Peter Crouch Scores 100th Premier League Goal
2 February 2017 Sport
Veteran striker Peter Crouch scored his 100th Premier League goal as Stoke were held to an entertaining draw at home to Everton.
Crouch, 36, applied a simple finish early in the first half to bring up his century almost 15 years on from opening his account for Aston Villa against Newcastle in April 2002 – a goal scored against his current Stoke team-mate Shay Given.
Everton equalised when Seamus Coleman, on his 200th league appearance for the Toffees, saw his cross-shot fly in off Stoke defender Ryan Shawcross.
The goal was initially ruled out for offside after Romelu Lukaku strayed beyond the last Stoke outfield player, but after a conversation between referee Craig Pawson and his assistant, the decision was reversed.
Stoke were incensed by the decision, their frustration no doubt compounded by the knowledge that they should already have been out of sight, with Crouch seeing a crisp volley flash just wide and Marko Arnautovic denied superbly by Joel Robles when one on one.
Both sides had chances to take all the points in the second half, with Stoke new boy Saido Berahino almost marking his debut off the bench with a goal only for Ramiro Funes Mori to head off the line, while Everton teenager Tom Davies saw a bullet header saved brilliantly by Lee Grant.
The stalemate sees Stoke move into ninth place on 29 points, while Everton – eight points better off – stay seventh.
Crouch has had a varied 20-year professional career, taking him from non-league football on loan with Dulwich Hamlet in 1999 all the way to a Champions League final with Liverpool in 2007.
He has played for 10 different clubs – including two separate spells at both Portsmouth and Tottenham – but while the surroundings have been ever-changing, the constant has been goals.
Crouch had hit 28 in the second tier for QPR and Portsmouth before he was handed a chance at the top level with Aston Villa in 2002. He marked his debut with a goal against Newcastle on the same day that Alan Shearer, on the opposing side, scored his 199th in the competition.
Fifteen years on, Crouch is still doing the business, and found himself in the right place to put Stoke ahead in the seventh minute, turning the ball home from six yards after Charlie Adam’s long ball forward was brilliantly brought down and laid off by the influential Arnautovic.
Crouch’s strike sees him become the 26th man to bring up 100 Premier League goals and further underlines the renaissance the former England striker has enjoyed in recent months.
Last season, Crouch appeared surplus to requirements, featuring in just 18 games and failing to score in the league, but this term he has repaid manager Mark Hughes’ faith in spades, with seven goals in all competitions.