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0 vs 0
Played
December 22, 2012 3:00 PM GMT
White Hart Lane — London
Referee:‬ L. Mason‎
Attendance:‬ 35702‎
 
Top of the Match
Jan Vertonghen
Jan Vertonghen
Tottenham
Asmir Begovic
Asmir Begovic
Stoke
Flop of the Match
Ryan Shotton
Ryan Shotton
Stoke
Emmanuel Adebayor
Emmanuel Adebayor
Tottenham

Tottenham 0-0 Stoke: Spurs frustrated by resolute Potters

The Potters lived up to their reputation as the league's meanest defence, limiting the hosts to few chances as the two sides played out a dull draw at White Hart Lane

By Ewan Roberts at White Hart Lane

EPL, Tottenham Hotspur v Stoke City, Gareth Bale, Ryan Shotton
Getty Images
Tottenham and Stoke played out a dull, scoreless draw at White Hart Lane on Saturday afternoon, stalling Spurs’ pursuit of a place in the top four.

In a game of few chances, the home side struggled to break down the Potters’ organised, regimented defence, which has now kept nine clean sheets this season and conceded just 13 goals.

Andre Villas-Boas made three changes to the team that beat Swansea, with the fit again Gareth Bale restored to the left flank and Michael Dawson and Steven Caulker brought in to add height and strength at the back.

Charlie Adam was granted compassionate leave to mourn the sudden passing of his father, so Tony Pulis was forced to field Ryan Shotton in his place. Stoke were otherwise unchanged, with former Spurs forward Peter Crouch left on the bench.

The away side could have opened the scoring in the opening minute, as Kyle Walker carelessly gifted the ball to Kenwyne Jones on the edge of the box, but he blasted the ball over the bar.

Walker’s loose pass rather typified the opening exchanges, with Spurs stifled in their attempts to play attractive, possession football by Stoke’s relentless closing down.
JAN'S THE MAN

PLAYER RATING
Marauded forward from deep in typical swashbuckling fashion and combined well with Bale. Dealt with Shotton with relative ease, and helped Caulker contain Walters when needed. Effortlessly classy on the ball, linking play and playing progressive passes.


The Spurs players frequently called foul play, with Mousa Dembele in particular wilting in the face of Stoke’s aggression and physicality. 

Defending manfully, Pulis’ side also looked dangerous on the break; Jones’ deflected shot appeared to be rolling into the path of Matthew Etherington, but Sandro managed to clear the ball off the line.

The returning Bale grew into the match, subduing Geoff Cameron with his pace and delivery; a low, drilled cross was diverted marginally over the bar by Robert Huth before the Welshman picked out Emmanuel Adebayor at the far post, who headed over.

The second half continued in much the same vein, with both sides scrapping and battling for superiority. Bale, switching between flanks, was an invigorating presence once again, and rose to head just over at the back post.

Tottenham struggled to break down the visitors, devoid of a playmaker to unlock the defence. Limited to half-chances and optimistic shots from range, their Portuguese boss cut a forlorn and perplexed figure on the sidelines.

Stoke had the best chance of a dull and insipid second half, when Cameron found Shotton unmarked in the box, but Lloris caught his tame shot with ease. Shotton was dragged off by Pulis not long after.

Spurs continued to huff and puff to little avail, with Dembele’s deflected shot from 25-yards representing their best effort of normal time.

There was a late moment of controversy though, as Bale appeared to be bundled over by Jerome inside the box, but the referee waved the appeals away, a decision that riled the home support.

Cheered on by the White Hart Lane crowd, Spurs poured forward with greater abandon as the match entered injury time, and Gylfi Sigurdsson, on in place of Lennon, almost grabbed a winner but for a great save from Asmir Begovic.


Tottenham

25
Hugo Lloris
Goalkeeper
3.50
5
Jan Vertonghen
Defender
28′
3.50
20
Michael Dawson
Defender
3.00
2
Kyle Walker
Defender
2.50
4
Steven Caulker
Defender
3.00
7
Aaron Lennon
Midfielder
78′
3.00
11
Gareth Bale
Midfielder
3.50
19
Mousa Dembélé
Midfielder
85′
3.00
30
Sandro
Midfielder
8′
3.50
10
3.00
18
Jermain Defoe
Striker
2.50

Stoke

3.00
1
Asmir Begovic
Goalkeeper
2.00
20
3.50
4
Robert Huth
Defender
3.00
17
3.50
28
2.00
30
3.50
6
Glenn Whelan
Midfielder
3.50
15
Steven N'Zonzi
Midfielder
78′
3.00
26
2.50
9
2.50
19

Substitutes

24
Brad Friedel
Goalkeeper
 - 
13
 - 
16
 - 
28
Scott Parker
Midfielder
85′
 - 
22
3.00
14
Jake Livermore
Midfielder
 - 
17
 - 

Substitutes

 - 
29
 - 
20
 - 
8
W. Palacios
Midfielder
2.50
18
Dean Whitehead
Midfielder
64′ 65′
 - 
21
2.50
25
2.50
30

Coach/Manager

-
 - 

Coach/Manager

 - 
-
 
  • Goal
  • Own Goal
  • Penalty
  • Penalty Missed
  • Yellow Card
  • Assist
  • Penalty Save
  • Penalty Shootout Goal
  • Penalty Shootout Miss
  • Yellow Card / Red Card
  • Red Card
  • Substitution IN
  • Substitution OUT
  • Injury
  • Goal.com Rating
  • Goal.com Man of the Match
  • Goal.com Flop of the Match
  • Top & Flop Global Ranking
  • Fans' Man of the Match
  • Fans' Flop of the Match
Results
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Luis Suárez Luis Suárez
Striker
Liverpool
30 0
Daniel Sturridge Daniel Sturridge
Striker
Liverpool
20 0
Yaya Touré Yaya Touré
Midfielder
Manchester City
18 6
Wayne Rooney Wayne Rooney
Striker
Man Utd.
15 2
Sergio Agüero Sergio Agüero
Striker
Manchester City
15 0