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Butland plays through pain barrier to save Stoke

SoccerNews in English Premier League 22 Aug 2015

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Stoke City manager Mark Hughes revealed goalkeeper Jack Butland produced his superb performance against Norwich City while playing with a broken finger.

Hughes’ men took the lead in Saturday’s Premier League clash at Carrow Road thanks as Mame Biram Diouf headed home debutant Xherdan Shaqiri’s right-wing free-kick after 11 minutes.

But Stoke were pegged back in the 28th minute through a low strike from Norwich captain Russell Martin shortly after the first of two water breaks in energy-sapping heat.

Norwich dictated matters from that point, but were denied a second straight win thanks to a stunning showing from Butland, who pulled off a string of fantastic saves to keep the hosts at bay.

And Hughes said: “I am happy. We had a decent amount of play in the first half, but didn’t create a great deal, the conditions took the edge off our game.

“In the end, we are grateful for a number of saves from Jack Butland, who was outstanding. At the moment, Jack has a broken finger as well, so that shows the strength of character he has.”

Asked about the performance of record signing Shaqiri, Hughes added: “Xherdan Shaqiri will get better the longer he is with us, but you can see that he will be a key player for us.

“He hasn’t played much, but the 90 minutes will do him the world of good.”

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