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Sunderland Vs Stoke: Match Ratings

Every week we recap and rate the performances of all Sunderland players involved and dish out some ratings and comment. For instant analysis on those in red and white today, here's our player ratings!

Stu Forster

Simon Mignolet - 6

In general dealt with Stoke's set pieces very well, which was the biggest threat by far.

Craig Gardner - 0

Atrocious when on the pitch, and then to get himself sent off in that manner in such circumstances is utterly unforgivable. I'd have given him minus points, but wasn't sure how handy Simon Walsh's maths is and it's almost time to calculate final Roker Report player of the season marks.

Danny Rose - 7

It says a lot about Rose's quality that this wasn't one of his best games yet he was still one of the outstanding players on the pitch.

John O'Shea -7

Big big goal and a big big presence throughout.

Carlos Cuellar - 6

The Spaniard still looks to be struggling for form a little for me. Not a bad performance, but just a bit 'meh'.

Jack Colback -7

Superb after switching to right back. His versatility is becoming a real asset.

Seb Larsson - 7

Combative and involved but not really much of an influence until the excellent corner he swung over for the equaliser.

Alfred N'Diaye - 8

I am becoming a real N'Diaye fan. He is rough around the edges but is as honest and willing as they come and has really toughened up the midfield in recent weeks. He needed to be big and strong against N'Zonzi, and he was.

James McClean - 6

Poor old James McClean. So short on confidence and belief these days. Still put in his customary shift though, which was invaluable after the sending off.

Adam Johnson - 9

This was the Adam Johnson we dreamed about. More on him later.

Danny Graham - 6

A performance that split opinion somewhat. Some credited him for his work-rate, others criticised him for his lack of threat. I think both are fair. Truth is, he was alright. Nothing better and nothing worse, though he does need to start contributing goals to the cause.

David Vaughan - 5

Surprised he wasn't used earlier.

Phil Bardsley - 5

Token substitution.

Man Of The Match: Adam Johnson

Stoke essentially used their man advantage to double up on Johnson given he held the last shred of quality in the Sunderland side, and yet he still dominated the second half. The importance and heriocs of Johnson's performance here cannot be overstated. Had he hid from the burden of carrying the side then we'd have almost certainly lost this game and would be staring relegation squarely in the face. But he didn't. He took the game by the scruff of the neck, hauled it onto his shoulders, and dragged it kicking and screaming back to within Sunderland's reach.

People will ask why he hasn't done it more often. I'm just grateful he had the stones to produce it when it really mattered.

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