English Premiership

Fellaini headbutt sullies draw

2012-12-15 21:26
Maraoune Fellaini (AFP Photo)

Stoke - Everton manager David Moyes said his Belgian midfielder Marouane Fellaini deserves to be punished for headbutting Stoke City's Ryan Shawcross in Saturday's 1-1 draw at the Britannia Stadium.

Fellaini clashed with Shawcross on the hour mark as the players jostled for position at a corner, but the incident went unnoticed by referee Mark Halsey and his assistants.

"He deserves to get the punishment. I've seen it, it's a terrible thing to do and I expect him to be punished. It's down to the FA. I've told him it's not acceptable and whatever he gets, he and us deserve it," conceded Moyes.

A first-half own-goal from Shawcross had gifted Everton the lead, but Kenwyne Jones struck seven minutes after the break as Stoke stretched their undefeated run to seven matches, while Everton drew for the eighth time in their last 11 outings.

The stalemate left Everton fourth on 27 points, two adrift of third-placed Chelsea, as Stoke remained ninth on 24 points and behind Arsenal on goal difference.

Steven Nzonzi wasted an inviting chance to give Stoke the lead as he headed straight at goalkeeper Tim Howard after Jonathan Walters had steered the ball into his teammate's path, while only a fine goalline clearance from Shawcross prevented Steven Naismith from putting the visitors ahead.

However, Shawcross was the villain soon after as he inadvertently headed Steven Pienaar's teasing delivery from the left beyond a helpless Asmir Begovic to hand Everton a 36th-minute lead.

Leon Osman squandered a chance to double the Toffees' advantage when he failed to hit the target after being picked out by Leighton Baines in the Stoke box, but the hosts emerged from the dressing room after the break looking revitalised.

Howard denied Charlie Adam, but the US international was caught out as Jones equalised on 52 minutes, climbing expertly to meet Shawcross' long diagonal ball and plant a header low into the corner for his first league goal of the season.

The Trinidad and Tobago striker then had an opportunity to give Tony Pulis' men the lead but shot wide from close range under pressure from Phil Jagielka.

Everton should have been reduced to 10-men following Fellaini's senseless act, which could have proved even more controversial as Nikica Jelavic subsequently forced a smart low save from Begovic.

Substitute Cameron Jerome almost made an instant impact for the home side after replacing Adam, drilling just wide of the post after his initial attempt was blocked by Sylvain Distin.

Howard then made a sprawling stop to deny Jerome again before Distin intervened with a vital headed clearance off the line to prevent Peter Crouch from putting Stoke ahead.

Pienaar manufactured a late chance to snatch a winner for Everton, but the South African dragged a tame effort well wide of the mark after running at the hosts' defence as Stoke equalled their longest unbeaten streak in the top flight.




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