Monday, April 23, 2018

West Ham 0 Stoke City 0: Butland and Johnson earn battling away point

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 12 Dec 2015


Jack Butland made a string of late saves and Glen Johnson cleared a header off the line moments before the final whistle as Stoke City survived a West Ham barrage to close out a 0-0 draw at Upton Park.

Marko Arnautovic and Mauro Zarate both hit the woodwork and Mame Biram Diouf was denied twice by West Ham goalkeeper Adrian after coming off the bench in a frantic finale.

Michail Antonio could not convert the chances that came his way on his first Premier League start, with goalkeeper Butland again in solid form for Stoke.

Ryan Shawcross’ run of clean sheets continues and he has now played over 500 minutes without Stoke conceding a goal after Johnson and Butland’s heroics at the death.

While Stoke will reflect on a battling away point to follow up last weekend’s 2-0 win over Manchester City, West Ham are winless in six games. 

Antonio was handed a full debut for West Ham due to Victor Moses joining the club’s lengthy injury list, while Xherdan Shaqiri was ruled out for Stoke due to illness.

Slaven Bilic’s West Ham started brightly with Antonio shooting straight at Butland before Cheikhou Kouyate saw an effort from range blocked.

Marco van Ginkel should have put the visitors in the lead after 10 minutes. Stoke got round the back of West Ham’s defence far too easily from a throw-in, but, when the ball fell to the Netherlands midfielder seven yards out, he somehow miscued his shot wide.

Stoke were not as fluid as during the win over City and carved an opening after 28 minutes when Johnson’s low cross was poked wide by Arnautovic, who had scored in both of his previous Premier League appearances against West Ham.

West Ham had a penalty claim three minutes before half-time when Shawcross gifted Mark Noble possession, but the Stoke City skipper got back brilliantly to win the tackle cleanly. 

Kouyate had the first sight of goal after the break, but the midfielder’s shot from eight yards was blocked, before Butland plunged to his left to turn a deft Andy Carroll header around the post.

Antonio shot straight at Butland on the hour before Arnautovic came close to continuing his fine form after last weekend’s brace after 67 minutes, his long-range free-kick deflecting off the wall and striking the crossbar.

Butland continued to pile pressure on Joe Hart’s England place with a fine save from Aaron Cresswell’s cross-shot and Adrian thwarted Stoke substitute Diouf by saving a low drive with his legs.

Zarate struck the post and Butland kept out substitute Enner Valencia on his return from injury in a frantic finale. 

Johnson came to Stoke’s rescue with a goal-line clearance after Butland made a rare error by misjudging a cross and Kouyate could not force the rebound home in the game’s final action.


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