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Shaqiri Stunner Secures A Point

Xherdan Shaqiri

STOKE CITY survived a late Leicester City onslaught to claim what could ultimately be a precious point in their quest for Premier League survival at the King Power Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Paul Lambert’s men took a 1-0 lead into the half-time interval with them thanks to yet another sensational individual effort from Swiss maestro Xherdan Shaqiri, who let rip a trademark 25-yard effort into the bottom corner of the net.

For long periods it looked like that goal was going to be enough to record only a second away triumph of the term for the travelling side.

However, a hugely unfortunate Jack Butland own goal 20 minutes from time pulled the hosts back on level pegging, before both sides traded blows as they searched for what would have been a decisive third goal of the afternoon.

Youngster Tyrese Campbell was thrust on for the final 30 minutes, and whilst the 18-year-old, who has scored 17 times at U23 level this season, caused a nuisance of himself it was Shaqiri who often looked the man most likely to forge a second Potters breakthrough.

At the other end, Butland atoned for his earlier error my making a sensational save to deny the impressive Riyad Mahrez, before making an even better stop to fingertip Harry Maguire’s thumping effort on to the post.

The home side were clearly buoyed by their fortuitous avenue back into the contest and looked like they could go on to break the hearts of Lambert’s desperate and determined troops late on.

Charlie Adam’s mistimed header gifted Mahrez another sight at goal, but once more he found Butland in inspired form as the England ace and Kurt Zouma combined to block the Algerian’s seemingly goal-bound effort.

Moritz Bauer’s late foray down the right should have culminated in Campbell being freed inside the 18-yard box, but the Austrian pulled the ball straight into the path of Wes Morgan rather than the feet of the Academy starlet.

It was at the opposite end of the field that the match was very nearly won however, when Matty James was presented with a glorious opportunity six-yards out, but watched on with anguish as his header hit the inside of the post before the outstanding Kostas Stafylidis smashed the ball away from danger.

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