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.
opening exchanges produced very little for either side as Stoke were cautious
out of the blocks, while Burnley showed very little ambition going forward.
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.
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
Berg Gudmundsson hit his strike into the bottom left-hand corner but Jack
Butland was alert and made an excellent diving save.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.