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Match Analysis: Stoke City 0-0 Sunderland

Match Analysis: Stoke City 0-0 Sunderland
© PA Photos
Sports Mole takes a closer look at Stoke City's Premier League encounter with Sunderland at the Britannia Stadium.

Sunderland managed to hold Stoke City to a goalless draw at the Britannia Stadium this afternoon.

The Black Cats came under pressure at certain points in the game, but had arguably the best chance to break the deadlock.

Steven Fletcher's goal-bound shot cannoned off Robert Huth's arm in the second half, but the referee was correct in not awarding a penalty.

Stoke pushed forward late on but were not able to breach the deadlock.

Here, Sports Mole takes a closer look to see if the result was fair.

Match statistics

Stoke
Shots: 16
On Target: 4
Possession: 52%
Corners: 7
Fouls: 12

Sunderland
Shots: 7
On Target: 0
Possession: 48%
Corners: 3
Fouls: 7

Was the result fair?

Yes. Stoke were the better team, but created very little in front of goal. It was an uninspiring encounter that deservedly ended goalless.

Stoke's performance

6/10. Tony Pulis's side lacked in imagination and creativity. Their biggest threat came from Charlie Adam's making. The Scot's set pieces caused Sunderland a few problems in defence. However, he was withdrawn in the second half for Michael Owen. Michael Kightly also worked hard and seemed to be involved in everything the Potters did going forward. Matthew Etherington was lively when he came on, but Stoke just didn't do enough to win the game.

Sunderland's performance?

6/10. Sunderland seemed happier with the draw, as on the balance of play they were the team defending. Steven Fletcher cut a frustrated figure as he was isolated in attack, with the midfield being slow to supply him. It seemed as though Martin O'Neill set his team up to be hard to beat today, and in fairness they did not allow Stoke to bully them. The Britannia is a hard place to go and they will probably be happy with the result.

Sports Mole's man of the match

Michael Kightly: The 26-year-old was the best player on the park today. He was full of running and linked up midfield and attack very well. If Stoke were to have scored, Kightly would probably have had a hand in it.

Biggest gaffe

There were no glaring errors, but perhaps Sebastian Larsson will be unhappy with Dean Whitehead for his challenge in the second half. Whitehead earned a booking for it, while Larsson came off nursing the knock.

Referee's performance

Mark Halsey made a few good decisions today and has every right to be happy with his performance. He did not award a penalty when Fletcher's shot hit Huth on the arm in the second half when you've seen them given every week. It would have no doubt left Tony Pulis fuming. He escapes the Welshman's wrath, for this week at least.

What's next?

Stoke: The Potters travel to Carrow Road next week to face a resurgent Norwich City next Saturday.

Sunderland: The Black Cats host Aston Villa at the Stadium of Light, also on Saturday.

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Lee Cattermole
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