Everton won 1-0 against Stoke City, though they had plenty of chances to win more handily. Their opponents on the day came close a couple of times, but the Toffees rode their luck to pick up three points.
The first half didn’t start off too well for Everton who took their time to settle into the game. They did end up at halftime with 61% of the possession and showing good speed in transition as they counterattacked and then cycled the ball. A goal however eluded them as often they tried to be too cute or took a touch too much when a shot would have worked better. The shot differential was 10-3 at the break for the hosts, and 8-0 for shots on target.
The only goal of the game came from a Leighton Baines penalty. Ashley Williams looked to have been tripped in the Potters’ area during a corner, and referee Michael Oliver did not hesitate to point to the spot. Baines’ penalty was well-placed but Shay Given got a hand to it, pushed the ball onto the post and it bounced back into the net off the back of his head.
The home side took their foot off the pedal after that, relying on counter attacks while Stoke controlled possession. There were chances for both teams in the last half hour, but the Blues held firm for the win.
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