Adam Johnson’s first half goal secured the points for Sunderland over a lacklustre 10-man Stoke City at the Stadium of Light.
The host’s had the better of the chances in the opening stages with Sebastian Larsson urged to shoot from 25-yards out, but his shot was palmed away by Asmir Begovic and cleared by Marc Wilson.
Oussama Assaidi replied with a deflected cross that almost looped over Vito Mannone in the Sunderland goal. But the Black Cats took the lead in the 17th minute when Begovic spilled Fabio Borini’s long range shot and Johnson was on hand to tap the ball into the net to give Sunderland the advantage.
Peter Crouch could have found the equaliser for Stoke when Geoff Cameron’s cross found him in space and the striker headed the ball straight into the arms of Mannone but the keeper dropped the ball and Crouch couldn’t react quick enough to knock the ball over the line.
The ball then fell to Cameron from a set piece but The American knocked the ball over the cross bar.
Wilson made the mistake of allowing Altidore past him early in the second half, Steven N’Zonzi, already on a yellow card tapped the American’s ankles and received a second yellow, leaving Stoke with a mountain to climb.
Glenn Whelan tried to back heel the ball on the edge of the penalty area but Altidore jumped onto the loose pass and nearly double Sunderland’s lead if not for a superb save by the legs of Begovic.
The chances came thick and fast for Sunderland following N’Zonzi’s dismissal with Johnson and Larsson forcing save’s from Stoke’s number one before Odemwingie tested Sunderland’s keeper with a tame shot from outside the area.
The visitors brought on Jon Walters and Marko Arnautovic in an attempt to combat Sunderland’s offense but the hosts maintained the possession and gained the three points that see them climb out of the bottom three and Stoke drop down to 17th.
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