It was always going to be tough to break down a Stoke defence that had conceded only thirteen goals this season and just four in their last ten league games. 0-0 wasn’t the result we all wanted but one clear positive is our second clean sheet in succession.
After the match, Andre Villas-Boas gave credit to our opponents as they completed another shut-out.
“Credit to Stoke as well for being so competitive and for making it so difficult for us,” AVB said.
“It’s a point at home, obviously not what we wanted, but we have to keep going and to recover, because we now have an important game against Aston Villa.”
Andre praised our efforts as we tried to find a way through.
“It’s so difficult,” he added. “If you cross the ball, they are taller, through the middle they outnumber you, they defend, they are solid, they are aggressive. That makes it tough to break them down.
“We tried all ways, crosses, through the middle, shots from outside the box and it just didn’t fall our way.”
The draw sees us drop out of the top four as Everton and Arsenal recorded wins and a short Christmas break is followed by a trip to Aston Villa on Boxing Day.