Mark Hughes hails Peter Crouch after striker scores 100th Premier League goal

02 February 2017 07:24

Stoke boss Mark Hughes expressed his delight at a landmark goal for Peter Crouch and frustration at Everton's equaliser after his side drew 1-1 with the Toffees at the Bet365 Stadium.

Crouch, who turned 36 on Monday, netted for the 100th time in the Premier League as he gave the Potters the lead in the seventh minute with a close-range finish, before celebrating with his well-known 'robot' dance routine.

Hughes said of the striker: "It is a great story, a great moment for everybody who was here to witness it.

"It is a special moment for him and his career - and we saw the robot dance coming out to good effect, and I think everyone enjoyed that moment.

"I'm really pleased for Peter and I have to say since he has come back into the team he has been excellent. I thought he was very good again tonight. He took his goal really well.

"He has hit a milestone that was something special to him.

"He probably thought that maybe it had passed him by, but he still stuck at it, has been professional and waited for his opportunity, so credit to him."

Hughes joked that the celebration was "a bit rusty", and added: "The significance of the moment is huge for Peter.

"He is in a select group of players that have had a real impact at Premier League level, and no-one can take that away from him. He is a great guy but a great player as well."

Everton levelled in the 39th minute through a goal it initially appeared would not be awarded, with the flag going up when Seamus Coleman struck the ball and it ended up in the net.

A few moments later referee Craig Pawson, after speaking to his assistant, signalled that it was a goal, and replays of the incident showed that, while Romelu Lukaku may have been in an offside position, it was not he but Stoke captain Ryan Shawcross who the ball had hit on its way in.

Hughes felt the effort should not have stood.

"In my view it's offside," Hughes said.

"He (Lukaku) is in an offside position when the ball is played by his team-mate. It has obviously hit Ryan on the way through but he is in an offside position and made a movement as the ball goes past him.

"My view is if you make a movement, then you are distracting the keeper - you don't have to be in the eyeline.

"In fairness to the referee, he got surrounded by a lot of Everton players, but he really should have been a little bit stronger in my view, made the decision and got on with the game.

"But as it was, he caved in a little bit, went over and consulted.

"I think, having heard what the guys have said, the linesman said he flagged for offside because he thought Lukaku touched the ball. Clearly he didn't but even so, I still think it is offside."

Everton boss Ronald Koeman admitted he had sympathy with Hughes, but thought the correct decision had been made in the end.

"It's difficult - I can understand Mark and the people of Stoke being disappointed, because it was strange," the Dutchman said.

"First everyone expected it was offside.

"I was watching the clip of the goal and then it's easy - it's a goal and a good, right, final decision from the referee.

"But it took time and that, I think, was difficult to understand."

Everton remain seventh, while Stoke are up a place to ninth.

Source: PA

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