Swirling wind helped a Begovic clearance bounce awkwardly and fly over counterpart Artur Boruc almost direct from kick-off: the Bosnia keeper shook his head instead of celebrating.
He had reason to react mutedly – later in the half he too was a victim of the conditions as a James Ward-Prowse cross hung for an age, allowing Jay Rodriguez to head into the ground, the freakish bounce looping the ball beyond Begovic and in.
Stoke started the second half brightly as Boruc atoned for the goal with a fine stop from Marko Arnautovic, but Southampton begun dominating possession and would have been good value for a win by the end.
Indeed, the visitors should have had a late penalty when Ryan Shawcross handled a Ward-Prowse free-kick, but it finished level as Southampton continued their strong run.
Pre-match – OSVALDO OUT: Southampton were without Pablo Osvaldo, linked with a return to Italy, after he failed to recover from a knock, although Steven Davis did make the bench.
1’ – GOAL (Stoke 1-0 Southampton): Begovic meets a backpass with a long punt. The wind sends it deep into the Stoke half, where the centre-halves let it bounce – but the wind helps it on further, the ball sailing over Boruc’s head and in.
8’ – CHANCE: Ryan Shawcross puts wide from six yards after kicking air – the ball struck his knee. Bad miss.
13’ – CHANCE: With Stoke looking the better side, Southampton have their first chance – and Dejan Lovren misses a sitter, heading wide unmarked at a corner.
41’ – GOAL (Stoke 1-1 Southampton): Another weather-induced goal as impressive youngster Ward-Prowse puts in another fine cross. The wind stands it up nicely for Rodriguez, who mis-connects with the header – but it bounces oddly into the turf and sails over Begovic before nestling in the far corner.
49’ – SAVE: Boruc with a super one-handed stop from Arnautovic after a rapid Stoke counter.
89’ – PENALTY APPEAL: Shawcross handles in the box after misjudging a Ward-Prowse free-kick. A clearer penalty appeal than Eric Pieters’ handball earlier.
Marko Arnautovic has featured in more games in 2013 without a single win than any other player in the top five European Leagues (19).
Stoke have gone seven games without a win, no side in the Premier League is on a longer run.
The Potters have conceded five goals in their last seven games at the Britannia Stadium.
TALKING POINT: Was Boruc at fault for Begovic’s opener? He was possibly too far off his line, and stumbled when he realised the ball was going over him, but was it a misjudgement or terrible luck? Hard to tell.
MAN OF THE MATCH
James Ward-Prowse (Southampton): With England perceived as lacking technique, there are several youngsters with a more modern approach to the game and Ward-Prowse is one of them. Comfortable on the ball and with excellent delivery, he is certainly one to watch.
Stoke: Begovic 7, Cameron 6, Shawcross 6, Huth 7, Pieters 6, Walters 6, Nzonzi 6, Ireland 6, Whelan 5, Arnautovic 6, Crouch 6; Subs: Palacios 6, Assaidi 6.
Southampton: Boruc 5, Clyne 6, Fonte 7, Lovren 6, Shaw 6, Wanyama 6, Schneiderlin 6, Ward-Prowse 7, Lallana 6, Rodriguez 7, Lambert 6; Subs: Ramirez 6.
THE MATCH IN A TWEET
- Sports & Recreation
- Asmir Begovic
- Artur Boruc
- Marko Arnautovic
- Ryan Shawcross
- Jay Rodriguez