STOKE boss Tony Pulis was left fuming after his ten-man team were denied a last-gasp winner – leaving Manchester City to climb into the top four.
The Potters thought they had clinched victory when Ryan Shawcross headed home a trademark Rory Delap throw-in deep into stoppage time.
But referee Alan Wiley ruled out the effort, penalising Shawcross for impeding City keeper Shay Given when replays suggested otherwise.
Up until then, Pulis’s side had more than matched their visitors, even without Abdoulaye Faye, who was sent off early in the second half for bringing down Emmanuel Adebayor.
Indeed, Stoke are becoming something of a thorn in City’s side after holding Roberto Mancini’s men to a 1-1 draw in the FA Cup on Saturday.
Their physical and direct approach caused problems for below-par City throughout and it was the Potters who, despite their numerical disadvantage, took the lead through Glenn Whelan’s close-range effort.
City, however, dug deep and equalised five minutes from time when Gareth Barry slotted home after his initial effort had come off a post.
Under the circumstances, Mancini would probably see this as a point gained rather than two dropped, but he knows to expect a similar rough ride when City return to the Britannia for their FA Cup replay next week.