A 10-man Stoke City sank further into relegation peril after Cenk Tosun’s brace secured a dramatic 2-1 win for Everton at bet365 Stadium on Saturday.
Tosun netted both goals amid a chaotic 15-minute period in the second half that was split by what seemed to be a vital Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting equaliser.
The Potters had lost Charlie Adam to a straight red card for a loose, late tackle on Wayne Rooney in the 30th minute, giving the Toffees the perfect incentive to pursue a first Premier League away victory in seven attempts.
And they looked to be course when Tosun, in an apparent offside position, poked home his first in the 69th minute.
The home side defied their numerical disadvantage to briefly halve the deficit through Choupo-Moting and inspire hope of a precious result in what was billed as the embattled club’s biggest league game in 10 years.
Instead, Turkey international Tosun popped up to complete his brace – and score a fourth goal in three matches – to inflict back-to-back home defeats on Paul Lambert’s men, who remain mired in the bottom three.
— Everton (@Everton) March 17, 2018
Lambert recalled Adam in a bid to inject his goal-shy side with more creativity but it was at the other end that the 32-year-old almost had an unwelcome early influence.
Caught napping on a Rooney free-kick, Adam’s failure to track Tom Davies was spared by the Everton midfielder’s inability to keep down an uncontested header.
Peter Crouch – replacing Jese at the point of attack – next nodded wide in similar fashion, the striker unable to adequately crane his neck from Glen Johnson’s cross.
Conditions grew more difficult as the half wore on, with visibility impeded by persistent heavy snow, although referee Martin Atkinson had no hesitation in dismissing Adam on the half hour.
The former Scotland international was shown a straight red for catching Rooney with a studs-up challenge as both players stretched for the ball.
2006 – Charlie Adam is the first player to be sent off in the Premier League for a foul on Wayne Rooney since Sam Sodje for Reading in December 2006. Quirky.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 17, 2018
Having failed to truly test Jack Butland over the opening 50 minutes, Sam Allardyce was compelled to introduce Dominic Calvert-Lewin after Davies was shaken by an unfortunate collision with the Stoke goalkeeper.
Rooney began to look ominous with an increase in tempo, unfurling two tame attempts either side of Everton appeals for handball in the area.
The tension was eventually broken by Tosun with just over 20 minutes remaining, the in-form forward firing home amid a goalmouth scramble in which his initial attempt at a header appeared to have come from an offside position.
But the Potters regrouped to equalise eight minutes later as substitute Choupo-Moting turned in Joe Allen’s free-kick.
The Cameroon international injured himself in the process and proceedings quickly went from bad to worse for Lambert, with Tosun stooping to head in Theo Walcott’s cross in the 84th minute.
1 – Cenk Tosun is the first Turkish player to score a brace in a Premier League game since Tuncay Sanli in 2008 (vs. Aston Villa). Impression. pic.twitter.com/f6TDLdAKFe
— OptaCan (@OptaCan) March 17, 2018
That proved the decisive moment in securing Everton a league double over Stoke for the first time since 2008-09, the latter’s debut Premier League campaign.
Key Opta stats:
– Everton have won just their second Premier League away game of the season, ending a run of five straight defeats on the road.
– This is the first time Stoke have lost both league meetings against Everton in a single season since their first campaign in the Premier League (2008-09).
– Charlie Adam was the first player to be sent off for a foul on Wayne Rooney in the Premier League since Sam Sodje for Reading in December 2006.
– Since 2008-09, Stoke have had 14 red cards in Premier League home games – only Manchester City (15) have had more in that time.
– Paul Lambert’s side are winless in seven Premier League games – only West Brom are on a current longer run (8).
– Cenk Tosun has now scored in each of his last three league games for Everton, after failing to score in his first four for the club since joining from Besiktas.
– Tosun also became the first Turkish player to score a Premier League brace since Tuncay Sanli for Middlesbrough against Aston Villa in November 2008.
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