Reaction from the bet365 Stadium as Stoke City play out 0-0 draw with Cardiff in the Championship
Stoke City have been held to a goalless draw by Cardiff as both sides were unable to find a finishing touch.
Stoke were looking for their fourth win on the spin coming into this match while Cardiff were bidding for a third – but chances weren’t taken at either end in the first half at the bet365 Stadium and were at a premium in the second.
Stoke had the lion’s share of possession up to the break and Dwight Gayle had two decent opportunities. The first was made by Wouter Burger galivanting down the right wing and clipping a low cross in with the outside of his left foot. Gayle controlled on the corner of the six-yard box but sent a bouncing shot past the far post.
The second was made by Daniel Johnson, releasing Gayle down the inside right channel and behind the defence. Jak Alnwick committed himself to a one-on-one on the corner of the box and Gayle was in two minds about whether to take him on or shoot. He ultimately went with the latter but hit the keeper’s legs.
Mehdi Leris also sent a shot spinning past the right post when he was able to control and turn on the penalty spot.
Cardiff have mastered this kind of game in recent weeks and had their moments too. Mark McGuinness should have done better when he was found at the back post by a Joe Ralls cross but he headed wide. Callum Robinson almost got lucky when he cut in from the left and his shot was deflected off Luke McNally and clipped the post with Jack Bonham wrong-footed.
Cardiff crept further into the Stoke half in the second half without getting into a position to really work Bonham.
Alex Neil tried to get onto the front foot by throwing on Sead Haksabanovic and Wesley, then Bae Junho, but chances were at a premium. It wasn’t really until injury time that Bonham was worked, diving low to his left to keep out a shot from local lad Ryan Wintle.
Here are the player ratings from the bet365 Stadium…
Bonham: Took command at Cardiff corners and was well positioned to deal with any shots, particularly low late save vs Wintle. 7
Hoever: Some expert control to bring down long passes as he looked to exploit space down the right wing and played his part in another clean sheet. 7
Stevens: A couple of useful blocks at corners and largely steady work, a couple of misplaced passes aside, at left-back. 6
McNally: Reading the game well at the moment, stepping up to make sure he takes responsibility along the back line. 7
Rose: Ready to take on physical challenge up against Meite but has to be careful not to undo good work with wayward passes. Decent header from corner. 6
Pearson: Tried to knit everything together and his mopping up when Stoke were out of possession helped keep pressure up. 7
Burger: Some incisive passing, short and long range, and able to drive forward with the ball himself at times. 6
Johnson: Not all intricate stuff came off but good ball to release Gayle in first half. 6
Vidigal: Pulled inside to find pockets of space but final pieces didn’t really fall his way, with good defending from Ng. 6
Leris: Turn and shot just wide in first half. The clearest outlet up front at times and covered a lot of ground. 6
Gayle: Two good first half chances, clipping first wide and the hitting one-on-one into Alnwick. Tried to get behind defence but couldn’t quite get timing right. 6
Haksabanovic (for Vidigal, 58): A frustrated cameo, unable to find the pass to go with a bit of skill or running into a brick wall. 6
Wesley (for Gayle, 58): Threw himself around in the Cardiff half but played quite far from goal. 6
Junho (for Johnson, 67): Stoke probably at their brightest in the second half when he could get on the ball. 6
Gooch (for Leris, 82): Busy, darting around from front to back and right to left and clipping in crosses. 6
Laurent (for Burger, 82): Late entrance and got into good position for volley that went horribly over. 6
Not used: Fielding, Tchamadeu, Clark, Lowe.
Referee: Oliver Langford (West Midlands) 4