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OFFICIAL club website of stoke city

Mame Diouf

STOKE CITY were cruelly denied a share of the spoils at Turf Moor on Tuesday evening as Ashley Barnes struck home a last gasp winner for in-form Burnley.

The Potters had looked by far the more polished side throughout the encounter but were left to rue their failure to take advantage of their dominance with just a minute of normal time remaining.

A long and hopeful punt forward landed at the feet of Barnes, who played a clever one-two with Scott Arfield before emphatically rifling the ball past Jack Butland to elevate the hosts up into fourth place.

It was a despairing blow for Mark Hughes and his side, who had looked vastly improved from their poor showing against Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley Stadium three days earlier.

Peter Crouch, one of three changes to the starting XI along with Ramadan and the fit again Geoff Cameron, went agonisingly close to breaking the deadlock early on when he rattled the woodwork from close range.

It set the tone for what was a largely dominant first 45 minutes for the visitors with Xherdan Shaqiri the focal point to most positive passages of play.

The Swiss maestro was at his dazzling best as he looked to inspire his side to a breakthrough, teeing up both Joe Allen and Ryan Shawcross, both of whom failed to hit the target.

At the other end Shawcross and Kurt Zouma largely nullified the Clarets threat with some brave and determined defending.

The loss of Zouma after the interval was a huge blow to the Potters, with the on-loan Chelsea ace appearing to have suffered a hamstring injury.

City regrouped however and continued to look the side more likely to break the deadlock with Crouch volleying over from a tight angle just moments after his clever knockdown to Ramadan culminated in the young winger lashing wide.

Sean Dyche’s side had moments of their own too, with New Zealand international Wood heading wide when well positioned before Arfield curled over from 15-yards.

Both managers made late changes in a bid to inspire their group on to three points, with Hughes replacing Shaqiri with Maxim Choupo-Moting.

However, it was Dyche who was left celebrating under the lights of Turf Moor at the death as a moment of magic from Barnes secured a vital victory for his side and move them, temporarily, into the Champions League spots.

First Team