Sunderland managed to equalise through John O'Shea in the second half and here Sports Mole looks over the match at the Stadium of Light.
On target 7
On target 7
Was the result fair?
Surprisingly, yes. Once Stoke had found a goal and Gardner was sent off, you would have expected the Potters to resiliently hold on for three points. It was comfortable enough in the first half but Paolo Di Canio geed up his men at the break and they came out fighting in the second, deservedly finding an equaliser despite their numerical disadvantage.
Di Canio's men made a sloppy start, conceding cheaply from a corner against a Stoke side that are famous for their threat at set pieces. It didn't get any better in the first half as Gardner went in horribly on Adam and was deservedly sent off. Their attack, and in particular Danny Graham, was blunt throughout but their persistence in the second half was rewarded with O'Shea's goal.
A perfect start for the visitors and when Gardner was sent off, manager Tony Pulis must have been thinking that three points were in the bag. In the end, Stoke couldn't keep hold of the ball for long enough in the second half, allowing Sunderland to mount attacks and build pressure that eventually paid off.
Sports Mole's man of the match
Charlie Adam: The Scot's delivery and composure on the ball was impressive all evening and he just edges out energetic Sunderland left-back Danny Rose for this award.
Has to go to Gardner for his horror tackle on Adam. The midfielder will be breathing a sigh of relief that his teammates managed to win a point as he put them in an awful position with his stupidity.
Lee Mason had a sound performance tonight, correctly dismissing Gardner, who will now miss the rest of the season with a three-match ban.
Sunderland: Another crucial home game is next up for the Black Cats as they host Southampton before a difficult final day trip to Champions League-chasing Spurs.
Stoke: The Potters face the same two clubs as they first welcome Spurs before going to Southampton on the final day.