STOKE CITY’S miserable league record away at Sunderland continues after goals from Patrick van Aanholt and Duncan Watmore succumbed the 10-man Potters to a 2-0 defeat on Saturday afternoon.
The result sees City's run without a league win in Wearside stretch to 22 years after last picking up all three points in the 1993/94 season.
City were handed a mammoth task minutes after the interval at the Stadium of Light when Ryan Shawcross received his marching order for what referee Mike Dean deemed a second bookable offence.
The loss means Stoke’s five-game unbeaten run on the road came to an unfortunate end in a game that was evenly matched up until half-time.
Mark Hughes named an unchanged starting XI for the third game in a row following victories over Chelsea and Southampton respectively.
Marco van Ginkel was the only fresh face amongst the substitute’s bench, with the Dutchman being preferred over Stephen Ireland.
The Mackems meanwhile made one change following their first away triumph of the campaign at Crystal Palace on Monday night as DeAndre Yedlin replaced the suspended Billy Jones at right-back.
It was the hosts who recorded the first real chance on goal after what was an evenly matched opening 20 minutes.
Jermaine Defoe neatly interchanged with Lee Cattermole on the edge of the Potters box before twisting and firing a low shot that whistled just wide of the upright from just inside the D.
City never really threatened Costel Pantilimon as the half-hour mark passed, with the goalkeeper reacting well to Xherdan Shaqiri's deflected in-swinging cross at his near post.
The Romanian shot-stopper was called into action just moments later, brilliantly turning away Jonathan Walters’ point-blank effort with his legs and prevent City from taking a 32nd minute lead.
Sunderland produced a spell of pressure without ever threatening Jack Butland as half-time clawed ever nearer.
Charlie Adam saw his stoppage time header rise over the crossbar, while Pantilimon was fortunate to go in at the break without a caution after momentum saw him marginally handle the ball outside the penalty area.
HT: Sunderland 0-0 Stoke City
City were handed a mammoth task just two minutes after the re-start when Shawcross received his marching orders, picking up a second yellow card after he was adjudged to have fouled Watmore as the pair contested for the ball.
A harsh call by referee Mike Dean with the replays showing the captain got a toe to the challenge and help the ball change direction.
Bojan was sacrificed as a result, with Geoff Cameron being brought into the fray to slot in with Philipp Wollscheid at the heart of defence.
The one-man advantage worked in the Black Cats’ favour almost immediately as Yann M’Vila exploited space inside the right side of the area, forcing Butland to push his fierce drive away.
The England international was called into action once more, this time superbly tipping over Sebastian Coates’ goal-bound header over.
Stoke weathered the mini-storm by setting up two-banks-of-four and created two half chances with Walters and Glen Johnson forcing Pantilimon into two routine saves.
Despite their best efforts, City’s job was made even tougher when the Black Cats took the lead on 82 minutes through Van Aanholt, who fired a first-time effort into the bottom corner from 30-yards.
There was little a rooted Butland could do moments later as the Mackems doubled their lead when Watmore reacted to Pieters’ sliced clearance, running in behind Wollscheid down the right channel before smashing it into the far corner.
FT: Sunderland 2-0 Stoke City.