Manchester City salvaged a point at Stoke to move top of the Premier League on goal difference from Manchester United, who now have a game in hand.

After a forgettable first-half, Stoke went ahead when Peter Crouch hit an unstoppable dipping shot from 25 yards.

But the visitors drew level when Yaya Toure's 35-yard strike deflected into the corner off Ryan Shawcross.

City's title rivals United now have the chance to open a three-point advantage when they host Fulham on Monday.

Following some much publicised verbal sparring with United in midweek this was City's opportunity to put some pressure on their neighbours but they seldom looked like doing so and remain without a Premier League win at Stoke since the Potters were promoted four years ago.

Platt happy City still on track

The opening period was notable more for two controversial challenges than for chances.

Gareth Barry was fortunate to escape either a card or a penalty for a crunching high challenge on Glenn Whelan that the Stoke man did well to recover from, then David Silva was floored in an aerial challenge with Dean Whitehead and had to be bandaged before he could continue.

As expected, the visitors adopted the more patient approach and carved an excellent chance when Samir Nasri freed Gael Clichy on the left. His cross found Edin Dzeko, deputising for the injured Sergio Aguero, but he headed over when well-placed at the far post.

MAN CITY ON THE ROAD

Manchester City have taken four points from their last four away league games and have failed to win in five visits to the Britannia Stadium

Pablo Zabaleta also found himself in an excellent position in space at the far post but opted for a square ball rather than a shot on goal.

Indeed, shots were at a premium and the closest either side came to breaking the deadlock was Stoke's first corner five minutes before the interval.

The left-footed set-piece from the right curled over Joe Hart in the City goal but Zabaleta atoned for his earlier miss by hooking off the line.

Roberto Mancini's title-chasing side looked more purposeful in the second half and Asmir Begovic had more to do in the first two minutes than in the entire opening period, advancing off his line to block Dzeko before making a low save to deny Nasri.

Crouch goal 'wonderful' - Pulis

But then came a moment of brilliance from Crouch, a strike that lit up the Britannia and had the vast majority of the crowd performing the famous "Poznan" jumping celebration favoured by the visiting supporters.

The ball did not touch the turf as Begovic launched a long kick downfield, Crouch got a touch to Jermaine Pennant, and the winger headed back to the gargantuan striker who flicked the ball up deftly and struck it sweetly over Hart into the top corner.

Tevez, who created more chances in his 24 minutes on the field during Wednesday's win over Chelsea than any other player on the field, replaced Barry midway through the half but could not achieve the same impact this time.

Crouch revels in 'best ever' goal

Even so, his team levelled with a spectacular effort of their own, as Toure's powerful strike flicked in off Shawcross, despite Begovic getting both hands to the shot.

Both Stoke substitute Wilson Palacios and Toure fired narrowly over with long-range efforts late on but it will be Manchester United who now feel they are in the driving seat as the focus switches to Old Trafford on Monday for the next instalment in the title race.

Stoke manager Tony Pulis:

"I felt the attitude, application and commitment of the players was fantastic and we had the supporters who were again amazing.

"We thought the challenge from Barry was a definite penalty. We were very disappointed.

"Crouchy's goal was wonderful. He does it in training. Technically he's very good - he is made for us.

"We need him to have a summer's break but if he gets called up for England everyone in the Potteries will be delighted for him."

Lineup, Bookings (3) & Substitutions (6)

Stoke City

  • 01 Begovic
  • 04 Huth
  • 17 Shawcross
  • 28 Wilkinson
  • 06 Whelan
  • 12 Wilson Booked
  • 18 Whitehead
  • 26 Etherington (Palacios - 81' )
  • 19 Walters
  • 25 Crouch (Jones - 90' )
  • 33 Jerome (Pennant - 51' )

Substitutes

  • 29 Sorensen
  • 20 Upson
  • 30 Shotton
  • 16 Pennant
  • 24 Delap
  • 40 Palacios
  • 09 Jones

Manchester City

  • 25 Hart
  • 02 Richards
  • 05 Zabaleta (Milner - 84' )
  • 22 Clichy
  • 28 K Toure
  • 18 Barry Booked (Tevez - 74' )
  • 19 Nasri
  • 21 Silva (Johnson - 62' )
  • 42 Y Toure Booked
  • 10 Dzeko
  • 45 Balotelli

Substitutes

  • 30 Pantilimon
  • 13 Kolarov
  • 15 Savic
  • 07 Milner
  • 11 Johnson
  • 34 De Jong
  • 32 Tevez
Ref: H Webb
Att: 27,535

Match Stats

Shots

10 16

On target

3 11

Corners

5 7

Fouls

15 12

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +5:48 Full time

Full Time The referee signals the end of the game.

