Burnley held Stoke City to a dour 0-0 draw this weekend, to finish the season with a point and a clean sheet in front of their fans. The Clarets came in to the game knowing that they were already relegated, despite picking up a superb 3 points last week against fellow strugglers. Hull. Stoke also had a stellar weekend last week, taking all points in a 3-0 demolition of Europe-chasing Tottenham. The match itself was your average ‘end of season, nothing to play for` type of game. The only thing worse than going to Turf Moor and watching this game was knowing that I had to come home and write about it. So here goes?bear with me.
The first half was pretty dull, all that really happened was a 2/3 minute attack from Burnley, where shots from Danny Ings and Ashley Barnes bought out superb saves from Potters` goalkeeper Jack Butland, who has impressed with his performances and has put Stoke fans at ease, if Begovic does go as rumoured over the summer. Glenn Whelan also got his foot in on another Danny Ings shot, diving in to block off the line.
I`d love to say there was more action in the first half, but there really wasn`t. The second half wasn`t much better. Again there was only one real chance through the half and that was a golden opportunity that fell to Mame Biram Diouf for Stoke. The ball was pinged into the box, and Diouf from two yards out would have scored if he had put the ball anywhere other than into goalkeeper Tom Heaton`s chest.
That was realistically it, in a game devout of any skill, technical wonder or any passion whatsoever. It was the sort of game where if the Potters had their special Spanish magician, you`d feel it could have been an easy victory. The game was crying out for a little Spanish playmaker, and Stoke fans can`t wait for his return.
The Potters finish the season on at least 51 points, their highest Premier League total ever, with a win ratio for the season of over 33%. Bearing in mind some of the awful injuries that Stoke have had, the fans can be elated with that finish. 9th again with the highest points ever, and a depleted squad for half the season takes some doing, and Mark Hughes deserves credit for that.