Football

Stoke & Cardiff play out a stalemate

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Birthday boy Marko Arnautovic bagged the Stoke penalty. (©GettyImages)
Birthday boy Marko Arnautovic bagged the Stoke penalty. (©GettyImages).

The points were shared at the Cardiff City Stadium as both teams cancelled each other out and a stalemate seemed the fair result.

Both goals came courtesy of the penalty spot and were dispatched by Marko Arnautovic and Peter Whittingham. The two teams remained unchanged following their respective wins over Southampton and Newcastle last weekend.

The hosts had the better of the opening minutes which culminated in a 10-yard shot at Asmir Begovic from Jordan Mutch but The Bosnian gathered easily.

Stoke responded through Marko Arnautovic who put in a floating cross but it missed everyone in the box and went out for a goal kick.

Kim Bo-Kyung then cut in from the left and ran through to set up Mutch but his resulting effort was well wide.

Peter Odemwingie playing against his former club unleashed a rocket of a shot from the outside the box forcing David Marshall in to a superb save.

After scoring his first goal in six years last week, Erik Pieters didn't have as much effect on today’s game as he went down unchallenged and was replaced by Marc Muniesa.

It was all Stoke after that as Peter Crouch was thwarted by Whittingham after a cross from Arnautovic who then put in a ball into the Cardiff box, which was eventually cleared.
Begovic made an excellent save to deny Fraizer Campbell a scoring opportunity, before Marc Wilson conceded a free kick for a foul on the Englishman.

In the final minute before half time, Odemwingie was brought down by a challenge from Kim and referee Howard Webb pointed to the spot and Birthday boy Arnautovic stepped up to give Stoke the much deserved advantage.

Another controversial decision opened the second half as Steven Nzonzi brought down Campbell and again the referee pointed to the spot, a more clean cut penalty than Stoke’s before the break. Whittingham took the ball and sent Begovic the wrong way to drag Cardiff level.

The goal gave Cardiff hope and they took a hold of the game as the ball pinged around the penalty area from a corner, Begovic made the save before the ball came back off the post and found its way into the back of the Bosnian’s net from Juan Cala’s boot, but the linesman silenced The Bluebirds premature celebrations as he ruled it out for offside.

The game calmed and Stephen Ireland tried his luck from outside the box but it was too high and powerful and sailed over the crossbar.

Campbell went down in the penalty area again but Webb waved play on as the crowd urged him to award the penalty.

Mats Daehli made way for former Stoke player Kenwyne Jones to predictably negative ovation from his former fans.

Odemwingie was the first former player to act though as he unleashed a shot at Marshall from a good few yards out and the shot stopper could only parry the ball out for a corner.
Oussama Assaidi should have scored in the final minute but for a fine save from Marshall to ensure his team gain a point.

This takes Stoke’s tally to 44 for the season as they edge closer to their record points tally and record top ten finish, whilst the point doesn’t do much for Cardiff as they remain in the relegation zones whilst those around them all won their games.

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Topics:
Mark Hughes
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Football
Cardiff City
Premier League
Stoke City
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