So a point at the Britannia stadium then.
It's difficult to look at this match separately from the Liverpool game on Wednesday night. I said after Wednesday's match that the Anfield draw would have been easier to take as long as we took all three from Stoke, but the stalemate means that we only managed two from a possible six. If only Hector Bellerin got a block on Joe Allen's shot but these are the margins we are dealing with here.
Without the creative passing of Mesut Özil and the individuality of Alexis Sanchez we lacked that bit of quality in the final third when it really mattered. I thought we had enough about us to have beaten Stoke, we looked the stronger of the two sides but in games where the legs do not move as freely as you would wish, you sometimes need that additional bit of quality to unlock the door. Whether that be with sublime touch and pass or a shimmy and early low shot that creeps into the corner.
Having watched Liverpool beaten at home to Manchester United earlier that afternoon, I thought it was apparent that Klopp's men could not match the same intensity as they showed against us a few days earlier and it made me wonder how we would fare <insert cliché> on a cold January afternoon in Stoke. <close cliché>
Stoke have beaten both Manchester clubs and Chelsea in the cup (I know, I know) so they are usually very up for the big games, especially against us, so it was good to see us really fight for the right to play. We did that very well and got a good grip of the match. We had thwarted their threat pretty well for the most part so it then became a case of waiting to carve out a good opportunity of our own.
The big chance for us fell to Oliver Giroud after yet another intricate Joel Campbell pass. Giroud hit his finish too close to Butland and really could have slid the ball into the far corner. I was hoping we wouldn't rue the missed opportunity but chances were few and far between after that.
Our passes were not as accurate as Arsène Wenger would have liked. Giroud, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott seemed to be the most guilty but I haven't looked at the numbers so I cannot be sure.
You could see Arsène's frustration as a pass would be played behind their team mates or sometimes just kicking the ball out of play. We are at our best when we can pass and move the ball quickly and accurately. When a few players are not in sync it changes our game completely.
Butland denied Giroud again, this time from a Ramsey corner just after half time but it would have had to have been a remarkable header to beat the in form keeper from that position.
While we could have won the game in the early exchanges, we could quite easily have lost it as the game progressed. Just as Butland saved the Potters, we had Petr Cech to thank for an excellent double save. It reminded me of an article I read about Cech recently, how he and his coach used different size balls and all sorts of different techniques to help him.
Cech had also made a a late save with an outstretched left leg.
In the past it would have been the type of shot to have snuck underneath the leg of a former keeper and there would be debate as to whether or not the keeper could have done better.
Those Cech saves aside we were fairly comfortable in the game and that is progress after Wednesday. It is not the ideal result but on chances created you'd have to say it was a fair result.
We lacked 'a little bit sharpness' in the final third for sure but we will have both Alexis and Özil back for Chelsea. That will help us a hell of a lot.
Could have been better, may have been worse. Let's take the draws and move on.