So often the hero for Sunderland in recent weeks, he almost turned villain when spilling Cameron's cross. Made up up for it though with fantastic stop from Crouch and followed up with a great block to deny Shawcross.
Got himself into more decent shooing opportunities than solid defensive positions. A result that saw team-mates arguing with him and the full-back subsequently being hauled off at the break.
Would have been relieved to see his side go into the break ahead after a couple of lapses in concentration gifted the visitors decent opportunities. Should have wrapped things up with a late header and often looked nervous late on, almost putting through his own net.
Made sure Odemwingie's Stoke debut wasn't a memorable one as he kept the Nigerian quiet all evening. Left a little exposed by the work-shy Borini but coped all the same.
Involved in the mix up that could have seen Crouch level but wasn't really at fault. Kept a cool head while all around him seemed to be losing there's, constantly barking at his men in the final moments.
Never afraid of picking up the ball and looked solid when playing the ball short in the middle. Constantly hassled the Stoke midfield but looked unreliable when trying to pull off the more ambitious passes.
Regularly the catalyst for Sunderland's recent run of results and he demonstrated his importance once more, keeping his composure to make the most of Begovic's poor parry.
Sat in front of the back four in the first half and kept Stoke's midfield reasonably quiet by breaking up play. Made use of the space afforded in the second-half by N'Zonzi's absence and was happy to run the show in the middle of the park.
The Swede was booed off the last time he appeared at the Stadium of Light but he produced a much more invigorated performance this time around, linking well with Johnson. Still continued to irritate some fans wit his varying success from set pieces.
Continued up top in place of Fletcher and gave Shawcross and the Stoke defence a tough time, using his strength to hold up play and shield the ball with ease. His jostling and pace single-handedly lead to N'Zonzi's sending off.
Burst into life with the ball at his feet and was in his element running at Stoke defenders. Left Alonso to fend off Stoke interest down the right by himself on too many occasions. Managed to relieve the pressure with a couple of meandering runs late on.
May be disappointed with the opening goal as he failed to push the ball out of harms way. Did manage a couple of fine stops from Altidore and Larsson but the damage had already been done.
Had the company of the tricky Johnson to contend with all night and wasn't always up to the task. Was never drawn in tight to his man which ultimately worked against him.
Slow to close down threats early on and often second best in battles with the powerful Altidore. Should have done better when given the freedom of the Sunderland box but couldn't beat Mannone with his diving header.
Never looked particularly troubled as Shawcross took it on himself to deal with Altidore when possible. Tracked his men well and reduced a Sunderland side with an extra man to very few genuine chances.
Afforded the chance to regularly roam down the right due to Borini's reluctance to track back and put in the odd dangerous delivery. Did fluff his lines when meeting Adam's corner unmarked at the back-post.
Sat deep in the middle for Stoke and produced passing varied enough to keep the hosts on their toes. Given a much tougher job as Stoke saw out virtually the whole second-half with 10-men and didn't quite get see the same amount of the ball.
Became a target for Sunderland fans as he continuously nibbled at the home side's midfield. Eventually booked for his repetitive swipes but continued to prove a thorn in the side of the hosts, coming close with a free kick late on.
While many of his team-mates seemed to lift their performances after going behind, the former Blackburn man continued at his own reluctant pace, booked in the process for a clumsy challenge on Altidore. His poor night was compounded when rightly sent off.
Unable to produce the goods for Cardiff, he was kept quiet in his wide berth by Alonso. Switched to a more central role in the second-half where he found a bit more joy, but couldn't get the better of Mannone when through one-on-one.
Gifted an opportunity by Mannone but couldn't take it. Continued to hold the ball up expertly throughout but deemed surplus to requirements after Stoke went down a man and was subsequently subbed.
His preference to cut inside became predictable early on but was still posed a problem for Bardsley. The same tactic failed to get him past Celustka in the second period and he was eventually brought off for Arnautovic.