Stoke 3 Southampton 3: Late Jerome stunner preserves Potters' unbeaten home record
17:20 GMT, 29 December 2012
A stunning 90th-minute volley from Cameron Jerome secured a point for 10-man Stoke in a highly-eventful draw with strugglers Southampton at the Britannia Stadium.
The Potters looked like they would pay for uncharacteristically poor defending in the first half, but fought back and substitute Jerome had the final say with a thumping volley from 30 yards.
Stoke had conceded only four goals at home in the Barclays Premier League all season and boasted the best defensive record in the division, but shipped three in the first half.
Stunner: Jerome celebrates after his long-range volley
Stoke: Begovic, Shotton, Huth, Upson, Wilkinson (Whitehead 70), Kightly (Crouch 75), Whelan, Nzonzi, Etherington (Jerome 57), Walters, Jones.
Subs not used: Sorensen, Palacios, Owen, Adam
Goals: Jones 16, Upson 67, Jerome 90
Booked: Jerome. Sent off: Nzonzi
Southampton: Kelvin Davis, Hooiveld, Yoshida, Fonte, Shaw (Fox 82), Puncheon (Richardson 85), Schneiderlin, Cork, Rodriguez, Do Prado, Lambert
Subs not used: Boruc, Steven Davis, Ramirez, Mayuka, De Ridder.
Goals: Lambert 10, Rodriguez 24, Wilkinson OG 36
Booked: Fonte, Rodriguez
Referee: Mark Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear)
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MCaptain Ryan Shawcross and full-back
Geoff Cameron were both serving one-match suspensions for picking up
five yellow cards, with Matthew Upson and Ryan Shotton coming in, and
the reshuffle seemed to unsettle the Potters.
Poor defending allowed Rickie Lambert to open the scoring 10 minutes in
and, although Kenwyne Jones soon equalised, Jay Rodriguez was presented
with Saints' second in the 24th minute.
An Andy Wilkinson own goal in the 36th minute summed up a miserable half
for the hosts, but they responded in the second period and Matthew
Upson pulled one back in the 67th minute.
Steven Nzonzi was sent off soon after but Stoke kept pressing and got
their reward, sending Southampton back into the bottom three.
Defensive stability has been one of Stoke's key strengths and there were
signs the changes would have a big effect when Southampton scored in
the 10th minute.
It was the first chance of the game and would have infuriated Stoke boss
Tony Pulis as none of his defenders cut out Guly Do Prado's cross and
Lambert had the simple task of poking in at the back post.
The hosts should have been level inside two minutes when Nzonzi's shot
was deflected to Jones in space at the back post, but somehow he skewed
his shot wide.
However, the big striker made amends in the 16th minute in some style with a lovely backheel from Ryan Shotton's low cross
Flying start: The Southampton players celebrate Rickie Lambert's opener at the Britannia Stadium
Stoke looked the more likely to add to their tally at that point but
they well and truly shot themselves in the foot to hand Southampton a
second goal in the 24th minute.
There did not look too much danger when Lambert swung in a cross from
the right but Robert Huth beat his goalkeeper to the ball and poked it
against the bar, leaving Rodriguez a tap-in.
The visitors had their tails up, with Jason Puncheon causing a lot of
trouble on the right, and he twisted and turned his way past Andy
Wilkinson before firing in a shot that Asmir Begovic pushed behind.
All square: Kenwyne Jones was in the right place to equalise for Stoke
Puncheon played a key part in Saints' third goal after 36 minutes, with
his cross headed towards goal by Lambert before Wilkinson stabbed it
over the line.
Stoke started the second half brightly, no doubt responding to a few
choice words from Pulis, and Michael Kightly fired in a shot from
distance that Kelvin Davis comfortably held onto.
There was a worrying moment for Pulis when Huth and Wilkinson clashed
heads, drawing blood from both, but they were bandaged up and able to
continue, although Huth had to change his shorts as well as his shirt.
We'll take it: Lambert (far left) and Jay Rodriguez were celebrating after Andy Wilkinson's own goal
Pulis threw on a third striker as Jerome replaced Matthew Etherington,
and Stoke began to pepper the Southampton box with crosses.
It was not all about the hosts, though, and Saints really should have
added a fourth in the 65th minute as they split Stoke's defence open
Lambert played in Rodriguez, who was denied by a fine save from Begovic,
but the ball fell to Do Prado with the goal gaping only for the striker
to shoot wide.
Three an easy: Rodriguez (left) looked to have won the game for the visitors
And that miss looked very costly a minute later as Stoke pulled one
back. For once Southampton failed to deal with a corner and Upson
squeezed his shot under Davis, who should have done better.
The Potters then appealed vociferously for a penalty when Jose Fonte
appeared clearly to handle a cross in a challenge with Jones, but
referee Mark Clattenburg was unmoved.
And Stoke's hopes of getting something from the game were then dealt a
real blow when Nzonzi was shown a straight red card in the 71st minute
for a challenge on Jack Cork.
Cut up: Robert Huth was left bleeding after a collision with Stoke team-mate Wilkinson
The midfielder caught Cork with a painful blow but it looked a harsh
decision and Nzonzi was clearly unhappy as he left the pitch.
Pulis made his final change, sending on Peter Crouch for Kightly,
meaning Michael Owen would have to be content with a return to the bench
after two months out of the squad.
Seeing red: Nzonzi is sent off by Mark Clattenburg
Jerome was booked for protesting that Maya Yoshida had handled in the
area as the hosts desperately sought a late equaliser, and when the
striker did put the ball in the net shortly after he was rightly flagged
Jerome was not to be denied, though, crashing in a tremendous shot off
the underside of the bar as the clock ticked towards 90 minutes, and
Stoke might even have won it but Davis kept out a Crouch header at the