Premier League - Stoke and Cardiff play out dreary draw

Premier League, Britannia Stadium - Stoke City 0 Cardiff City 0

Neither team wanted to give an inch in the early exchanges, as a scrappy, interrupted flow developed for the first half an hour.

Stoke City were intentionally direct in their play with Peter Crouch the most dangerous option for the Potters without creating in front of goal.

Crouch did create an opening for Geoff Cameron to convert on 44 minutes, but the American drifted offside before finishing past David Marshall.

In a second half devoid of Premier League quality, or composure in possession, the best chance fell to Mark Hughes’ side as Oussama Assiadi crossed for Crouch who missed from six yards.

But in sharing the spoils, both sides move up and have a little more breathing space from the relegation zone in 14th and 15th respectively.

KEY MOMENTS

44’ – OFFSIDE GOAL: Stoke do have the ball in the net with a minute remaining of the half. Arnautovic crosses for Crouch whose knock-down was finished sweetly by Cameron, but the American is caught in an offside area.

59’ – FLASHPOINT: A few players clash in Stoke’s defensive wall with Fraizer Campbell tumbling over. Peter Crouch gets booked, but Charlie Adam is equally involved and already on the yellow card at that point. Lucky boy.

67’ – CHANCE: We’ve seen Peter Crouch burst the net from these positions before, so this one is missed opportunity for Stoke. Assiadi crosses from the byline and Crouch misjudges his attempt.

90+1’ – SHOT: Young Declan John bursts into life for Cardiff and forces Asmir Begovic into action late in the game.

KEY STATS

Stoke remain unbeaten in four Premier League home matches, while Cardiff City are now winless in four away games.

This is Stoke’s best streak since February 2012 – January 2013 when they went 17 home games unbeaten.

Stoke City edged the possession statistics with 56% over Cardiff’s 44% - but the hosts had only two shots on target.

MATCHCAST : FULL COMMENTARY AND STATS

TALKING POINT

Do either side have the attacking quality to avoid relegation? Let’s be frank, these are two bang average sides. Luis Suarez has scored more goals in the Premier League on his own than Stoke or Cardiff. After moving away from Tony Pulis’ direct style, Mark Hughes reverted 180 degrees back to aimless long-balls with no hint of success. Malky MacKay, on the other hand, sees his side go back-to-back matches without scoring in the Premier League.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Declan John (Cardiff City): It was pretty tough to pick any standout performer from either side. But, as an 18-year-old and in his second Premier League match, John equipped himself well against the enigmatic Marko Arnautovic. Solid all-round game with decent distribution from the back.

PLAYER RATINGS

Stoke City: Begovic 6; Cameron 6, Shawcross 6, Wilson 5, Pieters 5; Arnautovic 5, Nzonzi 5, Whelan 5, Adam 6, Assaidi 6; Crouch 6, Muniesa 5, Ireland 5

Cardiff City: Marshall 6, Caulker 6, Turner 6, Whittingham 6, Medel 6, Campbell 6, Gunnarsson 6, Mutch 6, Cowie 5, Theophile-Catherine 5, John 7, Odemwingie 5

THE MATCH IN A TWEET