Dec 4, 2013, 4:50 PM EDT
An ugly game at the Britannia saw Stoke City pummel Cardiff City with pressure all match but fail to score in a 0-0 draw Wednesday.
Mark Hughes’ side blew opportunity after opportunity, and credit must go to the Cardiff defense that never offered an easy chance to Peter Crouch and company.
No sooner had we gotten under way than Stoke begun lumping long balls down the pitch towards Peter Crouch.
Cardiff struggled to gain a foothold early, and after the early long ball barrage Stoke began to build more fluidly. In fact, through 10 minutes Cardiff had just 17% of the game’s possession.
Both teams were incredibly sloppy in possession, and both teams fouled needlessly throughout the first quarter of the match.
Finally, Stoke began to produce some creativity around the 28th minute. Charlie Adam was the most impressive Potter, as he fed Crouch twice in the box but the imposing striker was well defended. Marko Arnautovic also threaded Oussama Assaidi through but the ball just too far.
Cardiff’s lone first-half chance came in the 40th minute, when a Jordan Mutch header forced Asmir Begovic into a diving save.
Geoff Cameron begun to press forward a bit, and as Stoke continued to push into the box a great cross from Arnautovic found Crouch who flicked on to Cameron and then into the goal but the American was offsides.
Goalless at the break, it was more of the same in the second half, as tempers began to flare a bit. Frazier Campbell and Peter Crouch both went in the book of referee Michael Oliver during some extra-curricular activities on a free kick.
Assaidi collected a great ball with space on the wing in the 68th, and sent in an accurate cross which Crouch rose to but headed over.
It was Stoke’s day to press and push for a goal, but they couldn’t get the job done. Muniesa fired over in the 81st, Adam went wide in the 86th, and a free kick ended up behind in the 88th.
Both teams earn a point but both remain in the bottom half, even on 15 each.
Stoke City – Begovic; Cameron, Shawcross, Wilson, Pieters (Muniesa, 45′); Arnautovic, Whelan (Ireland, 65′), Nzonzi, Adam, Assaidi; Crouch.
Cardiff City - Marshall; Theophile-Catherine, Caulker, Turner, John; Whittingham, Medel; Gunnarsson, Mutch, Cowie; Campbell (Odemwingie, 77′).
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Have your say on where van Gaal’s side will finish this campaign.
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