English Premiership

Stoke edge closer to drop after Burnley draw

2018-04-23 08:03
Ashley Barnes (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Stoke City's hopes of avoiding relegation took a major blow as they were held to a 1-1 draw against an in-form Burnley side during Sunday's Premier League clash at the Bet365 Stadium.

The opening exchanges produced very little for either side as Stoke were cautious out of the blocks, while Burnley showed very little ambition going forward.

A goal came from virtually out of nothing in the 11th minute with Badou Ndiaye scoring from a strike after good work by Mame Biram Diouf. After Diouf got the ball just inside the area, he laid it off for Ndiaye who curled home an effort which took a slight deflection on its way in.

It remained a cagey first stanza with the Clarets seemingly in cruise-control mode having secured at least a top 10 finish in 2017/18. Nonetheless, Sean Dyche's men did muster a strike on goal in the 35th minute from a free-kick outside the area.

Johann Berg Gudmundsson hit his strike into the bottom left-hand corner but Jack Butland was alert and made an excellent diving save. 

Just before the interval, Stoke nearly doubled their advantage as Moritz Bauer broke down the right and sent a terrific cross into the box to an unmarked Diouf. With a clear sight of goal ahead of him, the Senegal star took a poor first touch and the chance was gone. It was a glorious opportunity for coach Paul Lambert's men.

After the break, the visitors came out strongly with Gudmundsson finding Jack Cork from a set-piece, though the midfielder's attempted flick was tipped over the bar by Butland. From the resulting corner, James Tarkowski was picked out and he saw his powerful header saved by the goalkeeper. 

Eventually the away outfit made their dominance count in the second period as Ashely Barnes showed his predatory instincts. From Ashley Westwood's delivery into the area, Tarkowski struck a header on goal which was parried by Butland. The rebound fell to Barnes who made it 1-1 in the 62nd minute.  

Both teams struggled to create many openings in the closing stages with the Bet365 Stadium emptying out of home supporters, as relegation to second tier seemed to be the reality for the outfit from Staffordshire.

With that said, substitute Stephen Ireland nearly stole the points for the home team with his strike from around 25-yards whistling just wide of goal with Nick Pope seemingly beaten. At the death, Gudmundsson came close to sealing three points but he was denied by Butland, before firing the rebound over.

Read more on:    burnley  |  stoke city  |  english premiership  |  soccer
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