English Premiership

Stoke hold Saints despite Arnautovic red

2016-12-15 06:43
Marko Arnautovic (AP)

Stoke-on-Trent - Stoke City survived the early dismissal of Marko Arnautovic to earn a 0-0 draw against Southampton on Wednesday in Mark Hughes's 400th Premier League game as a manager.

Austria international Arnautovic was shown a straight red card by referee Anthony Taylor in the 22nd minute for an ugly foul on Sofiane Boufal.

But despite Southampton dominating proceedings at the Bet365 Stadium, they could not find a path to goal, with substitute Jay Rodriguez failing to convert their best second-half chance.

Stoke, who have lost just two of their last 11 league games, remain 12th, while Southampton climb two places to ninth.

Stoke, who brought in captain Ryan Shawcross, Glenn Whelan and Jonathan Walters, were first to threaten, Joe Allen working Fraser Forster at his near post from Xherdan Shaqiri's pass.

But Southampton, showing four changes from Sunday's 1-0 win over Middlesbrough, looked bright, with Shane Long shooting wide.

Stoke's hopes took a knock mid-way through the first half when Arnautovic saw red for lunging in on Saints winger Boufal with his studs showing.

The hosts' 10 men held out without too much fuss until half-time, but in the second half they came under severe pressure.

Ten minutes in, Nathan Redmond flicked on a corner and with Long poised to pounce, Erik Pieters alertly headed the ball off the line.

Just beyond the hour, Ryan Bertrand took aim from distance with a powerful effort that drew a stunning save from Lee Grant, the Stoke goalkeeper soaring to his left to tip the ball away.

Visiting manager Claude Puel sent on Dusan Tadic and Rodriguez for Redmond and Long and with 22 minutes left Rodriguez squandered a glorious chance.

After Allen lost the ball, Steven Davis found Boufal, who slid a low cross towards Rodriguez at the back post, but under pressure from Bruno Martins Indi, the former Burnley man failed to make a contact.

Glen Johnson's failure to clear almost let in James Ward-Prowse with 10 minutes to play, but the England Under-21 midfielder saw his shot deflected behind.

Walters might even have snatched victory for Stoke late on, but after darting into the box, he could only poke a tame shot at Forster.

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