Stoke City beat Everton 4-3 at Goodison Park in a thrilling festive fixture in the Premier League on Monday afternoon.
Stoke took the lead after only 16 minutes as Xherdan Shaqiri swept home, but their advantage only lasted six minutes until Romelu Lukaku fired the Toffees level.
Shaqiri restored Stoke’s lead on the stroke of half-time with a wonder goal, however Lukaku equalised once again for the hosts. Everton took the lead for the first time through Deulofeu in the 72nd minute, but Joselu hit back for Stoke with ten minutes remaining. Arnautovic eventually won the game from the penalty spot with a controversial late penalty.
Stoke and Everton had both gone into the game in good spirits after Boxing Day wins over Man United and Newcastle United respectively.
Stoke started the brighter and deserved their lead. They dominated the opening ten minutes, with Marko Arnautovic being unlucky not to get a clearer opportunity after being played in by Bojan.
Bojan was the architect of the opening goal. Some magnificent trickery on the left flank saw him glide past two Everton defenders, he then picked out Arnautovic who in turn played a cute ball to Shaqiri, and the Swiss international made no mistake from close range.
Six minutes later Everton were level. It was another beautifully worked goal; James McCarthy deftly slipped the ball to Lukaku, and the 22 year old side-footed home from the edge of the area.
The goal of the day was Shaqiri’s second in the 44th minute. Bojan pumped a long ball up the field from deep in his own half, Shaqiri quickly scampered after it and managed to play a wonderfully cushioned first-time lob over the head of Tim Howard.
The first twenty minutes of the second half went mostly in Stoke’s favour, so when Lukaku popped up with an equaliser in the 64th minute it was somewhat against the run of play.
Manchester United reject Tom Cleverley was the creator as played a perfect long ball onto the Belgian’s chest. Lukaku controlled it brilliantly, then hammered home from a narrow angle.
Everton took the lead for the first time with twenty minutes remaining. Geoff Cameron was dispossessed by Steven Naismith on the half-way line. The Scottish striker picked out Ross Barkley inside the penalty area and he played the ball across the six-yard box, where Gerard Deulofeu was waiting to tap home.
The goals kept flowing, and ten minutes later it was 3-3. Substitute Joselu was the scorer – Tim Howard flapped at an Arnautovic cross and the Spaniard rifled the loose ball into the roof of the net from eight yards out.
Stoke won the game in the 90th minute from the penalty spot. John Stones was harshly judged to have brought down Arnautovic, and the 26 year old stepped up to smash home from 12 yards.
The result sees Stoke move temporarily into eighth place, while Everton stay tenth.
Next up for Stoke is an away game at West Brom on the 2nd January which is swiftly followed by the first leg of the League Cup final against Liverpool three days later. Everton will welcome Tottenham to Goodison on Sunday, then host Manchester City in their own League Cup semi-final on the following Wednesday.
Everton: Howard 6; Coleman 6, Funes Mori 6, Stones 6, Galloway 6; Barry 7, Barkley 8, McCarthy 7 (Cleverley, 26 mins, 7 (Naismith, 65 mins, 6)); Kone 7, Deulofeu 8, Lukaku 9.
Stoke City: Butland 7; Pieters 6, Johnson 7, Shawcross 6, Wollscheid 6; Cameron 7 (Walters, 78 mins, 6), Afellay 7, Whelan 7, Arnautovic 8, Shaqiri 9 (van Ginkel, 87 mins, 5) ; Bojan 7 (Joselu, 64 mins, 7).