LIVERPOOL: Marko Arnautovic scored a last-gasp penalty as Stoke City beat Everton 4-3 in a thrilling game at Goodison Park on Monday (Tuesday in Manila).
Arnautovic beat Tim Howard from the spot as the match moved into stoppage time after the Austrian forward had gone down under a John Stones challenge inside the area.
It was a dramatic end to a humdinger of a game as Everton came away with nothing despite Romelu Lukaku scoring twice to take his tally to 11 goals in his last 10 games and go level with Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy atop the Premier League scorers’ charts with 15 for the season.
It was a second straight home loss for Everton and a blow to their European hopes, while Stoke followed their 2-0 win against Manchester United on Boxing Day to go above their opponents and into eighth in the table.
Everton boss Roberto Martinez was furious with referee Mark Clattenburg for awarding the penalty.
“It is such a wrong call. Someone with his experience should understand the game a bit more,” he said.
“Clearly John Stones gets a touch of the ball and from that point on you can see there is a doubt from the referee.
“He does not give it straight away, so he wants confirmation, and he waits for the linesman — who is probably about 45 yards away from the incident — to give him his view.
“It is very disappointing at that point for us to lose a draw.”
Mark Hughes’s side had beaten United thanks to goals by Bojan Krkic and Arnautovic and that duo were involved when the visitors opened the scoring on a blustery Merseyside afternoon.
The game was just 16 minutes old when Bojan accelerated into the area down the left and found Arnautovic, the big Austrian helping the ball on to leave Shaqiri with an easy finish for his first Stoke goal.
Everton were only behind for six min-utes, though, as Ross Barkley and James McCarthy combined to set up Lukaku, who turned and fired past Jack Butland having been played on by Erik Pieters.
Brendan Galloway shot just wide and Seamus Coleman might have had a penalty when he went down under a Pieters tackle as the home side pushed forward, but Stoke were back ahead thanks to a stunning goal just before the interval.
Bojan’s superb cross-field pass caught out the Everton defence and Swiss former Bayern Munich star Shaqiri outpaced Galloway before beating Howard with a sublime first-time chip that sailed into the net.
Again Lukaku struck to bring Everton level just after the hour mark as he controlled a long ball forward from substitute Tom Cleverley before smashing past Butland to make it 2-2.
It was his eighth goal in his last seven Premier League games at Goodison and he was involved again as Everton took the lead for the first time on 71 minutes, finding Barkley before the England man’s ball across goal was turned in by Gerard Deulofeu.
Martinez’s side looked set to go and win it but they were denied as Stoke hit back again with 10 minutes remaining.
Howard could only help on a cross from the left by Arnautovic and substitute Joselu volleyed in at the back post, the goal the 40th scored at Goodison in 10 games this season, but not the last of the day as Arnautovic won it.
Hughes was full of praise for Shaqiri.
“We’re delighted for Shaq. In recent weeks his influence on games has been really high. The only thing missing before today was goals.”