Thursday 22 August 2019

Arnautovic sees red in Stoke stalemate

Stoke City's Marko Arnautovic. Photo: Clint Hughes/PA Wire.
Stoke City's Marko Arnautovic. Photo: Clint Hughes/PA Wire. newsdesk

Stoke dug deep and rode their luck as toothless Southampton somehow failed to capitalise on Marko Arnautovic's early sending-off in this one-sided goalless draw.

Mark Hughes' 400th match as a Premier League manager looked set to end in disappointment when referee Anthony Taylor handed out a straight red card in the 23rd minute.

However, Arnautovic's early departure did not cost Stoke against a Southampton side devoid of a killer instinct, with last-ditch defending, fine goalkeeping from Lee Grant and poor finishing seeing the match end in stalemate.

Saints were on top before Arnautovic's red card for a challenge on Sofiane Boufal, but top scorer Charlie Austin's absence was glaring - a worrying sign given the striker could be out for four months.

Anger at the sending-off grew after Shane Long appeared to elbow Bruno Martins Indi off the ball without punishment in a tempestuous clash.

No booking was forthcoming from under-pressure ref Taylor, who was greeted by boos at the end of a half in which Ryan Bertrand and James Ward-Prowse failed with weak efforts.

Long was withdrawn after 66 minutes for Dusan Tadic but Saints' best chances arrived when Virgil van Dijk headed over before substitute Jay Rodriguez somehow failed to connect with a Boufal cross to the back post.

stoke city 0

southampton 0

Irish Independent

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