May 6, 2013 at 8pm UK at ​Stadium of Light
Sunderland
1-1
StokeStoke City
O'Shea (63')
Jimenez Cuellar (32'), Larsson (35')
Gardner (34')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Walters (9')
Whitehead (12'), Nzonzi (44')

Live Commentary: Sunderland 1-1 Stoke City - as it happened

Craig Gardner is shown a red card by referree Lee Mason during the first half against Stoke on May 6, 2013
© AP Photos
Read how Sunderland managed to gain a point against Stoke despite being reduced to 10 men in the first half.

Two of the Premier League's stalest attacks faced off at the Stadium of Light this evening.

Sunderland welcomed Stoke to the North East and it finished level, with Stoke opening the scoring early on before 10-man Sunderland pegged them back in the second half.

Read how it all unfolded on Wearside in our minute-by-minute updates below.


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7.01pmEvening folks! I know the sun is shining and it's a bank holiday Monday but there's Premier League football to be played on Wearside.

7.03pmBREAKING TEAM NEWS! Di Canio selects Jack Colback and brings in James McClean for the suspended Stephane Sessegnon. Full XI to follow...

7.04pmSUNDERLAND XI: Mignolet; Gardner, Cuellar, O'Shea, Rose; N'Diaye, Larsson, Colback; Johnson, McClean, Graham

7.05pmColback replaces Phil Bardsley in the team and that could see Craig Gardner move to right-back.

7.09pmAs we wait for the Stoke team, let me just tell you what has happened/is happening in the League One playoffs today. Earlier on, Yeovil saw off Sheffield United 2-1 on aggregate while Brentford and Swindon have just gone to PENALTIES! A 3-3 draw this evening means 4-4 on aggregate. Great stuff! I'll bring you the result as soon as the shootout is over.

7.11pmSTOKE XI: Begovic; Shotton, Huth, Shawcross, Wilson; Whitehead, Adam, N'Zonzi, Walters; Crouch, Jerome

7.15pmTwo changes from Tony Pulis as Marc Wilson and Dean Whitehead replace the injured Andy Wilkinson and Glenn Whelan.

7.17pmSo far in the shootout at Griffin Park both sides have converted their first three spot kicks. Getting very tense in the capital.

7.18pmSwindon miss on their fourth try! Advantage Brentford.

7.19pmBrentford score their fourth but Swindon score their fifth. Brentford have a chance to win it. Adam Forshaw to take...

7.19pmHE SCORES! We've seen plenty of pitch invasions in the Football League playoffs so far and there's another at Griffin Park as the Bees reach the final where they'll play Yeovil for a place in the Championship.

7.23pmClick here to read our match report from more playoff madness.

7.25pmSUBS: Back to our feature game at the Stadium of Light now. Here are the two substitute benches this evening:

Sunderland: Westwood, Bardsley, Kilgallon, Vaughan, Mangane, Marrs, Mandron
Stoke: Sorensen, Jones, Owen, Cameron, Kightly, Etherington, Palacios

7.29pmREFEREE WATCH! The man in charge tonight is Lee Mason.

7.32pmBoth Sunderland and Stoke have taken seven points from the last 18, but it is Stoke who head to the Stadium of Light in better form. Tony Pulis's men have won their last two games to edge clear of the relegation zone, while Sunderland come into the match on the back of last week's mauling at relegation rivals Aston Villa.

7.34pmDi Canio is without Stephane Sessesgnon tonight. One of Sunderland's key men, the playmaker was sent off at Villa rather harshly but the Black Cats' appeal wasn't successful so he's out for the rest of the season.

7.38pmWhen these two sides last met in October it finished goalless at the Britannia. I'm expecting another low-scoring affair tonight.

7.41pmWEATHER WATCH! It's been a beautful bank holiday up and down the country and it's no different on Wearside, with temperatures a little over 10 degrees at the moment.

7.44pmDi Canio has just told Sky Sports News that tonight's game is "vital". He is asked whether having Sessegnon out will result in a change of formation and he says no. He eventually reveals that Adam Johnson will take up the role behind Danny Graham, which will see Sebastian Larsson move over to right midfield.

7.48pmThis stat doesn't bode well for Sunderland: The Black Cats haven't won any of their last 17 Premier League games on a Monday, a run stretching back to April 2002.

7.50pmPREDICTION TIME! With 10 minutes until kickoff, it's time for my thoughts on the game. Unfortunately I'm not expecting fireworks and a 0-0 fits these two sides about right.

