Premier League
Stoke2Sunderland0

Stoke City 2-0 Sunderland

Referee Kevin Friend is surrounded by Sunderland players after sending off Wes Brown

Stoke City secured their first victory in nine Premier League matches in controversial circumstances against 10-man Sunderland.

Charlie Adam slotted the hosts ahead after fine work from Steven Nzonzi.

But the Black Cats were furious about a 36th-minute red card shown to Wes Brown, who was sent off after flying into a challenge with Adam, though he appeared to win the ball cleanly.

Nzonzi sealed the victory with a cool finish after a swift breakaway.

Sunderland manager, Gus Poyet

Media playback is not supported on this device

Poyet wants explanation for red card

The French midfielder's strike, after a fine Peter Crouch pass, settled both the match and Stoke's nerves at a tense Britannia Stadium and sent Sunderland to the bottom of the table following Crystal Palace's win over Hull City.

The Potters had created very few clear chances despite their numerical advantage, with the visitors' well-organised defence keeping them in the game until the final 10 minutes.

Fellow strugglers Sunderland also barely threatened, though their hopes of salvaging something from the game seemed slim from the moment Brown was sent off with them already trailing.

Until then, the Black Cats had looked neat, tidy and in confident mood on the back of their fine 1-0 win against Manchester City, twice going close.

Steven Fletcher almost scored with their first chance, but the sprawling figure of goalkeeper Asmir Begovic did well to divert the ball behind for a corner following Adam Johnson's clever long pass.

And another long pass saw Ryan Shawcross forced to clear the ball off his own line after Robert Huth inadvertently turned it towards goal when Fletcher caused more confusion in the box.

But it was the hosts who broke the deadlock, Adam calmly stroking into the bottom corner after a patient move down the right ended with Nzonzi cutting the ball back to the Scot.

The game's main talking point came seven minutes later when former Manchester United defender Brown went robustly into a challenge with Adam near the halfway line and was sent off by referee Kevin Friend.

Brown looked flabbergasted and his manager Gus Poyet even more so, the Uruguayan ripping his coat off and flinging it to the ground as he struggled to contain his fury,

Sunderland regrouped and replaced Emanuele Giaccherini with Valentin Roberge to bolster their rearguard. That had the desired effect defensively but meant, apart from a Phil Bardsley strike and a Johnson shot that went just wide, they could not make headway in the final third.

The Black Cats did feel aggrieved they were not awarded a penalty, though, when Begovic raced from goal and won the ball with a raised boot that caught Fletcher in the follow through.

Stoke manager, Mark Hughes

Media playback is not supported on this device

We controlled the game - Hughes

A penalty would have been incredibly harsh but Sunderland may argue the keeper's high foot was just as dangerous as the challenge that saw Brown dismissed.

With the visitors committing men forward in search of an equaliser, Stoke looked increasingly threatening on the break.

And they wrapped up the win - and moved three points of the relegation zone - when Adam and Crouch combined and the latter found Nzonzi, who neatly guided home a first-time finish.

For a gallery of images from today's matches, go to the BBC Sport Facebook page.

Stoke City manager Mark Hughes:

"I'm sure Gus feels a little bit aggrieved about the red card, but my interpretation of it was that maybe Wes was a little bit out of control and a little bit reckless.

"At the time I thought it was a poor challenge. Whether or not it merited a sending-off that is obviously the debate after the game, which is a shame because it takes the shine off our performance. We played really well today.

"I've looked at it myself on a laptop and I think from different angles it looks worse than from other angles.

"Obviously the referee, from his angle, felt it merited a sending-off and I can understand why that's the case. Charlie got caught on the outside of his legs about shin-level."

