Defoe salvages point for Sunderland

A late penalty from Jermain Defoe earned Sunderland a potentially critical point in a 1-1 draw with Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday.

  • Stoke City 1 Sunderland 1
  • Arnautovic fires Stoke ahead
  • Late Defoe penalty rescues point
  • Sunderland slip into the drop zone

Match Summary

Stoke had the better chances of the first half, with Peter Crouch proving a useful asset up front with his physical presence, and after missing a couple of headers in the first half, the beanpole striker set up the opener early in the second half when his cushioned header was banged in by Marko Arnautovic.

With relegation rivals Newcastle beating Crystal Palace in a parallel game, the mood around the Britannia Stadium was gloomy until Defoe took a tumble under pressure from Geoff Cameron, and fired thje resulting penalty past Jakob Haugaard to rescue a point for the Black Cats.

The salvaged point isn’t enough to keep Sunderland out of the drop zone, but it keeps them on the tail of their derby rivals, who are just one point ahead.

Full Report

Sunderland had the first chance of the match after 10 minutes when Patrick van Aanholt picked up on a half-cleared corner and had a drive at goal was almost directed on target by Jermain Defoe, but the veteran striker just couldn’t get a touch to it.

For Stoke, striker Peter Crouch was a threat throughout the half, and was on target in the 18th minute when his header tested Vito Mannone in goal, but the Italian was able to save. The lanky striker probably should’ve been in the box when Marko Arnautovic sent in a teasing cross in the 23rd minute, but he did get a head to Phil Bardsley’s ball in after 26 minutes, and saw it bounce just wide of the post.

Arnautovic then wasted some good work by Giannelli Imbula, who had produced a bit of magic to pick out the Austrian in a pocket of space, but he fired his effort over the crossbar in what turned out to be the last clear-cut chance of the first period.

The Potters took the lead early in the second half, with Crouch using his height to good effect yet again, this time to head down Charlie Adam’s cross from the left for Arnautovic to fire it low and hard into the back of the net.

With tension rising at the Britannia, Mannone came to the rescue in the 73rd minute to deny Crouch from doubling Stoke’s lead after Jonathan Walters had laid it off for him, and Defoe came close to an equaliser three minutes later with an innovative effort on the volley, but saw it whizz over the crossbar.