Butland makes a point to Southgate
STOKE and West Ham shared the spoils in a goalless draw as Jack Butland kept his first clean sheet since his return – in front of watching England manager Gareth Southgate.
The Potters reached the 40-point mark but they had no joy in an attacking sense as Saido Berahino was denied a first goal for the club by Winston Reid’s fine block and a terrific save from Adrian.
Southgate witnessed Butland make just his second appearance since he fractured his ankle while on international duty in March last year. Butland impressed with saves from Andre Ayew and Manuel Lanzini ahead of a possible England return in June.
The Hammers lacked creativity but Ayew did display some ingenuity with an overhead kick that provided Butland with his first test, one he duly passed.
There were few English players in either side for Southgate to cast his eye over but one of them, Berahino, was hoping to open his Stoke account 427 days on from his last goal for West Brom.
Marko Arnautovic’s pull-back found the forward, yet Reid had other ideas as he flung himself in front of Berahino’s powerful shot.
Stoke boss Mark Hughes said of Butland: “Jack is a top class keeper. We’re all delighted he’s showing the form prior to the injury.”
His opposite number Slaven Bilic said: “We need more points but it may be enough. I was pleased with the performance but there’s a frustration that we didn’t win the game.”