Stoke boss Hughes hails Shaqiri, gives credit to referee

Date published: Monday 28th December 2015 8:02

Mark Hughes was delighted for Xheridan Shaqiri after the Stoke star notched his first Premier League goals in the thrilling 4-3 victory at Everton. 

The Potters went in at half-time at Goodison Park 2-1 up after Shaqiri scored twice – the second a sublime effort – either side of a Romelu Lukaku strike.

The hosts subsequently fought back as Lukaku notched his second equaliser of the game in the 64th minute and Gerard Deulofeu put them 3-2 up in the 71st.

But Stoke substitute Joselu then brought things level once again with 10 minutes to go, before Arnautovic made the most of the opportunity to wrap up victory in stoppage time, converting from the spot after referee Mark Clattenburg judged the Austrian had been fouled in the box by John Stones.

Shaqiri’s opener rounded off a fine team move, while his second was a sublime solo effort sent floating from his boot over the stranded Tim Howard from the edge of the box as he met a Bojan Krkic delivery first time.

And Hughes, whose men were building on the 2-0 Boxing Day win over Manchester United and moved up to eighth in the Barclays Premier League, said: “We’re delighted for Shaq.

“In recent weeks his influence on games has been really high.

“The only thing missing before today was goals.

“He was always at some point going to make an impact for us and he is starting to do that to great effect, and the goals will help that process even more.

“I was obviously really delighted with the second finish, which showed great technique, but the first goal arguably is just as satisfying because it was a great team goal with Shaq on the end of a good move.”

Lukaku made it 2-2 in the 64th minute and Gerard Deulofeu then put Everton ahead before substitute Joselu’s leveller 10 minutes from time and Arnautovic’s late winner.

Roberto Martinez was furious with referee Clattenburg’s decision to award a penalty but Hughes says it was “the right decision”.

The boss said: “I didn’t think he was going to give it, but credit to Mark – he took his time and thought it through, and I think he made the right decision.

“People will say maybe it was a soft one. Whether the Everton player got contact on the ball will be debated I’m sure, but he has obviously got a lot more contact on Marko Arnautovic and impeded him, and he wasn’t able to get a shot off as a consequence. So you would argue it was a correct call.”

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