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Played
October 27, 2012 3:00 PM BST
Britannia Stadium — Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire
Referee:‬ M. Halsey‎
Attendance:‬ 27005‎
 
Top of the Match
Simon Mignolet
Simon Mignolet
Sunderland
Jack Colback
Jack Colback
Sunderland
Flop of the Match
Peter Crouch
Peter Crouch
Stoke City
Martin O'Neill
Martin O'Neill

Stoke City 0-0 Sunderland: Mignolet heroics ensures battle of the draw specialists ends all square

The Belgian keeper saved the day for the Black Cats with a succession of last-ditch stops to deny the Potters in a tense but disappointing encounter at the Britannia

By Russell Stoddart at Britannia Stadium

EPL; Simon Mignolet; Stoke City v Sunderland
Getty Images
Stoke and Sunderland fought out a tense 0-0 draw at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday afternoon, in a game punctuated by several last-ditch saves from Simon Mignolet.

The Belgian had to be at his best to deny the Potters attack during a match which is unlikely to live long in the memory of those in attendance.

Potters boss Tony Pulis kept faith with the team that ran Manchester United close at Old Trafford last week, meaning Michael Owen is yet to earn his first start for the club.

The visitors, meanwhile, welcomed back skipper Lee Cattermole from a three-match ban, replacing Stephane Sessegnon, who dropped to the bench. Phil Bardsley was also named as a substitute for the first time this season after a long injury lay-off. The Scot was the last Sunderland player apart from Steven Fletcher to score a goal, when he netted in the penultimate match of last season.

With 14 goals between them in 15 league matches this season and just one win each, this was never likely to be a high-scoring bonanza. Both sides set out with a lone striker, but the midfields cancelled each other out for long spells meaning there was little support on offer to the front men.

In a forgettable opening period, it was the home side who shaded it without looking likely to break the deadlock. The game did briefly spring to life midway through the first half, though, after Danny Rose was booked for a reckless challenge on Michael Kightly. Black Cats keeper Mignolet kept out Adam’s fierce subsequent free-kick, but he failed to get much distance on his punch and Ryan Shawcross should have done better than fire wide from 15 yards.

It took the visitors until beyond the half-hour mark to record an effort worthy of note themselves. A Seb Larsson free-kick was met by the towering presence of Cuellar, but the Spaniard’s glancing header went narrowly wide.

Despite a sterile first half, neither side made changes at the break. However, the home side was forced to make one soon after the restart when Marc Wilson went down heavily after a challenge from Steven Fletcher. The Stoke defender fell awkwardly and, after a lengthy stoppage, was carried from the pitch with a suspected broken leg.

The game then descended once again into a scrappy, cagey affair with neither side able to assert any authority. There were occasional glimpses of goal, though Adam Johnson’s 25 yard thunderbolt would have been out of keeping with the encounter if it had sailed between the sticks.

Sessegnon replaced the ineffectual Larsson and it nearly paid immediate dividends when he picked out Fletcher in space, but the Scot hesitated and that allowed Huth to block his effort. Sunderland immediately claimed that the German used an arm and replays in the aftermath appeared to back their pleas.

The game appeared to be drifting to a tame draw, but Huth nearly gave Stoke an unlikely winner when his darting header forced Mignolet into a point-blank save.

The injury to Wilson meant an additional eight minutes and much of it was spent around the Sunderland box with Mignolet again coming to the rescue when saving at Crouch's feet.


Stoke City

1
Asmir Begovic
Goalkeeper
3.00
20
Geoff Cameron
Defender
2.00
4
Robert Huth
Defender
3.50
12
Marc Wilson
Defender
53′
2.50
17
Ryan Shawcross
Defender
3.00
15
Steven N'Zonzi
Midfielder
2.50
16
Charlie Adam
Midfielder
79′
2.00
18
Dean Whitehead
Midfielder
57′
2.00
21
Michael Kightly
Midfielder
3.00
19
2.50
25
Peter Crouch
Striker
69′
2.00

Sunderland

3.50
22
Simon Mignolet
Goalkeeper
2.50
3
Danny Rose
Midfielder
21′ 83′
3.50
16
John O'Shea
Defender
3.00
24
3.00
33
Lee Cattermole
Midfielder
2.50
7
2.50
8
Craig Gardner
Midfielder
85′
2.00
14
Jack Colback
Midfielder
1.50
11
Adam Johnson
Midfielder
89′
2.00
-
James McClean
Midfielder
2.50
9

Substitutes

29
 - 
20
 - 
28
2.00
8
W. Palacios
Midfielder
 - 
26
2.00
9
 - 
10
 - 

Substitutes

 - 
20
 - 
2
 - 
27
 - 
-
David Vaughan
Midfielder
2.50
28
 - 
10
 - 
8
Louis Saha
Striker
89′

Coach/Manager

-
 - 

Coach/Manager

 - 
-
 
  • Goal
  • Own Goal
  • Penalty
  • Penalty Missed
  • Yellow Card
  • Assist
  • Penalty Save
  • Penalty Shootout Goal
  • Penalty Shootout Miss
  • Yellow Card / Red Card
  • Red Card
  • Substitution IN
  • Substitution OUT
  • Injury
  • Goal.com Rating
  • Goal.com Man of the Match
  • Goal.com Flop of the Match
  • Top & Flop Global Ranking
  • Fans' Man of the Match
  • Fans' Flop of the Match
Results
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Luis Suárez Luis Suárez
Striker
Liverpool
30 0
Daniel Sturridge Daniel Sturridge
Striker
Liverpool
20 0
Yaya Touré Yaya Touré
Midfielder
Manchester City
18 6
Wayne Rooney Wayne Rooney
Striker
Manchester United
15 2
Sergio Agüero Sergio Agüero
Striker
Manchester City
15 0