Sunderland secured what could be a priceless point from a 1-1 draw at Stoke thanks to Jermain Defoe’s late penalty.
With 18 minutes gone, Peter Crouch rose well to get a head to Marko ArnautovicÂ’s cross but his header was well saved by Vito Mannone, who palmed it round the post. Bar an Arnautovic strike later in the half, there was little for fans to really enjoy.
Stoke flew out the blocks in the second half and were ahead on the 49th minute. Crouch knocked down a Charlie Adam cross to Arnautovic, who got away from Lacina Kone to lash a low strike past Mannone.
A big chance fell the way of Defoe in the 76th minute but he could not keep his acrobatic volley down after he turned inside the area.
Fans were nearly treated to a collector’s item in the 90th minute, with Glenn Whelan going for goal with a crisply struck volley. Unfortunately for the Stoke fans it nestled into the side-netting.
The drama did not stop there, as Defoe won a penalty in the 93rd minute after he was clattered by Geoff Cameron. After a long delay the striker finally slammed the ball down the middle.
However, the point was not enough to keep the Black Cats out of the relegation zone after Newcastle beat Crystal Palace 1-0.