By William Wood | In Match Reports - Home Games
Stoke City earned a replay at the City of Manchester Stadium as they claimed a 1-1 draw with Manchester City in the FA Cup fifth-round, with Micah still sidelined.
England manager Fabio Capello was in attendance to cast his eye on the possible internationals on display, and City’s contingent were the most keen to press forward early on as the hosts tested the water in their opponent’s half.
Emmanuel Adebayor was under the watchful eye of each Stoke defender, Robert Huth paying close attention in particular as he dispossessed the Togo striker, whilst Martin Petrov’s dangerous cross almost reached him only for Thomas Sorensen to dive at his feet and retrieve the ball.
However, Roberto Mancini’s men grabbed the lead following a series of comedy errors. First, the linesman failed to notice that Shaun Wright-Phillips had strayed offside slightly, allowing the winger to latch on to Stephen Ireland’s ball over the top. Next, Sorensen rushed out only to miss the ball, whilst Ryan Shawcross also failed to clear the ball, and thus Wright-Phillips was able to tap home.
The goal somewhat took the sting out of the game with both sides neat and tidy in midfield but lacking bite in the final third, though Liam Lawrence’s shot on goal was blocked well by Wayne Bridge to keep City in front.
Stoke began to use the long-ball to try to trouble the home side, as well as Rory Delap’s notorious throw-ins, while Danny Higginbotham’s powerful volley had Given beaten but evaded the far post.
City perhaps deserved their lead at half-time, and three quick-fire injuries to Stoke players seemed to undo Tony Pulis’ game plan as he was forced into using all three substitutes with 55 minutes on the clock.
However, the visitors were soon level in typical fashion. Delap launched in a long throw which found Ricardo Fuller, and the Jamaican beat Pablo Zabaleta and Ireland to power home his head to make it 1-1.
Zabaleta immediately looked to make amends as he slid through a delightful ball for Wright-Phillips, but the midfielder slipped as he lined up a shot before Gareth Barry forced Sorensen into a stunning save with a header.
Patrick Vieira did his utmost to inject life back into City, winning the ball in midfield, kick-starting counters and having a shot blocked by Shawcross, but in the end Stoke held on for a replay – to be played on the 24th February – as Mancini’s already congested fixture list welcomed another addition.
Man City: Given, Zabaleta, Toure, Lescott, Bridge, Wright-Phillips, Barry, De Jong, Petrov, Ireland, Adebayor Subs: Taylor, Onuoha, Santa Cruz, Garrido, Sylvinho, Vieira, Boyata
Stoke: Sorensen, Wilkinson, Huth, Shawcross, Higginbotham, Etherington, Diao, Whelan, Sanli, Sidibe, Fuller Subs: Simonsen, Lawrence, Beattie, Kitson, Pugh, Collins, Delap
Man City: Wright-Phillips (11’)
Stoke: Fuller (57’)