Line-ups

Stoke

  • 1Begovic
  • 20Cameron
  • 3PietersBooked at 69mins
  • 6Whelan
  • 17Shawcross
  • 4HuthSubstituted forWilkinsonat 77'minutes
  • 19Walters
  • 15N'Zonzi
  • 25Crouch
  • 16AdamSubstituted forPalaciosat 82'minutes
  • 10ArnautovicBooked at 77mins

Substitutes

  • 5Muniesa
  • 8Palacios
  • 11Shea
  • 24Assaidi
  • 26Etherington
  • 28Wilkinson
  • 29Sørensen

Sunderland

  • 25Mannone
  • 12CelustkaSubstituted forBoriniat 69'minutes
  • 2Bardsley
  • 4Ki Sung-yueng
  • 16O'Shea
  • 5BrownBooked at 36mins
  • 11Johnson
  • 7LarssonBooked at 73mins
  • 9FletcherSubstituted forAltidoreat 85'minutes
  • 14Colback
  • 23GiaccheriniSubstituted forRobergeat 40'minutes

Substitutes

  • 6Cabral
  • 8Gardner
  • 13Pickford
  • 17Altidore
  • 29Roberge
  • 31Borini
  • 35Mavrias
Referee:
Kevin Friend
Attendance:
26,007

Match Stats

Home TeamStokeAway TeamSunderland
Possession
Home50%
Away50%
Shots
Home17
Away11
Shots on Target
Home5
Away3
Corners
Home3
Away7
Fouls
Home11
Away5

Live Text

Match ends, Stoke City 2, Sunderland 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Stoke City 2, Sunderland 0.

Attempt missed. Marko Arnautovic (Stoke City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Peter Crouch.

Attempt saved. Sebastian Larsson (Sunderland) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Jozy Altidore.

Attempt missed. Ki Sung-Yueng (Sunderland) left footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Phillip Bardsley.

Attempt saved. Andy Wilkinson (Stoke City) left footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Marko Arnautovic.

Foul by Jonathan Walters (Stoke City).

Jack Colback (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Substitution

Substitution, Sunderland. Jozy Altidore replaces Steven Fletcher.

Marko Arnautovic (Stoke City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Sebastian Larsson (Sunderland).

Substitution

Substitution, Stoke City. Wilson Palacios replaces Charlie Adam.

Goal!

Goal! Stoke City 2, Sunderland 0. Steven N'Zonzi (Stoke City) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Peter Crouch with a through ball.

Foul by Glenn Whelan (Stoke City).

Valentin Roberge (Sunderland) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Booking

Marko Arnautovic (Stoke City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Marko Arnautovic (Stoke City).

Phillip Bardsley (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Stoke City. Andy Wilkinson replaces Robert Huth because of an injury.

Geoff Cameron (Stoke City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Fabio Borini (Sunderland).

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Steven Fletcher (Sunderland) because of an injury.

Booking

Sebastian Larsson (Sunderland) is shown the yellow card.

Offside, Sunderland. Sebastian Larsson tries a through ball, but Steven Fletcher is caught offside.

Foul by Geoff Cameron (Stoke City).

Phillip Bardsley (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Adam Johnson (Sunderland) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Ki Sung-Yueng.

Substitution

Substitution, Sunderland. Fabio Borini replaces Ondrej Celustka.

Booking

Erik Pieters (Stoke City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Erik Pieters (Stoke City).

John O'Shea (Sunderland) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Attempt missed. Peter Crouch (Stoke City) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Geoff Cameron with a cross.

Attempt missed. Charlie Adam (Stoke City) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses the top left corner. Assisted by Glenn Whelan following a fast break.

Attempt blocked. Ondrej Celustka (Sunderland) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Attempt blocked. Adam Johnson (Sunderland) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Foul by Erik Pieters (Stoke City).

John O'Shea (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Charlie Adam (Stoke City).

Ondrej Celustka (Sunderland) wins a free kick on the right wing.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLGDPts
1Arsenal129121428
2Liverpool127321124
3Chelsea127321124
4Southampton12642822
5Everton12561421
6Man Utd11623520
7Tottenham11623320
8Newcastle12624020
9Man City116141619
10Swansea12435115
11West Brom11353014
12Aston Villa11425-114
13Hull12426-614
14Stoke12345-213
15Cardiff11335-612
16Norwich12327-1311
17West Ham12246-510
18Fulham12318-1010
19Crystal Palace12219-147
20Sunderland12219-167
View full Premier League table

Top Stories

Get Inspired Activity Finder

Run by the BBC and partners

Find ways to get active near you: