ON THE BALL: Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe fends off Stoke's Robert Huth
A STOKE City side that set their stall out from the start to earn a point held Tottenham to a goalless draw at White Hart Lane this afternoon. However it could have been different for Stoke. In the first minute Kyle Walker almost gifted them a goal as his pass fell to Kenwyne Jones, who shot into the crowd.
In the 14th minute Gareth Bale put a delightful cross into the box but before Jermaine Defoe could pull the trigger, Robert Huth cleared the ball for a corner. Stoke went straight down the other end as Jones broke free and shot, but the ball was cleared off the line by Sandro before Matthew Etherington could score from the rebound.
In the 20th minute Jan Vertonghen whipped in a cross but none of the Spurs players in the box could connect. Unfortunately that was to be a recurring theme of a very frustrating afternoon for Spurs.
In the 30th minute Vertonghen’s deflected shot was saved by Asmir Begovic who has conceded the least number of goals in the Premier League and in the process has also kept the most clean sheets.
On 47 minuteshome striker Jermain Defoe shot over the bar and five minutes later his cross cum shot into the box was behind all the Spurs players in the box.
In the 57th minute Aaron Lennon’s cross was met by a Gareth Bale header but it flew over. In a rare forage forward by Stoke, Aaron Lennon lost the ball in his half and Ryan Shotton had a great chance to put Stoke ahead but he shot straight at Hugo Lloris.
In the 79th minute Begovic saved a shot from second half substitute Gylfi Siggurdsson. It was the first serious save he had to make, which for Spurs was disappointing. Begovic came to Stoke’s rescue again in stoppage time as he saved a header from Siggurdsson.
All in all Stoke were happy with their point but Spurs will be disappointed especially after dropping out of the top four.
Spurs head coach Andre Villas Boas said: “It was a difficult game. I want to be really positive because the players tried hard today. It was not easy for us. We had some chances, maybe not clear cut, but we could not find the goal to unlock them.”
Delighted City bossTony Pulis said: “We are pleased about the first half. I thought we played really well in the first half. We restricted Spurs to a few chances. Then in the second half they put us under pressure. We are indebted to Asmir [Begovic] at the end for making a great save. Tottenham are a fantastic football club. They have got players who can hurt you.
"They can change the game within a couple of seconds. We are very pleased that we came away with something. That is nine clean sheets and defensively we look solid.”