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October 27, 2012
• Britannia Stadium, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire
Referee: M. Halsey
• Attendance: 27005
Stoke end the game up in 12th, but that is before Liverpool have played Everton tomorrow. Though, if Liverpool lose to Everton, goal difference could send Sunderland up to 13th. That's all from the Britannia folks, and we hope you enjoyed the game - even if you had to exert a lot of effort to try and do so!
However, sad news for Stoke as Marc Wilson was stretchered off after half-time. If he has indeed broken his leg, our thoughts are with him.
Adam featured prominently, but star strikers Fletcher and Crouch were goal-shy, possession-shy and just pretty shy in general. Sessegnon and Owen made impacts as they came on... but other than that, all both sides have to take from the game is a point.
So the draw specialists did it again. It's almost a skill to be able to draw so well and both Sunderland and Stoke have done it six times so far this season...
90' + 8'
And its FULL-TIME here. 0-0 always seemed likely, but Stoke gave it their best efforts at the end. Martin O'Neill's side simply seem incapable of not drawing - but at least they aren't losing. The same goes for Stoke.
90' + 8'
It's getting interesting here! But too little too late? N'Zonzi flashing over from range.
90' + 7'
Stoke send in ANOTHER cross but it's cleared. And another one and it's cleared... you can't say they aren't trying.
90' + 6'
Mignolet may have been the most impressive player on the park. And I don't mean that negatively, he was very good today.
90' + 6'
BIGGEST CHANCE OF THE GAME. Crouch tried to round the keeper but lost out to Mignolet and Etherington fired the rebound just wide!
90' + 5'
Ball whipped in by Etherington and HUTH GETS HIS HEAD TO IT, but Mignolet collects low to his right.
90' + 4'
Stoke have got the ball as far as the Sunderland box now and we have a CORNER
90' + 3'
Stoke have possession in the Sunderland half...
90' + 2'
Stoke upping the energy levels but Sunderland standing their ground. Will there be late drama??
And it is EIGHT minutes of added time. Yes, you have read it correctly...
Crouch or Fletcher? Owen or Saha?
Saha coming on for Sunderland! Both teams have two up front now... but is there enough time for a winner?
Crouch has a header... and it goes harmlessly wide...
Cameron Jerome sends a cross way wide. Sums up the game as a whole, really.
Yellow Card Craig Gardner
Another booking. Reckless challenge from Gardner.
CHANCE. Ball whipped in from a Stoke Free Kick and Mignolet is called into action.
Rose comes off... Bardsley on. Not the best of games from the man on loan from Spurs...
Stoke manage to break into the Sunderland box, it is eventually cleared. Gardner down in the Sunderland box now. More boos from Stoke fans.
MICHAEL OWEN has come on for Charlie Adam. Adam didn't look too impressed as he came off, mind...
Sunderland's third corner of the game sees Cuellar head wide with limited potency.
Of all the 0-0s I've seen.... this isn't necessarily the most boring. But it's neither the worst nor the best 0-0 I've witnessed. So does that make it even more bland?
The shot was blocked... and claims for a Penalty as it struck Huth's arm.
CHANCE!!! They should have done better... breaking up the other end of the field, Sessegnon made a sensational turn and found Fletcher in space in the box who wasted the resulting shot.
Adam plays it in but it's cleared and a bit of a kerfuffle is followed by a break for Sunderland.
Free-kick to Stoke. Colback penalized for a sneaky challenge on Adam, who looks like he'll take the ensuing set-piece...
Can Etherington change things for Stoke?
Marc Wilson has a suspected broken leg... very sad news for Stoke.
Tempers flaring here and a chance for Stoke - and a clear-cut one at that. Charlie Adam fires at the keeper from within the box. He had space... but was off-balance, good effort.
Yellow Card Peter Crouch
Boos ring around the Britannia... it's a free kick to Sunderland down the right. But collected with consummate ease by the Stoke goalie.
And speaking of goalies... at the other end Mignolet oozes panache as he shows cool feet under pressure...
Walters confronts O'Neill, providing the biggest excitement the Britannia crowd have seen all day...
Despite O'Neill's change it is Stoke who are now piling on *some* pressure. Pushing forward... Crouch has a shot blocked. A lot of long balls being pumped into the box.
N'Zonzi penalized for a foul, doesn't react well.
And Sessegnon comes on! Will his introduction hand Sunderland the impetus they need?
Stoke enjoying the bulk of possession now, but not even a hint of attempting to break past the Sunderland defence.
Cross comes in for Peter Crouch but he is unable to get on the end of it. Crowd roars with anticipation, though, and there are signs that this is Game On.
AND ANOTHER SHOT! This one for Stoke but goes over the bar as well... Ground-breaking stuff
Yellow Card Dean Whitehead
Dean Whitehead becomes the second player of the match to be booked, but the first for the home side.
Adam Johnson whips in a free-kick but the ball is sent straight back to him. On his second attempt, he cuts inside and fires a half-decent shot at goal. It goes over, but there was promise...
Play has resumed and Stoke are piling on the pressure, but now it's Sunderland's turn... until Begovic collects with ease.
Andy Wilkinson has come on for the injured Marc Wilson.
Wilson stretchered off to a standing Britannia crowd. We can only hope his injury isn't too serious...
