Friday 20 April 2018

Hughes rues missed chances

Stoke 0 Manchester City 0

Sachin Nakrani

Given the previous four league meetings between these sides here had ended 1-1, it was no great surprise to see this encounter end in stalemate, yet for Stoke there is the nagging sense that they missed an opportunity to claim a notable scalp.

The hosts had at least five good chances to score and condemn a lacklustre Manchester City side to defeat. Facing the club that sacked him four years ago, Mark Hughes no doubt feels the greatest frustration.

Between them, Kenwyne Jones and Jonathan Walters could have scored enough times to have secured what would have been a fourth successive win in all competitions for Stoke this season. Instead poor finishing let Jones down on three occasions and Walters once early in the first half. The Republic of Ireland international may also feel he could have done better at the start of the second half when he just failed to connect with Geoff Cameron's inviting loss cross.

"We're disappointed not to have won," Hughes said. "In terms of chances created we had the better of the game and that was probably the only thing missing from our performance. But overall we're happy with our performance."

On a day when City simply didn't perform, they needed Joe Hart to at least salvage a point; it was little wonder that Manuel Pellegrini was full of praise for his goalkeeper. "I have always trusted Joe Hart," said the City manager. "This was a good point for us."

For Stoke, all three were there for the taking.

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