Two-goal Cenk Tosun the hero as Everton down 10-man Stoke

Stoke 1 Everton 2: The January signing's two goals were enough as the Potters' relegation fears were only heightened on a bitter afternoon at the Bet365 Stadium

Ian Whittell
Bet365 Stadium
Saturday 17 March 2018 18:01
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Cenk Tosun was Everton's hero with a brace
Cenk Tosun was Everton's hero with a brace

Despite the freezing conditions this game hinged on one player unable to keep a cool head while another in red-hot form who used his to win it.

This had been a desperately poor affair played in equally desperate conditions but if it had favoured anyone then it was Stoke.

But as the snow continued to fall the red mist descended on Charlie Adam and with it went the advantage the home side had held.

Maybe their chances of survival went with it.

Adam saw red for a late lunge on Rooney

Stoke were reduced to 10 men after his lunge on Wayne Rooney, Everton eventually found a way through, the home side levelled but in the end, a diving header from Cenk Tosun settled in.

Everton win for only the second time away from home in the league this season and reach Sam Allardyce's 40 point target while for Stoke and Paul Lambert the reason for alarm will only heighten.

They have seven games to stay in the Premier League and will have to cling on to the determination they showed here as precious consolation.

Against an Everton team with one of the worst away records in the country and panicked by the height of Peter Crouch and any cross pumped into their box, Stoke will have increasingly fancied it would be their afternoon.

And so did their supporters.

Stoke battled on with 10 men after Adam's dismissal

Lambert's players had been distinctly average but Allardyce's outfit had been worse and in the battle to avoid relegation doing whatever it takes is all that matters.

But on the half hour mark, and in trying to make up for over-running the ball, Adam lunged recklessly on Rooney which left the Everton man clutching his ankle in agony and referee Martin Atkinson reaching for his red card.

Stoke's fans were incensed and would jeer every touch Rooney made thereafter but there was no denying it the Scot had to be dismissed.

For Everton, it was the leg-up their torrid away form needed but in the pursuit of only a second win on the road in the league this season, against 10 men they managed to get worse before getting better.

Mercifully for everyone at the bet365 Stadium, the snow showers eased after the break but improving conditions were not met with a spike in quality.

Tosun gave Everton the lead with the first of his two goals

For Stoke it had become an exercise in hanging in for a precious point, chancing their arm on the counter-attack, while Allardyce knew this was an opportunity he, and his players, could ill-afford to pass up in their hopes of securing a long-term future at Goodison.

They were making a ham-fisted attempt at trying to win the game, with substitute Dominic Calvert-Lewin infuriating his manager when miscontrolling Rooney's pass which put him in the clear before they resorted to Michael Keane trying his luck from 35 yards.

But with just over 20 minutes remaining, Everton bundled home the opening goal.

Yannick Bolasie's cross was glanced goalwards by Tosun, Butland saved well, Calvert-Lewin's follow-up was cleared off line by Kostas Stafylidis but Everton's Turkish striker reacted quickest to smash home from close range.

It was Tosun's third goal in as many games following a slow start to life at the club after his £27m switch in January and should have been enough.

He would need to score another.

Choupo-Moting thought he'd scored the equaliser (Getty)

Lambert, with sleeves rolled up throughout the game despite the Arctic weather, has at least injected some resilience into this Stoke side and eight minutes after going behind they were level.

Joe Allen's free-kick to the post was poked home by the unmarked Choupo-Moting who was injured for his troubles and had to be taken off.

Everton were rocking and it was Stoke who looked the likelier but in a second period was wild as the weather, Tosun struck a second time.

Theo Walcott's delivery was met by a brave diving header which Jack Butland could only help into the goal.

Everton rejoiced. Stoke were left with a sinking feeling in the snow.

Stoke (4-3-3): Butland 6; Johnson 5, Zouma 6, Shawcross 6, Stafylidis 6; Allen 7, Adam 5, Badou 5; Shaqiri 5 (Berahino 76 5), Crouch 6, Ramadan 6 (Choupo-Moting 72 7) (Jese 78 5).

Everton (4-3-3): Pickford 6, Coleman 6, Keane 6, Jagielka 6, Baines 6, Gueye 6, Rooney 6 (Schneiderlin 88 6), Davies 6 (Calvert-Lewin 53), Walcott 6, Tosun 8, Bolasie 5 (Holgate 90 6

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