Wednesday 23 August 2017

Gareth Southgate watches Jack Butland protect Stoke goal from Hammers

West Ham could not find a way past Jack Butland
West Ham could not find a way past Jack Butland

Stoke and West Ham shared the spoils in a goalless draw as Jack Butland kept his first clean sheet since his return - and in front of watching England manager Gareth Southgate.

The Potters reached the 40-point mark but they had no joy in an attacking sense as Saido Berahino was denied a first goal for the club by Winston Reid's fine block and Adrian's terrific save.

Southgate, who missed the Manchester derby on Thursday in favour of attending a rugby league game, witnessed Butland make just his second appearance since he fractured his ankle while on international duty last March.

Butland impressed with saves from Andre Ayew and Manuel Lanzini ahead of a possible Three Lions return in June.

There were few English players in either side for Southgate to cast his eye over but one of them, Berahino, was hoping to open his Stoke account 427 days on from his last goal for West Brom.

Marko Arnautovic's pull-back found the forward in the eighth minute, yet Reid had other ideas as he flung himself in front of Berahino's powerful shot to prevent a certain goal.

Berahino's barren spell has not stopped Stoke's supporters warming to the former Baggies striker and his luckless start to life in Staffordshire was summed up when he lost this footing as Xherdan Shaqiri looked to play him through.

Another block, this time from Jose Fonte, prevented him from converting Joe Allen's cross, while the former Southampton captain was equally alert to stop Arnautovic turning home Glen Johnson's pull across.

The Hammers lacked creativity outside of Lanzini but Ayew did display some ingenuity with an overhead kick that provided Butland with his first test, one he duly passed.

He was less assured when rushing out to deal with a long ball that Jonathan Calleri was chasing along with Bruno Martins Indi, with Ryan Shawcross eventually able to tidy up when Butland failed to clear.

The visitors might have entered the break ahead had Calleri opted from a simple finish when his cross came back to him via a combination of Shawcross and Butland, but the Argentinian's decision to try a right-footed rabona as opposed to a left-footed finish meant it was blocked by Martins Indi.

Slaven Bilic called for Aaron Cresswell at the start of a second half which the Potters began brightly as Allen volleyed into the netting and both he and Shaqiri forced Adrian into saves.

Both of those were considerably more straightforward than the effort he produced to repel Berahino, throwing out his right hand to tip the forward's low first-time effort around a post.

Butland got in on the act too at the other end, parrying out Ayew's chance which came at a comfortable height before thrusting out a leg to deny Lanzini during the same attack.

The views of the two managers were epitomised by the substitutions they made in the 69th and 70th minute - Bilic taking off striker Ayew for midfielder Noble and Hughes introducing forward Crouch for midfielder Allen.

As it was, Crouch could not provide another match-winning contribution from the bench and it was Arnautovic who came closest to winning it when he reached Shaqiri's cross only to see Adrian save and then scoop the ball wide to protect his clean sheet.

Press Association

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport