Match Analysis: Stoke City 0-0 Cardiff City

Cardiff's Steven Caulker and Stoke's Peter Crouch in action during their Premier League match on December 4, 2013
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Sports Mole analyses the Premier League clash between Stoke City and Cardiff City at the Britannia Stadium.

Stoke City and Cardiff City played out a goalless draw in their Premier League clash at the Britannia Stadium

The Potters had several good chances to win the game in the second half as Charlie Adam and Stephen Ireland went close but couldn't find the target.

Meanwhile, Cardiff were also dangerous but neither team could force a breakthrough and were forced to settle for a point apiece.

Sports Mole analyses the game at the Britannia Stadium to see if the outcome was a fair one.

Match statistics:

Stoke:
Shots 17
On Target 2
Possession 59%
Corners 2
Fouls 11

Cardiff:
Shots 17
On Target 3
Possession 41%
Corners 5
Fouls 12

Was the result fair?

Neither side deserved to win on the basis of their finishing in front of goal. Most of the play was uninspiring as no-one really took charge of the game and dominated, as the majority of the football was scrappy. A point apiece for each side is the outcome they both deserved.

Stoke's performance

At the start of the season, Mark Hughes declared that we would see a different side to Stoke. However, they looked pretty much like the team of years gone by, as they pumped long balls into Peter Crouch for the majority of the game. The supply into him from out wide was a mixed bag - sometimes it was poor and when it was good the former England was nowhere near the ball. He committed his fair share of fouls, which stopped attacks in their tracks, in what was not a good night for him. Defensively, at times the Potters were cut open and a better team may have taken advantage of that, but they did just enough to secure the point.

Cardiff's performance

Malky Mackay will take this point and will be pleased with his side's performance bar their finishing. They were solid when they needed to be with Ben Turner and Steven Caulker holding firm at the back, while Peter Whittingham provided a creative outlet. They could have been more adventurous in the final third, especially with their dead-ball plays as they lacked quality at times. A point at the Britannia Stadium is nothing to be sniffed at, and it will be looked at as a point gained rather than two dropped from a Cardiff perspective.

Sports Mole's man of the match

Ben Turner: The 25-year-old was solid as a rock all evening for the Bluebirds. He dealt with the aerial threat of Crouch extremely well as he combated the former England man with a physical approach, which worked as the striker got frustrated as the game wore on. Turner made one great last-ditch tackle to prevent Ireland getting through late on to cement his fantastic performance helping his side keep their first clean sheet away from home since October.

Biggest gaffe

Stephen Ireland could have won the game for the Potters late on but fired wide after David Marshall saved from Adam's free kick in the 88th minute. That miss could have huge implications for his side come the end of the season.

Referee's performance

Michael Oliver had a good game. Although he did miss one of the major incidents of the game as Adam pushed Frazier Campbell down in the wall in a free kick situation and booked Crouch and Campbell, but it was difficult for him to see what actually went on in the melee in the crowded penalty area. He made a point of addressing Crouch's physical play by giving free kicks against him often in his battle with Turner. Oliver also held strong to make correct decisions when Campbell appealed for penalty after going down under pressure from Marc Wilson and also a Crouch appeal against Turner.

What next?

Stoke: The Potters take on Chelsea at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday.

Cardiff: The Bluebirds travel to Selhurst Park to take on Saturday.

Cardiff's Steven Caulker and Stoke's Peter Crouch in action during their Premier League match on December 4, 2013
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