Stoke and Hull play out a stalemate
14th December 2013 17.30
Attendance: 23, 324
Stoke City and Hull City played out a goalless draw in Saturday`s late kick off.
Both teams had opportunities to win the game, with Stoke having arguably the better chances, but both goalkeepers were determined to keep clean sheets.
Steve Bruce named an unchanged side to the one that draw at the Liberty Stadium on Monday, whilst Mark Hughes started with the eleven that finished the 3-2 win over Chelsea on Saturday afternoon as goal scorers Stephen Ireland and Oussama Assaidi came in for Charlie Adam and the suspended Jonathan Walters.
Hull started off the better of the two sides and should have opened the scoring a number of times in a dull first half, where chances were limited.
Ahmed Elmohamady forced Asmir Begovic in to a smart save as the Egyptian hit a dipping half volley from 25-yards out.
The Egyptian then turned provider as he beat young Spanish full back Marc Muniesa before finding Sagbo who smashed the ball towards goal, but Begovic managed to save at his near post.
Curtis Davies should have taken his side into the break with a goal lead, but he could only direct his header wide from a Tom Huddlestone cross, when it seemed easier to score.
Stoke came out for the second half revitalised after a disappointing first half and had a hatful of chances to take all three points.
Although the Tigers nearly took the lead early on in the second half as Elmohamady went close again, as he beat Muniesa this time in the air, but Bosnian Begovic was up to the challenge again as he rushed across his goal to keep his clean sheet intact.
The Potters nearly punished the Tigers for their missed opportunities as good pressure from Austrian Marko Arnautovic stole the ball off Maynor Figueroa and made a bee line for the goal. Stoke had a two-on-one situation, but Arnautovic was forced to delay his pass as Assaidi strayed offside, which allowed the Honduras full back to recover and stop Arnautovic from finding the on-loan Moroccan.
A right let off for Hull.
Stoke continued to push forward in search of a winner and did have the ball in the back of the net after some tremendous work from Assaidi on the right wing. He managed to tee up Geoff Cameron, who swung in an inch perfect cross to Peter Crouch, who forced Allan McGregor into a smart save but the ball fell to Stephen Ireland, who tapped home from 4 yards out. The goal was ruled out though as the Irishmen had strayed offside from Crouch`s initial header.
The Potters continued to push forward in the hope of breaking the deadlock, and Shawcross came the closest as his looping header struck the crossbar with the goalkeeper beaten.
Crouch had another opportunity to get on the score sheet as he volleyed Stephen Ireland`s driven cross at goal, but McGregor was once again on top of his game and managed to parry wide.
Hull managed to hold on a for a point, in what was a fair result on the whole.
The captain has been in top form since being partnered with Marc Wilson as he has been able to concentrate on his defending instead of his distribution. He was unfortunate not to score and was a rock at the back.