SUNDERLAND reporter Chris Young gives his verdict after the 1-1 draw at Stoke City, as the Black Cats dropped into the relegation zone.
PANTILIMON 8 - No chance with Adam’s leveller, but two magnificent saves to preserve a point. The one to deny Diouf, in particular, was a stunner.
Jones 7 - Ventured forward effectively during the second half and would have regained the lead for Sunderland, if it hadn’t been for Begovic making amends with a superb block.
O’Shea 6 - Shaky during the opening 45 minutes, but despite a hefty foot in the face which left him black and blue, was more composed after the break.
Coates 7 - Justified his surprise selection in only his fourth Premier League start for Sunderland. Exposed against Diouf’s pace at times during the first half, but cleared a succession of Stoke crosses and made several crucial blocks in the dying stages.
Van Aanholt 6 - Should have made more of promising situations during the second half and blazed a shot wildly over the bar from the edge of the box. Could he have closed down Adam quicker for the leveller?
Cattermole 7 - Didn’t let his early yellow card faze him, despite Sunderland being left exposed in central midfield. Played a sublime pass which Defoe should have capitalised on when Sunderland were 1-0 up.
Rodwell 5 - Better in the second half, but was utterly anonymous in a first half when Adam and Ireland ran the show for Stoke. Has to offer more.
Gomez 6 - Looked far more comfortable in a three-man midfield after being used on the left flank in an orthodox 4-4-2 during the first half.
Buckley 6 - Excellent contribution to Wickham’s early goal on his first start since January, but offered little after that. (Graham 6 - Made a positive difference in offering some physicality to the attack and held the ball up well.)
Wickham 7 - Again Sunderland’s biggest threat. Managed to bundle the ball in for his sixth of the season and was denied by an excellent last-gasp challenge from Shawcross after the break.
Defoe 6 - Worked hard in tracking back, but had two presentable chances by his standards, and spurned them. The one at 0-1, in particular, could have been a game-changing moment.
STOKE: Begovic 6, Cameron 6, Shawcross 7, Wollscheid 6, Pieters 6, Nzonzi 7, Adam 8, Walters 7 (Odemwingie 6), Ireland 8, Arnautovic 7, Diouf 7 (Crouch 6).