90:00 +5:02

Wilson Palacios concedes a free kick for a foul on Samir Nasri. Free kick taken by Samir Nasri.

90:00 +4:04

Free kick crossed right-footed by Jermaine Pennant, Unfair challenge on Edin Dzeko by Kenwyne Jones results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Micah Richards.

90:00 +4:04 Booking

Booking The referee books Gnegneri Toure Yaya for unsporting behaviour.

90:00 +3:56

Gnegneri Toure Yaya challenges Wilson Palacios unfairly and gives away a free kick.

90:00 +2:28

Corner taken short by Jermaine Pennant.

90:00 +1:09 Substitution

Substitution Kenwyne Jones is brought on as a substitute for Peter Crouch.

90:00 +1:09

Shot from just outside the area by Gnegneri Toure Yaya goes over the bar.

89:40

Effort from just outside the area by Wilson Palacios goes over the target.

88:50

Marc Wilson delivers the ball.

88:04

Samir Nasri takes a shot. Andy Wilkinson gets a block in.

87:48

A cross is delivered by Gael Clichy, clearance by Glenn Whelan.

86:45

Robert Huth challenges Edin Dzeko unfairly and gives away a free kick. Mario Balotelli restarts play with the free kick.

85:43

Andy Wilkinson delivers the ball, Adam Johnson gets a block in. Corner from right by-line taken by Jermaine Pennant.

83:13

Jermaine Pennant takes the inswinging corner, Ryan Shawcross produces a header from deep inside the six-yard box that clears the crossbar.

83:13 Substitution

Substitution James Milner joins the action as a substitute, replacing Pablo Zabaleta.

83:13

Jermaine Pennant sends in a cross, Adam Johnson gets a block in.

81:03

Centre by Jermaine Pennant, clearance made by Micah Richards.

79:54 Substitution

Substitution Matthew Etherington leaves the field to be replaced by Wilson Palacios.

79:54

Adam Johnson crosses the ball.

78:31

Effort from outside the penalty box by Glenn Whelan goes wide right of the goal.

77:19

Samir Nasri concedes a free kick for a foul on Dean Whitehead. Free kick taken by Asmir Begovic.

76:56

Edin Dzeko takes a shot. Save by Asmir Begovic.

75:35

The assist for the goal came from Gael Clichy.

75:35 Goal scored

Goal! - Gnegneri Toure Yaya - Stoke 1 - 1 Man City Gnegneri Toure Yaya finds the net with a goal from long range to the top left corner of the goal. Stoke 1-1 Man City.

74:21

Foul by Carlos Tevez on Ryan Shawcross, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Asmir Begovic.

72:48 Substitution

Substitution Gareth Barry leaves the field to be replaced by Carlos Tevez.

72:48

Jonathan Walters has shot on goal from just outside the area which goes wide of the right-hand upright.

71:59

The ball is delivered by Jermaine Pennant, Micah Richards manages to make a clearance.

71:16

Gnegneri Toure Yaya takes a shot. Asmir Begovic makes a save.

69:39

Adam Johnson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Matthew Etherington. Asmir Begovic takes the direct free kick.

68:57

The ball is delivered by Adam Johnson, blocked by Robert Huth. Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Samir Nasri.

66:26

Mario Balotelli challenges Jermaine Pennant unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Asmir Begovic.

64:27

Free kick crossed by Adam Johnson, Marc Wilson makes a clearance.

64:27 Booking

Booking The referee cautions Marc Wilson for unsporting behaviour.

64:19

Foul by Marc Wilson on Adam Johnson, free kick awarded.

61:43 Substitution

Substitution Adam Johnson on for David Silva.

60:05

David Silva produces a left-footed shot from just outside the box that misses to the right of the target.

59:40

Foul by Glenn Whelan on Gareth Barry, free kick awarded. Gareth Barry restarts play with the free kick.

58:01

Assist by Jermaine Pennant.

58:01 Goal scored

Goal! - Peter Crouch - Stoke 1 - 0 Man City Peter Crouch grabs a goal from outside the penalty area to the top left corner of the goal. Stoke 1-0 Man City.

55:41

The referee gives a free kick against Gael Clichy for handball. Direct free kick taken by Asmir Begovic.

54:21

Jermaine Pennant concedes a free kick for a foul on Samir Nasri. Direct strike on goal from the free kick comes in from Mario Balotelli. Inswinging corner taken by Samir Nasri from the left by-line, Robert Huth manages to make a clearance.

