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Tottenham 2 Stoke City 2: Late fightback stuns Pochettino´s men

Mame Biram Diouf and Marko Arnautovic were on target as Stoke City stunned Tottenham with a late fightback to draw 2-2 at White Hart Lane in the Premier League on Saturday.

First-half goals from Eric Dier and Nacer Chadli put Tottenham in command and on course to gain revenge over Mark Hughes’ side, who did the double over the London club last season.

Stoke refused to lie down, though, and substitutes Joselu – making his top-flight debut – and Stephen Ireland made telling impacts as the visitors struck twice in the last 12 minutes to salvage a point.

Arnautovic pulled a goal back from the penalty spot after striker Joselu was brought down by Toby Alderweireld, then Diouf headed home an Ireland cross seven minutes from time to stun the home side, whose new signing Clinton N’Jie watched on from the stands.

Jack Butland had made a string of saves to keep Stoke in it, while Diouf was thwarted by Hugo Lloris before his persistence finally paid off as Tottenham were unable to respond to their defeat at Manchester United with a victory.

Lloris returned to the Tottenham starting line-up to make his 100th appearance for the club after the France goalkeeper was confirmed as captain amid speculation over a move to Manchester United, while Ryan Mason replaced Nabil Bentaleb.

Stoke boss Mark Hughes reacted to the defeat against Liverpool by making just one change, with fit-again midfielder Arnautovic starting at the expense of Charlie Adam with record signing Xherdan Shaqiri unavailable due to suspension.

Lloris breathed a sigh of relief when his casual stray pass gifted Diouf a sight of goal, but the Tottenham keeper redeemed himself by saving the striker’s shot before Mason blocked Marco van Ginkel’s follow up.

It was Tottenham who were in front 19 minutes in, with the impressive Christan Eriksen – who forced two early saves from Butland – swinging over a corner which Dier rose to meet at the near post after losing his marker.

Stoke showed more of a threat late in the first half and Diouf should have equalised two minutes before the break when he headed straight at Lloris.

Butland then produced a fine save with his feet to deny Mason after Harry Kane picked him out with a fine pass, but Tottenham were not to be denied a second goal in first-half stoppage time.

Kane once again showed there is more to his game than goals when he lifted a pass in front of Ben Davies, who surged forward and found Chadli with a pinpoint first-time cross and the winger clinically volleyed home.

Butland made an outstanding save from point-blank range to deny the lively Kane a goal on his 50th top-flight appearance early in the second half as Stoke troubled to contain the home side.

Hughes brought on Joselu and Ireland before the hour-mark and the latter made an impact almost straight away when he delivered a cross which Diouf again headed too close to the agile Lloris.

Arnautovic pulled a goal back from the spot 13 minutes from time after Alderweireld hauled down Joselu after he had turned sharply in the area.

And there was worse to come for Tottenham, as Diouf glanced Ireland’s inviting cross in after 83 minutes to complete the comeback.

Sat 15 Aug, 2015
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