Tosun double lifts Allardyce after Stoke’s Adam sees red
Cenk Tosun has previously been held up as further evidence of Everton’s poor recruitment, but the £20million signing is now justifying his lavish transfer fee.
Tosun’s two goals ended Everton’s troubles on the road and sentenced Stoke, who had Charlie Adam dismissed, to a defeat that leaves them feeling the icy chill of the relegation trapdoor. The Turkish striker’s 84thminute header proved the crucial moment, earning Everton their first victory away from Goodison Park since Dec 13 and Sam Allardyce’s decision to utilise a sports psychologist already appears shrewd.
Tosun, a January signing from Besiktas, now has four goals in three games and this performance underlined his recent improvement as he adapts to the Premier League. It was only recently that Allardyce claimed Tosun was struggling to cope with the cold weather, yet he managed to perform perfectly well in blizzards here.
Allardyce said: “He’s got every sort of goal in his locker and the goals today show why we bought him. It’s not easy for players signed in January to make an immediate impact, but Cenk is getting there. You want the top-quality marksman to turn the game in your favour and he’s done that.
“Even though mathematically we are not safe, I don’t think anyone can catch us now.”
Paul Lambert, the Stoke manager, will probably need an escapologist af- ter this damaging defeat that keeps them in the bottom three. He has never been relegated as a Premier League manager, but time is running out for him to fulfil his latest assignment.
This was billed as a “must-win” game for the home team but the unpredictable weather and Adam’s controversial dismissal gave them a snowy mountain to climb. Adam had been restored to the team and was clearly eager to make an impression, but his lunge on Wayne Rooney was late and referee Martin Atkinson immediately produced the red card. Lambert spun round angrily in his technical area. He said: “I can understand why Martin has given the red card. I think if you go in with your studs in the modern-day game and you mistime a challenge you put yourself in a position to be red-carded.”
Everton’s opening goal had a whiff of inevitability about it and was a messy strike 21 minutes from time. Tosun’s header was saved by Stoke goalkeeper Jack Butland and then Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s effort was brilliantly cleared off the line by Kostas Stafylidis, only for Tosun to turn in the loose ball. Stoke deserved their equaliser for dogged persistence and substitute Maxim Choupo-Moting flicked Joe Allen’s 77th-minute set-piece past Jordan Pickford to set up a frenetic finale.
Any Stoke hopes of a precious point were ruined six minutes from the end by Tosun’s header, from a Theo Walcott cross, to end a dismal run of five successive away defeats for Allardyce.
Stoke (4-3-3) Butland 5; Johnson 5, Zouma 6, Shawcross 6, Stafylidis 6; Allen 7, Adam 4, Badou 5; Shaqiri 5 (Berahino 76), Crouch 5, Ramadan 6 (Choupo-Moting 72, Jese 79). Subs Haugaard (g), Bauer, Martins Indi, Fletcher. Booked Shawcross. Sent off Adam. Everton (4-3-3) Pickford 6; Coleman 7, Jagielka 6, Keane 7, Baines 6; Davies 5 (Calvert-Lewin 53), Gueye 6, Rooney 7 (Schneiderlin 87); Walcott 6, Tosun 8, Bolasie 5. Subs Robles (g), Martina, Niasse, Klaassen, Holgate. Booked Jagielka. Referee Martin Atkinson (West Yorkshire).
One man down: Stoke’s Charlie Adam (left) lunges in on Wayne Rooney, a foul for which the midfielder was sent off after half an hour