7.55pmHere come the players out of the tunnel. Both sides' home kit is red-and-white stripes so it'll be Stoke in their changed strip of navy-and-claret stripes.

7.58pmStoke really aren't going to have much width tonight with Charlie Adam and Jonathan Walters on the right and left respectively. Both men will be looking to cut inside.

0 minKICKOFF! First blow of the whistle from Lee Mason and Sunderland get us underway.

2 minIt doesn't take the Sunderland fans long to start singing Di Canio's name. So far they love the Italian but if he takes them down then surely questions will be asked.

4 minNice chested lay-off from Crouch to Adam and he looks for Jerome down the inside-left channel but it's a little overhit and the attack fizzles out.

6 minJohnson's corner is headed down by Cuellar and then poked out to the edge of the area by N'Diaye. Larsson is there to have a pop but he skies it well over.

9 minGOAL! Sunderland 0-1 Stoke (Walters)

9 minFirst blood to the Potters! An Adam corner is met by Walters and although his initial header hits Graham it falls kindly for the number 19 and he forces it home from close range.

12 minYELLOW! Easy booking for Mason to give, this one. Johnson runs across Whitehead and he's tugged back as he bears down on the area. Free kick to Sunderland about 30 yards out. Gardner can hit them...

13 minA sweet strike but Begovic was never worried as he started it outside the wall and it never had enough swerve to come back inside the post.

14 minThe home fans get excited as Johnson reverses it to Graham who then feeds it to McClean on the wing. Stoke step up very cleverly though and the Irishman's cross bounces harmlessly through to Begovic.

16 minOoh! Adam is barged off the ball near the touchline and he skids off the pitch before clattering into the advertising boards and toppling over the other side. The Scot stays down for a brief moment but he's OK to carry on.

18 minFair play to the Sunderland fans, they're really getting behind their boys at the moment even though they're losing. Can the Black Cats use this rousing atmosphere to catalyse an equaliser?

22 minJohnson tries to do it all himself by twisting and turning on the edge of the box but his right foot isn't as good as his left and his shot zips high over the bar.

26 minGroans galore from the home fans as McClean attempts a ridiculous 35-yard effort and drags it tamely wide of the goal.

29 minNice cross from Gardner towards Graham but Shawcross's positioning is sound and he's there to head it out. The Sunderland fans remain in good voice despite the bluntness of their attack.

34 minSENT OFF! Craig Gardner sees red.

34 minOh dear, oh dear! With his side losing, Gardner has just committed an awful challenge on Adam. The ball was running loose but Gardner's studs-up lunge was completely out of order and Mason had no choice but to send him off. Two reds in two games for Sunderland.

36 minThe scenes get worse as a fan comes onto the pitch and remonstrates with the players. The stewards are hardly quick to respond but he's not putting up much of a fight when they finally detain him.

39 minGardner's sending off will see Colback move over to right-back. I'm surprised as I thought Larsson would move back and be comfortable there.

42 minWhat hope have Sunderland got now? They're a low-scoring team at the best of times and with a man down and up against one of most resolute backlines in the Premier League, can they score a goal?

43 minCHANCE! Stoke almost double their lead as Jerome pulls it back for Walters but his shot is blocked.

44 minYELLOW! That's awfully harsh from Mason. N'Zonzi is booked for a slide tackle on N'Diaye but there was't much there to be honest.

45+1 minAdam fizzes over a great cross and no-one bothers to challenge Jerome but he can't get his header on target from 12 yards. Three minutes have been added on at the end of the first half.

45+2 minWhitehead trips Colback and Sunderland have a chance from a free kick just under 30 yards out. Larsson wants this one.

45+3 minCLOSE! Johnson hits it and tries to bullet it past Begovic on his side of the wall but it flies a yard or so wide.

45+3 minHALF-TIME: Sunderland 0-1 Stoke

8.50pmA nightmare first half for Sunderland. They're a goal and a man down and up against one of the sternest defences in the division.

8.53pmIf you've only just joined us, click here for Barney Corkhill's half-time report.

8.55pmLooking at the replays of Stoke's goal, there was some very odd marking from the Sunderland players. Gardner was marking Walters, who is always a danger in the air, while it appears that McClean was on Crouch! Very peculiar.

9pmPulis has made a half-time change, with Geoff Cameron coming on for Marc Wilson. The latter was doubtful beforehand because of injury so that's probably the reason for the change.

46 minKICKOFF! The second half is underway.

