Premier League - Gyan brace sinks Stoke
Sat, 06 Nov 17:13:00 2010
Asamoah Gyan scored a brace on his first Premier League start as Sunderland beat Stoke City 2-0 at the Stadium of Light.
The record signing tapped home on nine minutes and secured the three points when he drilled in his second with four minutes remaining.
But City manager Tony Pulis was left fuming after Stoke's Kenwyne Jones' header appeared to have crossed the line before Lee Cattermole's hand intervened at 1-0, only for the officials to wave away appeals for penalty or goal.
And Stoke's last chance evaporated when Ryan Shawcross saw red late on for two bookable offences as Gyan took the plaudits.
Sunderland came into the game on the back of the club’s heaviest derby defeat for 55 years after they were humiliated 5-1 by arch-rivals Newcastle in a Halloween nightmare.
And with calls mounting in some corners for the head of manager Steve Bruce, the Potters visited the Stadium of Light boasting three ex-Sunderland players in their squad.
Striker Jones in particular had a point to prove after being shown the door by Bruce to make way for the Wearsiders’ £13 million man, Gyan.
All the early pressure came from the visitors, but a superb piece of one-touch play on nine minutes by Sunderland left Stoke chasing shadows and defender Nedum Onuoha found himself one-on-one with Asmir Begovic.
Begovic did superbly to parry the strike, but the rebound fell kindly to Gyan who had the simple task of tapping home from close range.
Stoke almost countered immediately.
Matthew Etherington's superb ball played in Jones, only for Mignolet to deny the former Sunderland man a dream return to the Stadium of Light.
In a period of end-to-end play, Sunderland's Danny Welbeck went tumbling under Abdoulaye Faye's challenge only for the referee to ignore his appeals.
But the home faithful were celebrating on 27 minutes when Gyan went down in the box under what looked the merest of touches by Jonathan Walters.
Steed Malbranque stepped up to take the spot kick, but Begovic rewarded Pulis's faith in him by diving to his left to push the ball away and keep the scores level at the break.
Etherington had two opportunities to level immediately after the restart. A goal-bound shot was blocked by a wall of red and white, and the midfielder should have done better just seconds later when he dragged a shot wide of Migniolet's post.
Pulis threw on the talismanic Ricardo Fuller and as the pressure on the Black Cats increased, Jones fired narrowly over the upright, before Fuller was also off-target with an effort of his own.
And the ex-Sunderland man was denied in controversial circumstances seconds later. His header appeared to have crossed the line before Cattermole raised an arm, but despite the Potters' protests, the officials awarded a corner.
Jones again rose highest from the delivery, only to find Phil Bardsley on the other post where the Sunderland man made a legitimate goal-line clearance.
As luck deserted Stoke, Gyan tried a snapshot that Begovic claimed comfortably, and sub Boudewijn Zenden came agonisingly close to extending the hosts' lead when he was allowed space to fire narrowly wide on 81 minutes.
Shawcross saw red when Welbeck tumbled over, earning the Stoke man a second yellow and with time running out, Kieran Richardson curled a shot wide.
Richardson then turned provider minutes later as his whipped cross was deflected out to Gyan by Robert Huth, and the Ghanaian gleefully fired home to seal the three points.Ian Hare / Eurosport