Stoke City 1 Sunderland 1: Cats didn't test rookie keeper enough plus five other things learned from draw

Sunderland fans celebrate Jermain Defoe's late equaliser

Sunderland fans celebrate Jermain Defoe's late equaliser

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The fight for Premier League survival is set for a nerve-wracking, tension-filled final week of the campaign.

Sunderland dropped back into the bottom three despite a late penalty from Jermain Defoe to secure what could yet prove a crucial point at Stoke City.

Sub Duncan Watmore in action against Stoke City

Sub Duncan Watmore in action against Stoke City

Here's what we learned from the draw:

Sunderland were awful but managed to get out of jail. Just.

Make no mistake, this was an awful Sunderland performance.

It was comfortably the worst performance of 2016, harking back to some of the dross served up before Christmas.

Vito Mannone makes a save

Vito Mannone makes a save

The difference? Sunderland, somehow, got something out of the game. Stoke City are no world beaters but they should have won this one.

Instead, Sunderland kept their cool and more importantly kept going. It could yet prove pivotal.

Too tight to call at the bottom of the Premier League.

Victory for Newcastle United, defeat for Norwich City.

It remains tight at the bottom of the Premier League - too tight to call - but the good news for Sunderland is their fate remains in their hands.

They dropped back into the bottom three and are now a point behind Newcastle United, who moved on to 33 points.

Seven points would guarantee the Black Cats safety due to their superior goal difference. An intriguing final week of the season awaits.

Sunderland concede possession too easily:

Sam Allardyce highlighted the point post-match - Sunderland's nerves had got the better of them.

Passes were going astray, their was little momentum or thought to their play. The decision making shoddy. Sunderland simply weren't at the races.

And the amount of misplaced passes was unbelievable.

Credit to them for getting something from the game but Sunderland need to start matches better ahead of games against Chelsea, Everton and Watford.

Full-backs need to cut out the crosses.

It is becoming an increasing problem for Sunderland.

Time after time, Xherdan Shaqiri and Marko Arnautovic were allowed time and space to whip dangerous balls into the penalty area.

Peter Crouch - who impressed on his return to the Stoke starting line-up - unsurprisingly got the better of Lamine Kone in the air all match.

DeAndre Yedlin and Patrick van Aanholt have been much improved but that is a big aspect of their game they must improve quickly.

Sunderland didn't do enough to test Jakob Haugaard.

With Jack Butland and Shay Given both injured, Mark Hughes had no choice but to name Jakob Haugaard in goal.

But Sunderland didn't do enough to test the 24-year-old Dane, who has made a handful of top flight appearances.

Defoe carved out a few half chances for himself but Haugaard - who looked nervous at times - was rarely troubled until the final moments of the match.

Defoe's goals on the road crucial.

Another game. Another Defoe goal.

There was no doubting the 33-year-old when he stepped up to rescue a point.

Defoe has now scored 10 goals in his last 11 away games, and 11 of his 14 league goals have come on the road.

One for stat fans: only Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane (14) and Leicester City's Riyad Mahrez (12) have scored more away goals in the Premier League this season than Defoe (11).