53:59

Jermaine Pennant is ruled offside. Indirect free kick taken by Joe Hart.

51:45

Foul by Edin Dzeko on Robert Huth, free kick awarded. Ryan Shawcross takes the free kick.

50:29 Substitution

Substitution Jermaine Pennant joins the action as a substitute, replacing Cameron Jerome.

50:05

Jonathan Walters takes a shot. Save by Joe Hart.

49:33

The ball is swung over by Matthew Etherington, blocked by Pablo Zabaleta. Corner taken short by Glenn Whelan.

47:01

Samir Nasri takes a shot. Asmir Begovic makes a save.

45:39

Edin Dzeko takes a shot. Asmir Begovic makes a save. Samir Nasri takes a short corner.

45:01

The referee starts the second half.

45:00 +3:13 Half time

Half Time The first half comes to an end.

45:00 +2:36

The referee blows for offside against Edin Dzeko. Asmir Begovic restarts play with the free kick.

45:00 +1:47

Peter Crouch gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Gnegneri Toure Yaya. Joe Hart takes the direct free kick.

45:00 +1:35

The ball is swung over by Matthew Etherington, clearance by Kolo Toure.

44:27

David Silva gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Marc Wilson. Matthew Etherington delivers the ball from the free kick left-footed from left wing.

43:43

Mario Balotelli takes a shot. Asmir Begovic makes a save.

42:37

Gareth Barry fouled by Dean Whitehead, the ref awards a free kick. Joe Hart restarts play with the free kick.

41:55

Unfair challenge on Jonathan Walters by Samir Nasri results in a free kick. Ryan Shawcross takes the direct free kick.

41:00

Jonathan Walters concedes a free kick for a foul on Mario Balotelli. David Silva takes the free kick.

39:41

Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Matthew Etherington.

39:13

Mario Balotelli fouled by Andy Wilkinson, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Gareth Barry.

38:50

Matthew Etherington takes a shot. Kolo Toure gets a block in.

38:00

Free kick crossed by Glenn Whelan, Micah Richards manages to make a clearance.

38:00 Booking

Booking Gareth Barry goes into the book.

37:51

Gareth Barry challenges Cameron Jerome unfairly and gives away a free kick.

34:47

The ball is delivered by David Silva, Gnegneri Toure Yaya takes a shot. Asmir Begovic makes a save.

34:25

Samir Nasri decides to take the corner short.

32:41

A cross is delivered by Gael Clichy, Edin Dzeko has a headed effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the right of the goal.

31:13

Cameron Jerome has a headed effort at goal from just inside the box that misses to the right of the goal.

28:48

Unfair challenge on Mario Balotelli by Ryan Shawcross results in a free kick. The free kick is swung in right-footed by Samir Nasri, save by Asmir Begovic.

27:34

Headed effort from inside the box by Edin Dzeko misses to the right of the target.

27:00

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Mario Balotelli by Jonathan Walters. Direct free kick taken by Samir Nasri.

24:10

Dean Whitehead concedes a free kick for a foul on David Silva. Pablo Zabaleta takes the free kick.

21:02

Unfair challenge on Jonathan Walters by Gael Clichy results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Glenn Whelan.

20:26

Gnegneri Toure Yaya produces a right-footed shot from just outside the penalty area that goes harmlessly over the target.

18:49

Pablo Zabaleta takes a shot. Blocked by Glenn Whelan. Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by David Silva, Peter Crouch makes a clearance. Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by David Silva, clearance by Robert Huth.

15:59

Jonathan Walters has an effort at goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the left-hand upright.

14:21

David Silva takes a shot. Dean Whitehead gets a block in. Corner taken right-footed by Samir Nasri.

14:04

Centre by Gareth Barry.

13:19

Pablo Zabaleta crosses the ball, save made by Asmir Begovic.

12:05

Headed effort from deep inside the area by Peter Crouch misses to the left of the goal.

10:54

Gareth Barry gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Matthew Etherington. Glenn Whelan takes the direct free kick.

8:55

The ball is sent over by Jonathan Walters, save by Joe Hart.

8:29

The ball is swung over by Gael Clichy, save by Asmir Begovic.

7:57

Marc Wilson concedes a free kick for a foul on David Silva. Free kick taken by David Silva.

5:02

Foul by Mario Balotelli on Marc Wilson, free kick awarded. Asmir Begovic takes the direct free kick.

1:46

Dean Whitehead challenges Edin Dzeko unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Samir Nasri.

0:00

The ref blows the whistle to start the match.

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