47 minA very encouraging start to the second half from Sunderland as Larsson sees a shot from the edge of the area blocked. The home faithful need to keep up their noise from the first 45 and spur their men on to an unlikely comeback.

50 minCameron has gone across to right-back and that means Shotton will switch wings and go to left-back.

53 minMason plays a good advantage after McClean had slid in on Walters. The latter picks up the loose ball and tries to cut it back for Adam but it's a little too far ahead of the Scot and he can't make contact.

54 minSHOT! Johnson has space to run at the Stoke backline and there's room to have a shot. He hits it well but it's too close to Begovic who holds on.

58 minAdam with another one of those zipped crosses into Crouch but he's just offside.

59 minCHANCE! Stoke are looking more and more dangerous. This time it's Crouch who lays it off to Jerome and he rolls it on to Adam who then plays it back for Jerome. The striker has acres of space but his shot is blocked on its route to goal.

60 minEnd-to-end action all of a sudden as now N'Zonzi collects the ball on the edge of the area and lets fly with his left. It's a solid strike from the masked midfielder but Mignolet dives to his right and catches.

63 minGOAL! Sunderland 1-1 Stoke (O'Shea)

63 minSo many more chances in this half than the last and Sunderland are level! Larsson's corner gets a slight touch off Whitehead and that glances it on to O'Shea at the back post and he manages to get a left foot to it that rolls under Begovic. Game on!

66 minDi Canio celebrated exuberantly as you'd expect when the goal went in and he's just walked on the pitch when Mason stopped the play. He stopped it because Walters took an accidental elbow to the face and when there's a head injury the refs do have power to bring the game to a halt.

68 minWe're yet to get back underway as Stoke's goalscorer Walters is being bandaged up on the pitch.

70 minStoke win a corner and as both goals tonight have come from them it's nervy times for Sunderland.

71 minAdam puts in a decent delivery but Mignolet is strong, punching the ball out of the area.

73 minSunderland are well on top now, despite their numerical disadvantage, but their latest chance is squandered as Johnson overhits a free kick out of play.

75 minSHOT! Shotton's long throw is headed clear but it's straight to Whitehead on the edge of the area who strikes it very well but straight at Mignolet who just about holds on in a crowded penalty area.

79 minAdam has a pop from a long way out. Mignolet looks a little worried at first but the Scot cut across it too much so the ball swerves wide.

80 minOFF THE POST! Oh so close for Sunderland. Rose comes in from his left-back role and hits it low with his weaker right foot. Begovic seems a little surprised that he goes for the near post and he's nowhere near it as the ball flicks the outside of the post.

81 minAnother Sunderland chance as Johnson dinks over a cross from the right and it evades everyone before hitting an oblivious McClean at the back post, allowing Begovic to gather.

83 minSTOKE SUB: We have our second substitution of the game and it's Matthew Etherington on for Adam.

84 minDi Canio still hasn't made a sub and there's little to get excited about on the Black Cats' dugout. Even though Stoke have a man extra, they will be happy with a point today so I'm expecting Sunderland to push for a winner in these closing stages.

85 minCHANCE! A Stoke corner bounces for N'Zonzi facing the wrong way and he tries to turn the ball home over his head but it goes over the bar.

86 minSUNDERLAND SUB:

87 minJohnson's cross is deflected out to McClean with a yard of space on the left of the box but he's charged down quickly. Moments later and it's Rose who earns a soft free kick by going down under the challenge of Walters.

88 minJohnson goes deep with his delivery and Cuellar wins the header but it's too high in the air and Begovic is able to jump and catch.

90+1 minFOUR minutes added on. Can either side find a winner? Sunderland looking more likely at the moment.

90+2 minSTOKE SUB: Time-wasting change from Pulis as he brings off Crouch for former Black Cat Kenwyne Jones.

90+3 minSUNDERLAND SUB: Johnson was having problems with cramp a moment ago and Di Canio is taking him off for Phil Bardsley with just over a minute left.

90+4 minFULL-TIME: Sunderland 1-1 Stoke

9.54pmA point apiece it is then. Stoke will be annoyed that they couldn't see out the win once they went down to 10 men but, in truth, Sunderland looked more like finding the winner.

9.59pmThanks for joining Sports Mole for updates this evening. I'll leave you with Barney's match report and the latest Premier League table. Sunderland move above Norwich and Newcastle into 15th but they're still just three points above the drop zone.

Villa boss Paul Lambert does his best Paulo Di Canio impression against Sunderland on April 29, 2013
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