Manchester City's chase for first place got a little bit tougher on Saturday when they could only manage a draw against Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium. Peter Crouch put the Potters on top after a scoreless first half with a brilliant strike, but a deflection on a Yaya Toure screamer was all City needed to answer that goal and earn a 1-1 draw.
Stoke opened playing, well, like Stoke. They were organized defensively, put men behind the ball and relied on some speed to counter-attack quickly as well as the occasional set piece to get a chance at goal. Manchester City spent a lot of time on the ball, but they didn't create many more chances than Stoke, needing to expose themselves at the back and throw men forward just to break Stoke down.
As typical as Stoke played, how they scored was very unlike Stoke, though. Peter Crouch popped a ball up at the corner of the 18-yard box and hit a perfect, lopping shot that went over the hand of the outstretched Joe Hart before dipping under the bar. It was nothing short of brilliant and sent the Stoke fans wild.
That 59th minute goal would not last 20 minutes, though. Toure got some space for more than 30 yards and ripped a great shot, but it got really wicked when it took a deflection. Asmir Begovic was wrong-footed by the deflection and while he was able to get a hand to the shot, he couldn't keep it up.
The Citizens pushed on late and if any team was going to win, it should have been them, but it was hardly a fluid performance and Stoke did what they do best to nab a point.