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Barclays Premier League

Britannia Stadium (ATT 27,717) 4th February 2012 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: M Atkinson

Stoke Stoke City vs Sunderland S'land

Stoke 0

R Huth (S/O 45)

ft

S'land 1

J McClean (60)

Sunderland edge out 10-man Stoke

McClean's goal enough for victory at the Britannia Stadium

By William Esler.   Last Updated: 04/02/12 6:42pm

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James McClean: Celebrates scoring the games only goal

James McClean: Celebrates scoring the games only goal

James McClean's second Premier League goal of the season was the difference as Sunderland beat Stoke 1-0 in difficult conditions at the Britannia Stadium.

The big talking point from the game though will be the sending off of Robert Huth on the stroke of half-time for what did not appear to be a tackle that warranted such punishment.

Stoke have now lost three in a row, whilst Sunderland's revival under Martin O'Neill continues as they have now won five of their last six games.

Goal of the match Well there only was one, but McClean took it well, neat run and finish. Controversy of the match Robert Huth should never have been red carded for tackle on Meyler Man of the match James McClean provided Sunderland with attacking threat with his pace and skill Biggest impact The weather had the biggest impact on this one. The snow made it nearly impossible for both sides to play

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 David 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.

Snow

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.

Red card

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.

Stoke CityTeam StatisticsSunderland
0Goals1
01st Half Goals0
3Shots on Target1
3Shots off Target3
3Blocked Shots2
5Corners5
11Fouls7
0Offsides2
0Yellow Cards1
1Red Cards0
66.5Passing Success67.9
21Tackles24
66.7Tackles Success75
49.4Possession50.6
56.6Territorial Advantage43.4
361Total Passes361
14Total Crosses17
215Lost Balls218
50Recoveries60
51.11st Half Poss.48.9
48.92nd Half Poss.51.1

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Matches

Table

Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Chelsea 16 39
2 Manchester City 16 36
3 Manchester United 16 31
4 West Ham United 16 28
5 Southampton 16 26
6 Arsenal 16 26
7 Tottenham Hotspur 16 24
8 Newcastle United 16 23
9 Swansea City 16 22
10 Everton 16 21
11 Liverpool 16 21
12 Stoke City 16 19
13 Aston Villa 16 19
14 West Bromwich Albion 16 17
15 Sunderland 16 16
16 Crystal Palace 16 15
17 Burnley 16 15
18 Queens Park Rangers 16 14
19 Hull City 16 13
20 Leicester City 16 10

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