Play hasn't resumed yet and the physios have crowded around the injured Wilson.
Marc Wilson is down injured and struggling. He was involved in a challenge with Steven Fletcher.
Charlie Adam fires in a cross but Mignolet deals with it without problems.
And we're off for the second half! No changes at the break.
Emile Heskey has scored four goals in three matches in Australia - including an overhead kick. Do Pulis or O'Neill regret not signing the 34-year-old goal machine?
Both sides have drawn five games so far this season. It seems like a miracle is all that could stop this from becoming six.
Four shots for both teams in that first half and Stoke edged possession by the end. The only telling statistic is the one Offside the Potters have had and their four corners compared to Sunderland's one.
45' + 1'
Charlie Adam loops a high ball into the box and then flashes a long shot wide. But that's it for the first-half... 0-0 at Half-Time. If you want to be rich, put money on goals being scored in this match...
Louis Saha admitted before the match that he is second in the pecking order behind Steven Fletcher - signed from Wolves at the start of this season. But can the Frenchman's introduction in the second half add more spark to Martin O'Neill's side? Or how about Sessegnon?
Stoke 48% Sunderland 52%... But have they done anything with that possession? The scoreline tells it's own story...
It's cleared and an attempted long shot on the follow up sends the ball closer to the Stadium of Light than the Sunderland goal.
The ball makes its way towards the Sunderland box once more and yet again it is knocked out for a corner. Adam to take and Crouch, Walters and Shawcross are just waiting...
An outbreak of pace and Sunderland have the ball deep in the Stoke half... but then a long ball played right towards the corner flag... Goal Kick.
An elbow to the face or is there a sniper in the stadium?
Stoke on the counter now but Cuellar - who has been in the limelight a lot in the last few minutes - clears for a throw.
Sunderland stringing a few impressive passes together... but no cutting edge as of yet.
FLASHES WIDE! A long free kick whipped in for Sunderland from Larsson and Cuellar heads it just wide!
Stoke appeal for a third corner in a row but the referee judges it a Goal Kick. Wrongly, but you can't blame the officials for a split-second decision...
Adam curls in the corner and there's danger! But it's punched out by Mignolet for another corner...
Kightley cuts inside and curls a shot in, Cuellar heads out for a corner for Stoke.
Jack Colback laces a powerful shot from range for Sunderland! But it goes at least 10 yards wide... Come to think of it, that was more than 10...
Will Tony Pulis introduce Michael Owen from the bench later on? It's the question we're all asking...
And straight into the wall...
Sunderland now have a free kick at the other end. Larsson to take?
It was Shawcross with the volley but Stoke failed to capitalize.
Yellow Card Danny Rose
Rose booked, he is not enjoying the best of starts.
Great ball whipped in but dealt with by Mignolet and he saves on the follow up as well. Classic Stoke pressure from the set-piece.
Free kick to Stoke in a dangerous position and a yellow card shown.
Both managers look tense. And so does the Stoke goalkeeper as he is forced to deal with a cross from the right. Well held, down low.
The corner came to nothing but Sunderland are enjoying a large share of play... well, they were until Danny Rose launched a wasted pass to absolutely no one...
Adam Johnson's blocked shot wins Sunderland a corner...
Michael Kightly breaks down the left and flashes a high ball across the box but it finds no one for Stoke.
Interestingly, Tony Pulis admitted before the game that Stoke looked at Steven Fletcher before the game... will he be made to pay for not signing the Scot today?
The cold temperature is hardly helping the players, but Sunderland are attempting to impose themselves on their hosts, prompting several firm but fair challenges from the Potters' midfield.
A slow start here at the Britannia, plenty of midfield battles, no side has made an early breakthrough. But I'm sure Peter Crouch and Steven Fletcher will have something to say about that throughout the course of proceedings...
It came to nothing but expect more of the same from the 'jolly green giants'
Corner for the home side... Adam to take
Four minutes gone so far, but no goals, though Sunderland did just have a cross dealt with by Begovic.
Stoke are unbeaten at home since February... but it was Sunderland who were the last team to win at the Britannia. Stoke are 13th and Sunderland 14th. It has not been the best of seasons so far for either side but today could be the perfect opportunity to kick-start their campaigns.
Sunderland lost their first three Premier League games at Stoke, but put paid to their horrendous record after winning there 1-0 this February. If you think draw is likely (I do) the last goalless draw between these two sides when Stoke were the home side came way back in 1977!
Meanwhile, visiting Sunderland have started with Mignolet, Gardner, Cuellar, O'Shea, Rose, Cattermole, Colback, Larsson, Johnson, McClean and top-scorer Steven Fletcher. Subs: Bardsley, Campbell, Kilgallon, Vaughan, Saha, Sessegnon and Westwood.
On the bench for the Potters are Sorensen, Jones, Upson, Etherington, Wilkinson, Palacios and the legendary Michael Owen...
Stoke line up today with Begovic, Cameron, Shawcross, Huth, Wilson, Walters, Whitehead, Nzonzi, Adam, Kightly and Crouch.
Greetings to all and welcome to Goal.com's LIVE! play-by-play coverage of today's Premier League clash between Stoke v Sunderland from the Britannia Stadium. I'm Tim Poole and I'll be bringing you today's commentary!
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