Charlie Adam led a spirited defence of the point after hauling The Potters back from behind twice with his assists. Southampton piled on a lot of pressure but could not create the chances to test Asmir Begovic in goal as Stoke sat deep in their own half and kept the game very compact.
This result sees Southampton stay in 9th position in the Premier League while Stoke stay in 12th, just a point behind the top half of the table.
Rickie Lambert opened the scoring with a wonderful set piece in the sixth minute as he bent the ball from the left side of the box in to the top corner of the far post leaving Begovic flapping.
The game took a bit of a lull before a sudden moment of magic from Adam saw him split open the Saints defence and finding Peter Odemwingie. The Nigerian forward ran between Luke Shaw and Maya Yoshida before coolly slotting past the on-rushing Artur Boruc.
Just three minutes later though in the 41st minute and a left footed cross from the right by Steven Davis evaded everybody and dropped in to the far post leaving Begovic stranded. But Stoke didn’t lie down for long as they equalised again just before half time.
An Adam corner found Peter Crouch at the near post who got his head to the ball just as Boruc came out to clear. The header was stronger than the punch though and the ball trickled in leaving the Polish goalkeeper flapping at the ball as it rolled in.
The second half flattered to deceive as Southampton piled on the pressure but couldn’t create any chances to test Begovic in goal. Morgan Schneiderlin had the best chance of the second half in the 86th minute when he found himself free at the far post but could only side-foot the ball into the side netting.
The game petered out as Saints began launching the ball long only for Shawcross and Muniesa to head away comfortably.
6’ – LAMBERT MAGIC – Rickie Lambert bends in a wonderful free-kick from a tight angle on the left side of the penalty area leaving Stoke and Asmir Begovic stunned.
38’ – SHOCK EQUALISER – Stoke hadn’t threatened Saints goal much before a defence splitting through ball from Charlie Adam found Peter Odemwingie one-on-one who finished with aplomb.
41’ – FLUKE CROSS – Steven Davis picked up the ball from a throw on the right and swung the ball in with his left foot. The ball evaded several on-rushing attackers and ended up bouncing past Begovic and in to the far corner.
44’ – BORUC BLUNDER – Boruc came steaming out to meet an Adam corner at the near post but Peter Crouch got there first leaving the Polish ‘keeper stranded and the ball trickling in to the goal.
86’ – LATE MISS – Schneiderlin side-foots wide at the far post despite being found free by a deep cross. He can only find the side-netting though as he looked for Begovic’s near post.
These teams have now met four times in the Premier League. Every game has ended in a draw.
Charlie Adam made his 50th appearance for Stoke today and has now been involved in five of their last six goals having grabbed two himself and laid on three assists.
Southampton bossed possession with 60% of it but could only muster one more shot on target to Stoke’s four.
Do Southampton have a Plan B? When Southampton play free-flowing high intensity football they are a real breath of fresh air and a joy to watch. But today, with Stoke sitting deep and defending as a unit, Saints struggled to break them down and create the clear cut chances their forwards are so adept at finishing. With the game drawing on they resorted to pinging long balls in to the box which Stoke lapped up. If they want to take the next step from a good mid-table side to really challenging for European football, they'll need to come up with a Plan B for when their natural style isn't working.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Charlie Adam – Created both of Stoke’s goals and worked really hard in the middle of the park before his substitution. His first through ball was sublime while his corner for the second goal was put in with pin-point accuracy. Unlucky to be subbed as he was controlling the game for Stoke.
Southampton: Boruc 6, Clyne 6, Fonte 6, Yoshida 6, Shaw 6, Schneiderlin 6, Davis 7, Cork 6, Rodriguez 5, Lambert 7, Lallana 6. Subs: Chambers 6.
Stoke: Begovic 7, Cameron 6, Muniesa 6, Shawcross 7, Pieters 6, Assaidi 6, Adam 9, Whelan 7, Odemwingie 8, Walters 6, Crouch 7. Subs: Nzonzi 6.
- Sports & Recreation
- Asmir Begovic
- Charlie Adam
- Peter Odemwingie
- Rickie Lambert
- Stoke City
- Premier League