HullStoke

Hull City 0-0 Stoke City: Uninspiring match sees either side fail to make impact (video)

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On paper, it would appear coming into the match that Hull City vs. Stoke City wouldn’t produce much to keep viewers interested.

On paper, you’d be right.

A forgettable match came and went with little action as both sides claimed an undeserved point from KC Stadium.

The first 20 minutes didn’t see many chances, although Hull appeared to be on top initially.

Defender Curtis Davies saw the first real opportunity in front of goal in the 25th minute, receiving a free kick into the box from Tom Huddlestone but putting the free header wide.

Hull began to assert their dominance in the possession battle, but failed to unlock the back end of the visiting midfield or the defense to put another good attempt on net.

Stoke finally managed their first attack in the 38th minute, when Stephen Ireland chipped through Ryan Shawcross on the wing, but his cross was too far in front of Peter Crouch.

The halftime break came without any real life to the match.

source: Getty Images
Stephen Ireland had the best chance of the game, but his goal was ruled out thanks to a tight offside decision.

Unfortunately it was more of the same in the second half. Stoke at least found their footing, attempting to build through their crowded midfield, but they were poor in the final third.

Credit goes to the defensive lines, as we had to wait until the 61st minute for the first defensive mistake. Maynor Figueroa made a mess of a pass, and gifted Oussama Assaidi a break.

Assaidi was closed well by Alex Bruce however, and he failed to get a clean shot off.

Finally in the 70th minute, something happened in the match, but it was wiped clean thanks to the linesman.

Geoff Cameron worked the ball down the touchline, and he teed up Marko Arnautovic who sent in a wonderful cross.  It found Peter Crouch who lashed at goal first-touch, and his shot was well saved by Allan McGregor.  The rebound came to Ireland who touched into the empty net but the linesman correctly ruled him out on a tight decision.

Another great ball from Stoke City came in minutes later from Erik Peters, and Crouch went for the header but McGregor came out strong and clattered Crouch to collect.

Stoke continued to put things together, and Crouch got another great feed in the 75th minute from Ireland off advantage play, but McGregor was there again to dive and deny the striker.

The point puts Hull level with Swansea and Manchester United in the table, a sentence which could be good enough to get one institutionalized in the beginning of the season.

Stoke remain just one behind Hull City, alone with 18 points in 13th place.

LINEUPS:

Hull City – McGregor; Chester, Bruce (Brady 67′), Davies, Figueroa; Elmohamady, Meyler (Rosenoir 78′), Huddlestone, Livermore, Sagbo; Graham (Boyd 82′).

Stoke City Begovic; Muniesa (Pieters 66′), Whelan (Palacios 78′), Cameron, Wilson; N’Zonzi, Shawcross, Arnautovic (Adam 90′), Assaidi, Ireland; Crouch.

Calum Chambers joins Middlesbrough on loan

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 30: Calum Chambers of Arsenal and Scott Arfield of Burnley compete for the ball  during the Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round match between Arsenal and Burnley at Emirates Stadium on January 30, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
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Middlesbrough has impressed at times during its return to the Premier League this season, and now the club looks to bolster its backline as the transfer window closes.

[ MORE: Aguero could miss Manchester derby after FA charge ]

The club announced the loan signing of Arsenal defender Calum Chambers on Tuesday, providing the Boro with a promising young player to contribute in the back.

Chambers, 21, has made 58 appearances in the PL with both the Gunners and Southampton, while also earning three caps for England.

Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka revaled his excitement over the signing, while also stating that the player addresses a big need on the backline.

“I’m really pleased,” said Karanka. “It’s a position where we’ve been working towards bringing the right player in. We haven’t been in a hurry because Calum was the player we were waiting for, and he’s going to help us a lot.”

Arsenal adds defensive depth, signs Mustafi from Valencia

GETAFE, SPAIN - APRIL 24:  Shkodran Mustafi of Valencia applauds fans after Valencia drew 2-2 with Getafe CF during the La Liga match between Getafe CF and Valencia CF at Coliseum Alfonso Perez on April 24, 2016 in Getafe, Spain.  (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
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The Gunners have been heavily criticized for not spending enough during the transfer season, however, Arsene Wenger has gotten the man he wanted to help out defensively.

[ MORE: Rooney retiring from England after 2018 World Cup ]

Arsenal announced the signing of Valencia defender Shkodran Mustafi on Tuesday, after the German centerback had been previously been linked to the club for some time as their top transfer target.

Mustafi will likely figure immediately into the Arsenal defense, which has also added Rob Holding this summer. The 24-year-old made over 64 appearances for Valencia while in La Liga after beginning his academy career in England with Everton.

Hope Solo reveals she won’t play in NWSL for rest of 2016

CHICAGO, IL - JULY 09:  Hope Solo #1 of the United States kicks the ball up the field as she posts her100th career shut-out against South Africa in a friendly match at Soldier Field on July 9, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. The United States defeated South Africa 1-0.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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Hope Solo hasn’t had the best couple of weeks since the U.S. Women’s National Team bailed out of the 2016 Olympics.

On Tuesday, the U.S. keeper announced her decision to take a step back from her club team as well after receiving a six-month ban from U.S. Soccer.

The veteran American shot stopper took to Twitter to make her decision known, leaving her status unknown with the Seattle Reign in the future. Solo remains under contract until the end of the current campaign, however, it is not known as to how her decision to sit out will affect her financially.

Solo wil be eligible to return to the USWNT in February, but it will be up to head coach Jill Ellis to reintroduce the 35-year-old into the fold.

Gyasi Zardes to miss the remainder of MLS regular season

CARSON, CA - FEBRUARY 09:  Gyasi Zardes #11 of Los Angeles Galaxy attemps to break away from Leiton Jimenez #30 of Club Tijuana at StubHub Center on February 9, 2016 in Carson, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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U.S. Men’s National Team and LA Galaxy forward Gyasi Zardes will miss the rest of the MLS regular season with a broken bone in his right foot.

It was initially believed on Monday that the U.S. attacker could be out until the end of 2016 after suffering the injury in Saturday’s 0-0 draw against the Vancouver Whitecaps.

Zardes was taken down by Whitecaps defender Kendall Waston during the latter stages of the match, with the Costa Rican apparently catching the inside of the 24-year-old’s foot, ultimately causing the injury.

Because of his extended absence, Zardes was ruled out of consideration for the USMNT squad ahead of their upcoming CONCACAF World Cup qualifying matches vs. St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad & Tobago.