PAUL LAMBERT has blasted the officials as his Stoke City side slid to their 16th defeat of a disappointing campaign – losing 2-1 at home to Everton.
Speaking straight after the game, Lambert told the media: “The first goal was crucial, and it was offside.
“That’s the linesman’s side, how he’s missed that I don’t know, but it’s cost us today.”
The Potters started the game brightly, with Ramadan Sobhi and Xherdan Shaqiri getting some joy for Stoke on either flank creating chances for Badou Ndiaye and Joe Allen.
But things turned sour for Lambert’s side on the half-hour mark when his gamble to play Charlie Adam backfired as the Scotsman lunged in on Wayne Rooney, leaving referee Martin Atkinson no choice but to show Adam red – a decision which Lambert sympathised with referee Martin Atkinson.
“We started the game really well, I thought, which makes the red card even more disappointing.
“If you go with your studs in the modern game, you’re always taking a risk, and today, Charlie’s paid the price.”
The conditions were bordering unplayable at times, as the ‘Beast from the East 2’ entered proceedings, but Lambert refused to blame the weather for Adam’s red.
“The ball became a bit more slippy, and started to stick on the pitch a bit more which maybe influenced things, but I don’t think it played a part in the red card, no.”
Everton were patient with Stoke, and took the lead in the second-half when Yannick Bolasie’s cross was eventually turned in by Turkish striker, Cenk Tosun.
Stoke equalised shortly after as substitute Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting turned in Joe Allen’s superb cross with his only touch of the game as he had to be immediately stretchered off after appearing to pull his groin, but were caught sleeping only minutes after as Tosun grabbed his second of the game with a bullet header from Theo Walcott’s cross.
Tosun made it four in his last three for Everton, and visiting manager Sam Allardyce was full of praise for the front-man afterwards.
“You want the top-quality marksmen to help you out, and fortunately for us, we’ve got Cenk.
“Taking him out of the firing line, and giving him the opportunity to bond with him team-mates in Dubai and all the extra training has proved beneficial for him, and the club.”
Stoke now must wait 15 days until they next take to the field in the Premier League away at Arsenal and do something they’ve never previously done in the Premier League, and that’s to take all three points from the Emirates.