In difficult snowy conditions at the Britannia Stadium, Sunderland came out on top with a hard-fought 1-0 win against Stoke City on Saturday.
As the snow fell at the Britannia in the first half, both teams struggled to get used to the freezing conditions and the first chance of note came in the 30th minute and fell to Sunderland striker Stephane Sessegnon. Good work in the centre of the pitch from midfielder Jack Colback allowed Sessegnon to get his shot away, but he could only watch it fly past the left-hand post of Thomas Sorensen’s goal.
The turning point of the match came right before half-time when Stoke defender Robert Huth was adjudged to have gone in with two feet on Sunderland’s David Meyler and referee Martin Atkinson had no hesitation in giving Huth a straight red card. Replays showed that the decision seemed harsh, but in the laws of the game, it was a correct decision.
Irish winger James McClean got the winner for Sunderland on the hour mark as he stumbled through the Stoke defence to slot past goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen from point blank range to put Sunderland ahead.
In the closing minutes of the match, Stoke searched for a late equaliser with a bombardment of long balls into the penalty area, but Sunderland held out for excellent victory at the Britannia Stadium which continues their fine run of form in the Premier League.
Stoke City: Sorensen, Huth, Shawcross, Wilkinson (Shotton 85), Whelan, Wilson, Pennant (Woodgate 45), Delap, Walters, Crouch, Jerome (Fuller 40)
Sunderland: Mignolet, Bardsley, Turner, Richardson, O’Shea, Larsson, Gardner, Colback, Meyler (Elmohamady 85), McClean, Sessegnon