skip to content
Foul by Craig Gardner on Jermaine Pennant, free kick awarded. Jermaine Pennant crosses the ball in from the free kick, Craig Gardner makes a clearance.
Jack Colback fouled by Peter Crouch, the ref awards a free kick. Booking for Peter Crouch for unsporting behaviour. Titus Bramble takes the direct free kick.
Unfair challenge on Titus Bramble by Dean Whitehead results in a free kick. John O'Shea takes the direct free kick.
Foul by David Vaughan on Dean Whitehead, free kick awarded. Jermaine Pennant restarts play with the free kick.
Robert Huth takes a shot. Blocked by Wes Brown. Corner taken left-footed by Jermaine Pennant, Craig Gardner manages to make a clearance.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Robert Huth on Dong-Won Ji. David Vaughan takes the direct free kick.
Kenwyne Jones takes a shot. Titus Bramble gets a block in.
Craig Gardner takes a shot. Save made by Asmir Begovic.
Foul by David Vaughan on Kenwyne Jones, free kick awarded. Robert Huth takes the free kick.
(Sunderland) makes a substitution, with Connor Wickham coming on for Nicklas Bendtner.
David Vaughan fouled by Wilson Palacios, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Titus Bramble.
Foul by Dean Whitehead on Nicklas Bendtner, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Kieran Richardson.
Marc Wilson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Ahmed Elmohamady. Stephane Sessegnon leaves the field to be replaced by Dong-Won Ji. Direct free kick taken by John O'Shea.
Unfair challenge on Stephane Sessegnon by Wilson Palacios results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by John O'Shea.
Unfair challenge on David Vaughan by Dean Whitehead results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Wes Brown.
Handball decision goes against Peter Crouch. Simon Mignolet restarts play with the free kick.
Stephane Sessegnon takes a shot. Blocked by Robert Huth. Corner taken by Craig Gardner, save made by Asmir Begovic.
Rory Delap leaves the field to be replaced by Wilson Palacios.
Robert Huth produces a header from close range which goes wide of the left-hand upright.
Jermaine Pennant joins the action as a substitute, replacing Matthew Etherington.
(Sunderland) makes a substitution, with Jack Colback coming on for Sebastian Larsson.
(Stoke) makes a substitution, with Kenwyne Jones coming on for Cameron Jerome.
Matthew Etherington takes the inswinging corner, Simon Mignolet makes a save.
Stephane Sessegnon provided the assist for the goal.
Robert Huth gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Stephane Sessegnon. Sebastian Larsson scores a brilliant goal direct from the free kick from just outside the penalty box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Sunderland 4-0 Stoke.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Robert Huth on Simon Mignolet. Robert Huth receives a caution. Simon Mignolet takes the direct free kick.
Matthew Etherington takes the inswinging corner, clearance by Wes Brown.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Cameron Jerome by Craig Gardner. The referee shows Sebastian Larsson a yellow card. Direct free kick taken by Asmir Begovic.
Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Sebastian Larsson from the right by-line to the near post, clearance by Jonathan Woodgate. Corner taken by Sebastian Larsson from the right by-line.
Jonathan Walters sends in a cross, Peter Crouch takes a shot.
David Vaughan takes a shot. Save by Asmir Begovic.
Shot from 18 yards by Cameron Jerome. Blocked by Wes Brown.
Nicklas Bendtner is caught offside. Indirect free kick taken by Asmir Begovic.
Matthew Etherington takes a inswinging corner from the right by-line played to the near post, Craig Gardner makes a clearance.
David Vaughan concedes a free kick for a foul on Dean Whitehead. Robert Huth takes the direct free kick.
Peter Crouch takes a shot. Save by Simon Mignolet.
Effort on goal by Sebastian Larsson from deep inside the penalty area misses to the right of the goal.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Peter Crouch by Nicklas Bendtner. Direct free kick taken by Jonathan Woodgate.
Unfair challenge on Jonathan Walters by Kieran Richardson results in a free kick. Free kick crossed left-footed by Matthew Etherington from right wing, Sebastian Larsson manages to make a clearance.
Stephane Sessegnon takes a shot. Asmir Begovic makes a save.
Ahmed Elmohamady concedes a free kick for a foul on Dean Whitehead. Free kick taken by Asmir Begovic.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Jonathan Walters by Wes Brown. Free kick crossed left-footed by Matthew Etherington, Wes Brown manages to make a clearance. Corner from right by-line crossed in by Matthew Etherington, save by Simon Mignolet.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Dean Whitehead by Craig Gardner. Jonathan Woodgate takes the direct free kick.
