Soccer Football - Premier League - Stoke City v Burnley - bet365 Stadium, Stoke-on-Trent, Britain - April 22, 2018 Stoke City's Stephen Ireland after the match Action Images via Reuters/Ed Sykes
April 22 (Reuters) - Stoke missed the chance to give their hopes of Premier League survival a major boost when they were held to a 1-1 draw by Burnley at the bet365 Stadium on Sunday.
Badou Ndiaye gave Stoke the lead in the 11th minute, via a deflection off the boot of Burnley’s Kevin Long -- an advantage they seemed comfortable with for the remainder of the first half.
However, Burnley upped the tempo after the break and went level in the 62nd minute thanks to Ashley Barnes, his sixth goal in his last eight league games.
Neither team could find a winner, meaning that with three games to play, Stoke are four points behind Swansea City in 19th, with the South Wales side having played two games less. Burnley stay seventh, four points behind Arsenal in sixth.
"We've been under pressure for the last 15 games and from pre-season,” Stoke manager Paul Lambert said. “Normally a point is a good point but in our situation we need wins."
Lambert reinstated Peter Crouch to the starting side but Crouch was not required as Ndiaye put Stoke in front early on. Mame Biram Diouf laid off the ball unselfishly for Ndiaye, whose strike was deflected home by Long.
Goalkeeper Jack Butland then did brilliantly to keep out a goalbound freekick from Johann Berg Gudmundsson as Burnley pressed for an equaliser, before Diouf wasted a glorious chance to make it 2-0 just before the interval, with his touch letting him down at the last.
After the break, Butland again kept Burnley at bay with a fine stop to deny James Tarkowski from a corner.
“Their keeper was man of the match and I think that's the story of the game,” Burnley manager Sean Dyche said. “On another day you might nick another one and get a 2-1.”
Burnley did get their leveller just after the hour mark as Barnes pounced, scrambling the ball home with his knee after Tarkowski had again been denied by Butland.
Substitute Stephen Ireland almost won it for Stoke late on but saw his curled effort clip the outside of the post and roll wide, much to the dismay of the masses in Staffordshire, whose side's decade-long stint in the Premier League remains in real danger of ending.