Sloppy Defending Hands Sunderland Victory
Stadium Of Light
Steven Fletcher scored twice for Sunderland to find the net for the first time this calendar year to hand them a first win of the season. Fletcher added to Connor Wickham`s opener to sink Stoke to their first away defeat in 5 games.
The Potters started sluggishly, and looked quite frail defensively from the word go, and it was only the 4th minute when local hero Wickham opened his account for the season. A good cross from the wing found Wickham`s head, and the youngster leapt above ex-Sunderland player Phil Bardsley with ease to head into the net from 4 yards out. A very simple goal for the hosts to score, but a very, very poor goal for Stoke`s water-tight defence to concede.
The Potters lacked any real quality through the game, but the one time that they did have a clear effort on goal, they took the chance. Charlie Adam broke free and was 1-on-1 with defender John O`Shea, and the Scot hit the ball low with power, as Charlie Adam always does, and put the ball through O`Shea`s legs and into the corner of the net. It was your typical Charlie Adam goal, however this was it for Stoke`s fortune for the day, as only minutes later, Stoke`s in-form loanee Victor Moses started to feel a thigh injury that he felt after Monday night`s game against Newcastle, and was forced off. From here, everything went downhill for City.
Only minutes after the Nigerian was taken off with his thigh injury, out-of-form striker Steven Fletcher added to the visitors misery and put Sunderland 2-1 up. A short corner came to Jordi Gomez, who swung the ball into the box and Fletcher rose higher than all other Stoke defenders to head into the net for the first time since December 2013. Again from Stoke, it was woeful defending and something that Potters fans would not be used to seeing from their team.
After a second half of no pressure from the visitors, Fletcher wrapped the game up for Sunderland, and after a piercing run from Wickham, the young striker squared the ball in the area to a completely unmarked Fletcher who made absolutely no mistake with the finish to make it 3-1, and absolutely no way back for Stoke. The Potters continue their tradition of never winning in the Premier League in Wearside and drop to 15th, while Sunderland head up the table to 11th with their first league win of the season.