Ahmed Elmohamady gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Robert Huth. Free kick taken by Matthew Etherington.
Craig Gardner finds the net with a goal from just outside the box to the top right corner of the goal. Sunderland 3-0 Stoke.Assist on the goal came from Nicklas Bendtner.
Kieran Richardson produces a cross.
Foul by Jonathan Woodgate on Stephane Sessegnon, free kick awarded. Sebastian Larsson restarts play with the free kick.
Dean Whitehead has an effort at goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the right-hand post.
Ahmed Elmohamady produces a cross, Asmir Begovic makes a save.
Unfair challenge on Peter Crouch by Sebastian Larsson results in a free kick. Matthew Etherington crosses the ball from the free kick left-footed from right wing, Wes Brown makes a clearance.
Ahmed Elmohamady fouled by Rory Delap, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Sebastian Larsson.
Craig Gardner concedes a free kick for a foul on Dean Whitehead. Robert Huth takes the direct free kick.
Sebastian Larsson challenges Cameron Jerome unfairly and gives away a free kick. Strike on goal comes in from Marc Wilson from the free kick, save made by Simon Mignolet.
Robert Huth takes a shot. Wes Brown gets a block in.
The ball is sent over by Sebastian Larsson. Jonathan Woodgate heads into his own net. Sunderland 2-0 Stoke.Assist by Sebastian Larsson.
Foul by Craig Gardner on Cameron Jerome, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Asmir Begovic.
Corner taken by Sebastian Larsson, clearance by Peter Crouch.
Sebastian Larsson takes the outswinging corner, Jonathan Woodgate makes a clearance. Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Sebastian Larsson played to the near post, Titus Bramble finds the back of the net with a goal from inside the penalty area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Sunderland 1-0 Stoke.
Bendtner relishing fresh start
Nicklas Bendtner admits that life in Sunderland is a world away from the bright lights of London but insisted that he needed to move from Arsenal to pursue his ambitions.
The Danish striker has moved to Wearside on a year-long loan - and made it clear he will not return to the Gunners afterwards if it is merely to warm the bench.
Bendtner says he has hardly watched Arsenal on television this season, but that he hopes his ex-team-mates overcome their difficult start to the season.
The 23-year-old, likely to lead the attack against Stoke on Sunday, said: "It's very different from London, but you just have to learn and adapt.
"I have rented a good house and am probably going to spend most of my time there as I did in London, and then spend time with my family when I am not playing football so it's going to be okay.
"It's different but I think you should be willing to adapt everywhere you go. Obviously it's not what I'm used to but I'm sure I will have a great time here."
Bendtner has been dogged by an interview he gave 18 months ago where he was quoted as saying he viewed himself as "one of the best strikers in the world" but that he needed to score more goals, and he was keen to set the record straight at Sunderland's training ground in Cleadon.
He added: "What I said is that when a striker scores more than 20 goals a season then the papers are quick to say now he's one of the best strikers in the world.
"I said I thought in my game that I can always improve but the thing that I missed that I needed to do was to score more goals.
"But it was difficult for me as I never really got a run of games so I didn't have a chance to do that."
John O'Shea could return to bolster Sunderland's defence at home to Stoke on Sunday.
The Republic of Ireland defender missed the defeat by Chelsea due to a calf strain but has returned to training. Young striker Connor Wickham could make his first start since the 18-year-old's move from Ipswich.
Tony Pulis has backed Steve Bruce to get through his difficult start to the season.
Bruce made 11 signings during the summer transfer window in an effort to bolster his squad, but has since seen striker Asamoah Gyan make a shock loan move to United Arab Emirates side Al-Ain, while on the pitch the Black Cats have started the campaign without a win in five games.
That run has included a derby defeat at home to Newcastle, as well as a Carling Cup second-round exit at the hands of Brighton.
The Wearside outfit head into Sunday's Barclays Premier League clash with Stoke at the Stadium of Light with the pressure on Bruce, but Potters boss Pulis is confident his counterpart will not let Sunderland get stuck in a rut and that he and the club "will be fine".
Pulis said: "Steve Bruce is a great manager, he is at a great club and you have difficult times - that is management, it is a really difficult job.
"The aspirations of people connected with clubs now is far beyond what most people can achieve but that is the way we live our lives.
"Expectations and aspirations of fans at every club up and down the country far exceed what is reality in lots of respects, but you have to deal with it and manage it.
