Saturday 17 February 2018

Begovic saves the day for Stoke

Stoke City 0 Cardiff City 0

Asmir Begovic
Asmir Begovic

Si Hughes

This was a numbing encounter played in the numbing cold, absolutely undeserving of a winner.

Neither team possessed the courage to take the game to the other. But then, as Stoke had won only one in 10 and Cardiff one in seven, it was hardly surprising.

Stoke fans roared for a penalty when Peter Crouch ran into Steven Caulker rather than the other way around. They groaned when Oussama Assaidi miscontrolled after a fine pass from Marko Arnautovic. Crouch was booked for a push on Frazier Campbell when the culprit was Charlie Adam.

Cardiff had the best chance, from a corner-kick taken by Don Cowie. Jordan Mutch moved to head in what surely would be the opener, but Asmir Begovic was there.

It is clear where Stoke's most significant problem is. Under Tony Pulis, they crossed too much. It became one-dimensional. Under Mark Hughes, they cross too little.

Crouch was isolated. When a delivery did come his way in the second half, Ben Turner prevented him from progressing. Perhaps it should have been a penalty. Yet this scoreline was appropriate. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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