Match Report – Stoke convincing beat Sunderland on Alex Neil’s return to the Stadium of Light

2P2BK04 Stoke City’s Dwight Gayle celebrates his goal during the Sky Bet Championship match between Sunderland and Stoke City at the Stadium Of Light, Sunderland on Saturday 4th March 2023. (Photo: Michael Driver | MI News) Credit: MI News & Sport /Alamy Live News

Stoke City convincing beat Sunderland 5-1 in a dominant display inside a fiery Stadium of Light. 

Josh Laurent opened the scoring for The Potters just before the interval with Tyrese Campbell and Dwight Gayle both grabbing a brace in the second half. Alex Pritchard pulled a goal back for the Black Cats. 

Sunderland started the brighter of the two teams, Jack Clarke created the host’s first opportunity of the match skipping past his man down the left, but Amad’s close-range attempt was hoofed clear of danger. 

Stoke’s first chance came on 15 minutes through Campbell on the left-hand side, after initially drifting past his man the attacker was expertly stopped in his stride by Dan Ballard as he advanced towards the goal. 

The visitors took the lead in the final five minutes of the first half, an unmarked Laurent side-footing Will Smallbone’s cross from the right beyond Anthony Patterson, from 12 yards out. 

The Potters doubled their lead inside the opening 10 minutes of the second half, Smallbone advanced through on goal before squaring the ball to Campbell for a simple tap-in at the back post. 

Stoke claimed their third goal of the afternoon minutes later after the hosts failed to clear their lines, Campbell curling his effort into Patterson’s bottom right-hand corner from the edge of the box. 

Sunderland pulled a goal back on the hour mark, Pritchard tapping in from two yards out after some neat build-up play between Amad and Patrick Roberts down Stoke’s right-hand side. 

The visitors restored their three-goal lead half way through the second half, Gayle getting on the end of a Stoke corner and poking the ball past Patterson from inside the Black Cats’ six-yard box. 

Gayle wrapped up victory and grabbed his second goal of the match, this time heading Smallbone’s floated free kick over an on-rushing Patterson. 

The Lads face Norwich City at Carrow Road in their next league fixture, The Canaries currently occupy sixth spot in the Sky Bet Championship. 

Sunderland: Patterson, Hume, Batth ©, Ballard, Alese (O’Nien 46’), Neil, Pritchard, Roberts, Amad, Clarke, Gelhardt (Michut 46’). 

Subs not used: Bass, Ekwah, Ba, Lihadji, Bennette.

Stoke City: Sarkic (Bonham 46’), Sterling, Wilmot (Fox 25’), Jagielka ©, Hoever, Smallbone, Pearson (Thompson 65’), Laurent (Baker 81’), Brown, Gayle, Campbell (Tymon 81’)

Subs not used: Taylor, Lowe.