Burnley hold Stoke in drab draw

Date published: Monday 24th August 2015 1:14

Burnley hold Stoke in drab draw

The home side appeared keen to sign off at home with victory but Jack Butland impressed under the watchful eye of England U21 manager Gareth Southgate as he foiled compatriot Danny Ings and the lively Ashley Barnes.
Mame Biram Diouf could have grabbed all three points for Stoke but was only able to fire one of his efforts on target  and that was smothered by Clarets goalkeeper Tom Heaton.
Burnley return to the Championship with their heads held high, while the Potters will achieve consecutive top-10 finishes with a record points total of at least 51.
The Clarets’ relegation was confirmed last weekend, but that didn’t stop them starting the game in energetic form. They had all the early chances, but Butland stood firm in just his third Premier League appearance of the season.
His first save came from Ben Mee 15 minutes into the game, before Ings – expected to depart in the summer – tried to test him, the 22-year-old pushing the ball to safety on his right.
It took 20 minutes for Stoke to create anything that resembled a real chance as Marko Arnautovic crossed into the box from the left, but no one was there to get a touch on it.
Burnley went straight up the other end with Ings in on goal but he failed to get enough power behind the ball and Butland dropped low to collect it.
The visitors’ play got better towards the end of the first half with Charlie Adam, in particular, trying to give his side the lead.
Five minutes before the break, Jonathon Walters crossed expertly from the edge of the box but Diouf could only head wide. It was a sign of things to come for the striker.
The home side thought they should have had a penalty at the start of the second half after Arnautovic’s lightweight back-pass saw Shawcross and Barnes go down in the box as Butland cleared, but the referee waved play on.
In the 53rd minute Barnes sent a ball across goal that deserved to be converted but neither Ings or former Bolton player Matthew Taylor was alert enough to knock it past Heaton.
Taylor’s next involvement came on the hour mark when his shot from 15 yards was deflected and Butland was there to send it wide.
Many thought Jason Shakell had gifted Diouf a goal in the 66th minute when he allowed the Stoke striker to get goal side, but once again the Senegal international missed the target.
As the game wore on neither team seemed keen to exert too much energy, a touch of quality to break the deadlock proving elusive.
Matt le Tissier’s Soccer Saturday verdict
“Burnley started the first half very well and they had chances but I don’t know if it’s a lack of composure or a lack of confidence in front of goal. In the end they were maybe a little bit fortunate to get away with a point because the best chances of the game both fell to Mame Biram Diouf at the end.
“Stoke would probably argue they could have taken three points from this game but Burnley were just a little bit toothless. It was almost like an end of season game really.”
Player ratings
Burnley: Heaton (7), Trippier (7), Shackell (6), Duff (6), Mee (6), Arfield (6), Jones (6), Taylor (6), Boyd (7), Barnes (7), Ings (6).
Subs: Vokes (5), Kightly (5),Ulvestad (5).
Stoke City: Butland (8), Cameron (6), Shawcross (5), Muniesa (7), Pieters (6), Whelan (6), Nzonzi (7), Walters (6), Adam (6), Arnautovic (7), Diouf (5).

Subs: Odemwingie (6), Sidwell (5), Crouch (6).
Man of the match: Jack Butland

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