Mark Eltringham, our Stoke City previewer, is indignant. Why, he thunders, didn’t we mention Lee Cattermole’s great escape at the Stadium of Light? We did, Mark; see “Sorry Stoke, for once we carried the luck“. Salut! Sunderland is an honest sort of site. And Pete Sixsmitb gave another burst of honesty when The Observer asked for his thoughts on yesterday’s match. First, though, the verdict from another Stoke fan …
Chris Baldwin, Stoke.VitalFootball.co.uk
We were appalling for 75 minutes, then were pretty good for 15 minutes. It felt like a lucky win but you have to take your luck when it comes. Credit to Pulis, he took off a defender and put Walters on up front. That’s a big risk for him but it paid off. They weren’t pretty goals, but who cares? The wingers weren’t getting enough crosses in early on, but Pennant’s delivery for the second goal was excellent. He played well, as did Carew. I think we’ve done enough now not to worry about getting sucked into a relegation battle – any improvement on last year will constitute a good season for me.
Begovic 7; Wilkinson 6 (Walters 66 6), Shawcross 7, Huth 7, Higginbotham 6; Pennant 8, Whitehead 7, Delap 6, Etherington 7; Jones 6, Carew 8
Pete Sixsmth, SalutSunderland.com
An early kick-off, rain pouring down and a last-minute winner for Stoke means it doesn’t get much worse. A game we were winning comfortably went horribly wrong in the last 10 minutes as we failed to handle Stoke’s aerial bombardment. We looked good and controlled much of the game but failed to close it out. Stoke played to their strengths but are ugly to watch and they had a lot of help from a poor set of officials. I’d give up watching football if every team played the way Stoke do. But ultimately we have to look at how we defend – seven goals conceded in two games is not acceptable.
Gordon 7; Bramble 8, Ferdinand 7, Mensah 7; Onuoha 7, Henderson 7 (Malbranque 85 n/a), Muntari 7 (Zenden 89 n/a), Richardson 8, Bardsley 7; Sessegnon 7; Gyan 7