Stoke and West Ham edge to safety with draw

Andre Ayew attempts an overhead kick

Andre Ayew’s acrobatic overhead kick was the highlight

Stoke and West Ham edged closer to Premier League safety after a goalless draw at the Bet365 Stadium.

Mark Hughes will be the happier of the two managers after the Potters reached the 40-point mark, nine points clear of Swansea in 18th with three games remaining.

In a match with plenty of chances, goalkeepers Jack Butland and Adrian were in top form to ensure both sides kept a clean sheet.

Andre Ayew had the best of West Ham’s chances, with an acrobatic overhead kick forcing an equally impressive save from Butland.

Marko Arnautovic looked to be through on goal, but his volley from point-blank range was denied by Adrian.

A happy homecoming for Butland

Butland<!–

Today was Jack Butland’s first home game in 13 months

The biggest cheer of the afternoon came when Jack Butland’s name was announced prior to kick-off.

Today was the 24-year-old’s first Premier League appearance at home since 12 March 2016 – 413 days ago after an ankle injury ruled him out of action.

The Stoke goalkeeper was called into action early on when Manuel Lanzini forced a save inside the first minute. The West Ham midfielder cut inside from the left, but his shot wasn’t enough to trouble Butland.

Butland was the busier of the two goalkeepers in the first half, and he produced a moment of magic to deny what would have been a spectacular goal from Ayew’s overhead kick.

England manager Gareth Southgate, who was watching on from the stands, will no doubt like what he saw from Butland, who picked up his ankle injury in England’s 3-2 win over Germany last March.

“I felt really good just being out there again. I’m pleased to be able to contribute and keep a clean sheet today,” said Butland after the game.

“The fans have been incredible throughout the last 13 months and supported me. It’s been tough personally and I thoroughly enjoyed the really good reception today.”

The ‘magic 40 points’

Slaven Bilic<!–

Slaven Bilic’s side kept their first clean sheet on the road in a Premier League game since October

After a run of five straight Premier League defeats, the Hammers have gone four games unbeaten and manager Slaven Bilic looks to have steadied the ship.

West Ham are finding their form at the business end of the season, after a much-needed win over Premier League strugglers Swansea earlier in April followed by three consecutive draws against Sunderland, Everton and Stoke.

Stoke have reached the 40-point benchmark, which usually secures Premier League safety, and West Ham are now just one point behind them with three games to play.

Bilic guided West Ham to seventh last term – his first season in charge – while Stoke have finished ninth for the past three seasons.

As it stands, just two points separate the Hammers in 14th and Southampton in ninth, leaving it all to play for in the congested mid-table battle.

If Swansea lose against Manchester United on Sunday, Stoke will will require a single point to be mathematically safe, while West Ham will need just an additional two points.

Live Text

Corner, West Ham United. Conceded by Saido Berahino.

Match ends, Stoke City 0, West Ham United 0.

Second Half ends, Stoke City 0, West Ham United 0.

Charlie Adam (Stoke City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Cheikhou Kouyaté (West Ham United).

Attempt blocked. Charlie Adam (Stoke City) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Foul by Xherdan Shaqiri (Stoke City).

Håvard Nordtveit (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Peter Crouch (Stoke City) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Xherdan Shaqiri with a cross.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Cheikhou Kouyaté (West Ham United) because of an injury.

Attempt blocked. Charlie Adam (Stoke City) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Saido Berahino.

Offside, West Ham United. José Fonte tries a through ball, but Robert Snodgrass is caught offside.

Offside, West Ham United. Adrián tries a through ball, but Manuel Lanzini is caught offside.

Substitution, West Ham United. Robert Snodgrass replaces Jonathan Calleri.

Substitution, Stoke City. Charlie Adam replaces Glenn Whelan.

Foul by Saido Berahino (Stoke City).

Winston Reid (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Offside, West Ham United. Manuel Lanzini tries a through ball, but Jonathan Calleri is caught offside.

Attempt blocked. Xherdan Shaqiri (Stoke City) left footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Marko Arnautovic.

Foul by Geoff Cameron (Stoke City).

Mark Noble (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Stoke City. Conceded by Adrián.

Attempt saved. Marko Arnautovic (Stoke City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Xherdan Shaqiri.

Attempt missed. Geoff Cameron (Stoke City) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left.

Attempt blocked. Xherdan Shaqiri (Stoke City) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Geoff Cameron.

Substitution, Stoke City. Peter Crouch replaces Joe Allen.

Substitution, West Ham United. Mark Noble replaces André Ayew.

Attempt saved. Manuel Lanzini (West Ham United) header from the left side of the six yard box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Jonathan Calleri.

Attempt missed. Jonathan Calleri (West Ham United) right footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Aaron Cresswell with a cross.

Attempt saved. André Ayew (West Ham United) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Cheikhou Kouyaté.

Attempt missed. Marc Muniesa (Stoke City) left footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Glen Johnson.

Corner, Stoke City. Conceded by Adrián.

Attempt saved. Saido Berahino (Stoke City) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Xherdan Shaqiri.

Attempt saved. Joe Allen (Stoke City) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Marko Arnautovic.

Attempt missed. José Fonte (West Ham United) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Manuel Lanzini with a cross following a set piece situation.

Foul by Marko Arnautovic (Stoke City).

Edimilson Fernandes (West Ham United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Corner, Stoke City. Conceded by Adrián.

Attempt saved. Xherdan Shaqiri (Stoke City) left footed shot from long range on the right is saved in the top centre of the goal.

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