved by Brighton goalkeeper Mathew Ryan.

It leaves Stoke in serious trouble ahead of a testing run, with games against Manchester City, Arsenal and Spurs among their next six fixtures.

"They were both fine after the game. There were never any repercussions or overspill. We're a team and, if you've got spirit, it takes you an awful long way," said Lambert.

Stoke defender Erik Pieters defended Jese for his reaction. "Don't forget this guy is having a tough season," he said.

"The moment there is a penalty and the moment a striker can score, you want to score. I can completely understand.

"It's gone a little bit too far, but in my opinion emotion is part of the game. Everyone works hard, everyone wants to be that hero."

This felt like a huge opportunity missed by Stoke, who could still have won the game after Adam's penalty miss as Brighton's Anthony Knockaert headed Mame Biram Diouf's effort off the line in added time.

Yet, Brighton should have secured their first away win since November as they missed a string of chances after taking the lead through Jose Izquierdo's brilliantly workled goal.

Xherdan Shaqiri set up a dramatic finish with the well taken equaliser, though it was Australian goalkeeper Ryan who emerged as the hero with a brilliant save from Adam.

Ryan said: "It looked like a pretty soft penalty, but I was fortunate to pick the right way and keep it out.

" It just shows how much brilliant character there is in this team."

© Daily Telegraph, London.

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