"Ninety per cent is managing expectations but you have to do it if you want to be in it.
"Steve and the club will be fine. He is a strong and competent person who will enjoy the challenge.
"You need a bit of time to bed in new players. He's been unlucky with John O'Shea's injury and the situation with Asamoah Gyan, but that happens.
"He won't want me trying to tell him what to do. Football is like life, it goes up and down."
Pulis will check on the condition of a host of players ahead of Sunday's contest.
Several squad members did not travel to Ukraine for this week's Europa League Group E opener against Dynamo Kiev, with record signing Peter Crouch - a target for Sunderland before he joined Stoke last month - staying at home as a precaution after missing training, and Matthew Etherington (back), Rory Delap (groin) and Marc Wilson (hamstring) also absent from the trip.
That quartet and Jonathan Woodgate are among those that will be assessed, while goalkeeper Asmir Begovic - rested for the Dynamo game - is expected to return.
Black Cats go goal crazy
Steve Bruce heaved a huge sigh of relief as Sunderland demolished Stoke 4-0 to claim their first victory of the season.
The Black Cats roared into a 3-0 lead within 28 first-half minutes to lay the foundation for just their third Barclays Premier League win of 2011 at the Stadium of Light.
Titus Bramble's first strike for the club gave them a fifth-minute advantage and an own goal from former Newcastle team-mate Jonathan Woodgate six minutes later left Stoke, who were unbeaten in nine games in all competitions before the game, in deep trouble.
Craig Gardner made it 3-0 with a deflected shot and Sebastian Larsson curled home a fine 58th-minute free-kick to leave those who had stayed away - the match was watched by a crowd of just 32,296 - regretting their decision.
Sunderland, who had scored only twice in their previous five games, were simply irresistible, significantly with seven of Bruce's 11 summer signings in the starting line-up.
Perhaps fittingly on the day of the Great North Run, Bruce's insistence that the season was, to paraphrase, a half-marathon and not a sprint was borne out in style as his side made the most of early chances for the first time in the campaign.
They were helped in no small part by some uncharacteristically poor defending and a little good fortune.
Sunderland had slipped to second bottom yesterday, but they needed just five minutes to spot a route out of the mire.
Black Cats old boy Rory Delap could not cut out Larsson's corner at the near post and when the ball fell to Bramble, his low shot squirmed away from keeper Asmir Begovic and trickled over the line to get the home side off to the perfect start.
Things got even better within six minutes when Woodgate, in his desperation to beat Nicklas Bendtner to David Vaughan's curling cross, could only head the ball over the stranded Begovic and into his own net.
Bruce's men were brimming with confidence, with Vaughan in particular justifying the manager's decision to leave skipper Lee Cattermole sitting on the bench.
A Stoke side featuring eight changes to the one which drew 1-1 in Kiev in midweek looked strangely toothless, although Simon Mignolet had to pull off a fine one-handed save to claw Marc Wilson's 16th-minute free-kick out of his top corner.
But their hopes of launching a comeback were dealt a further blow with 28 minutes gone when Gardner collected Bendtner's pass and saw his shot loop up off Ryan Shawcross and sail over the stranded Begovic into the top corner.
Peter Crouch, who was jeered throughout by the home fans after rejecting Sunderland's advances for the second time last month, headed straight at Mignolet three minutes before the break.
But in the meantime, Stephane Sessegnon had forced a good save from Begovic and Larsson had volleyed wide with the home side totally dominant.
Stoke returned knowing they needed to reduce the deficit quickly but Matthew Etherington could not climb high enough after Crouch had headed Jon Walters' 49th-minute cross back across goal.
And the game was effectively over nine minutes later when, after Sessegnon had been tripped by Robert Huth, Larsson dispatched the resulting free-kick from 20 yards with Begovic once again stranded.
The arrival of another pantomime villain in the shape of former Sunderland man Kenwyne Jones as a 61st-minute replacement for Cameron Jerome gave the home fans further opportunity to raise their voices as the game ebbed tamely towards what was by now a foregone conclusion.
Bendtner might have added his name to the scoresheet with 11 minutes to go, but he failed to connect with the ball as he attempted to back-heel Kieran Richardson's cross past Begovic at the near post.
Crouch was guilty of a more glaring miss at the other end four minutes later when he could not get a touch with the goal at his mercy, much to the amusement of the home fans.
Begovic spared his side further punishment with a solid 89th-minute save from Gardner, but the damage had been done long before.
© 2004 - 2014 football.co.uk