Hughes hails 'game changer' Crouch

Substitute Peter Crouch powering home his bullet header to help hosts Stoke City earn a point in a 2-2 Premier League draw with Leicester.
Substitute Peter Crouch powering home his bullet header to help hosts Stoke City earn a point in a 2-2 Premier League draw with Leicester.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • Stoke City manager Mark Hughes heaped praise on Peter Crouch after the veteran Englishman came off the bench to deny new Leicester City boss Claude Puel a second win in a week.

Hughes' side twice came from behind at the bet365 Stadium to draw 2-2 in the Premier League yesterday in a match which saw end-to-end action.

"We definitely deserved something out of that game," Hughes told BBC Sport after the game.

"First half, they got us on the counter and we allowed them to play in behind and you can't do that against Leicester with the likes of (Jamie) Vardy and (Riyad) Mahrez.

"We changed things in the second half and did well to come from behind twice.

"Peter Crouch was effective when he came on. He always gets himself into a good position and he understood what was required and changed the game for us."

Leicester, who beat Everton 2-0 last Sunday, took the lead in the 33rd minute when Vicente Iborra swept home the ball from a corner to register his first goal in English football.

The visitors had chances to immediately double their lead but it was Stoke who found the net six minutes after falling behind, with Xherdan Shaqiri racing on to a Maxim Choupo-Moting flick to equalise.

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On the hour, Leicester got their second goal when Mahrez fired into the bottom corner but 36-year-old Crouch had the final say, heading home Shaqiri's cross in the 73rd minute to snatch a point for the home side.

Despite losing the lead twice, Puel - who was appointed Leicester manager late last month following the dismissal of Craig Shakespeare - had only good words for his players.

"I am happy with the attitude of my players, it was a good game, good intensity and passion," the Frenchman told BBC Sport.

"We had a lot of chances today,it is difficult to accept one point, but it is an encouraging game which is important for the future."

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on November 05, 2017, with the headline 'Hughes hails 'game changer' Crouch'. Print Edition | Subscribe