Cats pounce to punish Potters

Sunderland's impressive form continued as James McClean's goal secured a 1-0 win against 10-man Stoke at a wintry Britannia Stadium.

Last Updated: 04/02/12 at 17:17 Post Comment

McClean: Scored the only goal

McClean: Scored the only goal

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

In a contest during which snow fell throughout, a first half of few goalscoring opportunities finished with Potters defender Robert Huth receiving his marching orders in the 45th minute. The German was shown a straight red card following a tackle on David Meyler.

McClean then netted in the 60th, bursting through the hosts' defence and tucking the ball away to seal a victory which means the Black Cats have now taken 22 points from the 30 on offer in the Barclays Premier League since manager Martin O'Neill took charge of the Wearsiders.

O'Neill's side, who had been hovering just above the relegation zone when he was appointed in December, remain eighth in the table while Stoke have slipped to 12th.

Potters boss Tony Pulis made three changes to his first XI, forward Cameron Jerome and midfielders Glenn Whelan and Rory Delap replacing Kenwyne Jones, Wilson Palacios - who, like the ill Matthew Etherington, did not feature in the squad at all - and Dean Whitehead.

There was only one adjustment for the visitors, with Meyler promoted to the starting line-up and Fraizer Campbell dropping to the bench, while transfer deadline day loan signings Wayne Bridge and Sotirios Kyrgiakos were also among the substitutes.

The snow that had been falling in the build-up to the game - which was being cleared off the pitch right up until kick-off - continued to come down as the action got under way and it took a while for either side to really warm up.

Stoke enjoyed the lion's share of possession early on and, after Jerome was beaten to Peter Crouch's flick-on by Sunderland goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, the Potters won a corner that led to Marc Wilson trying his luck from outside the box, firing in a low effort which was blocked.

Mignolet then claimed a useful-looking cross into the area from Whelan, but there was little being fashioned in the way of genuine attempts on goal.

Stephane Sessegnon started to show some endeavour for the visitors, seeing one shot deflect away from danger and on the half-hour mark, drilling another narrowly wide.

It was Sunderland's best spell yet, but with conditions getting worse, it was difficult to build any momentum.

Jerome, who had taken a knock, came off for Ricardo Fuller before Jon Walters brought a save out of Mignolet with a drilled shot.

The first half then ended on a sour note for Stoke as Huth was dismissed for a sliding challenge on Meyler.

Pulis, incensed by referee Martin Atkinson's decision, reacted by substituting Jermaine Pennant for Jonathan Woodgate.

Sunderland went close shortly after the interval as Sessegnon headed McClean's cross just over the bar.

At the other end, another Wilson long-range attempt looped up off a Black Cats shirt, but the visitors were looking to make their man advantage count and, 15 minutes into the second half, they took the lead.

Collecting the ball from Sessegnon, McClean powered forward and, having evaded Andy Wilkinson and Ryan Shawcross, slotted it past Thomas Sorensen.

Delap tried to make a swift response but lashed a shot off target and, after Mignolet survived spilling a long throw from the midfielder, Walters put an effort high and wide.

Stoke continued to press, with Crouch's header being caught by Mignolet.

The goalkeeper then got down to save an angled effort from Fuller.

Wilson's deflected shot earned a corner towards the end, but it went unconverted as Sunderland emerged triumphant.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

More Match Results

Monday, 19 January 2015
20:00
Everton 0-0 W Brom Report
Sunday, 18 January 2015
16:00
Man City 0-2 Arsenal Report
13:30
West Ham 3-0 Hull City Report
Saturday, 17 January 2015
17:30
Newcastle 1-2 So'ton Report
15:00
A Villa 0-2 Liverpool Report
Burnley 2-3 C Palace Report
Leicester 0-1 Stoke Report
QPR 0-2 Man Utd Report
Swansea 0-5 Chelsea Report
Tottenham 2-1 S'land Report

Footer 365

FA Cup: Giant-killers Bradford handed Sunderland or Fulham showdown in fifth round

Bradford's reward for knocking Chelsea out of the FA Cup is a fifth-round showdown with either Sunderland or Fulham.

Dutch FA president Michael van Praag to challenge Sepp Blatter for FIFA top job

Dutch FA president Michael van Praag is to stand against Sepp Blatter for the FIFA presidency.

Scottish football: Charlie Telfer upbeat over Dundee United's cup chances this season

Charlie Telfer believes he could end his first season at Dundee United with at least one cup winner's medal.

Mail Box

You're Man Utd, For Crying Out Loud!

Defending a 0-0 draw with Cambridge on the grounds that other teams lost to lower-league opposition is not befitting of Man United. We're inclined to agree with Mailboxers...

A Massive Mailbox On A Weekend Of Wonder

We unsurprisingly have plenty of mails on a wonderful FA Cup weekend, including thoughts on Palace, Van Gaal, Phil Jones, Chelsea, Mourinho and Yaya Toure...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company