Joe Allen’s fine goal-scoring run continued as his brace gave Stoke their first win of the season at the bet365 Stadium.
But how did they rate?
Lee Grant [GK]: 6 –
Absolutely untested all game, although he would have been delighted to earn his first ever clean sheet in the Premier League.
Phil Bardsley [RB] – 6
Overall a fairly decent display from Bardsley who filled Johnson’s boots with ease. His energetic approach set the tone for an impressive afternoon and like Grant, wasn’t fazed at any stage of the game.
Ryan Shawcross [RCB] – 7
With an onlooking Sammy Lee, he would have done his England chances no harm whatsoever with a dominant display against Jermain Defoe. His crucial first half block prevented a certain Sunderland goal.
Bruno Martins Indi [LCB] – 7
Increasingly becoming a huge figure at the heart of the Stoke City defence. Picked up exactly where he left of from last time out at Old Trafford, and his composure on the ball is notably impressive.
Erik Pieters [LB] – 6
Not his best game in a red and white shirt. Not his worst. Pieters did what he had to against very average wingers in Pienaar and Khazri.
Glenn Whelan [LDM] – 6.5
Completed the most passes in the game today, Whelan once again provided a solid base for the likes of Marko Arnautovic, and Xherdan Shaqiri to really take the game to Sunderland today. Looks a lot more comfortable playing next to Geoff Cameron.
Geoff Cameron [RDM] – 7
Much like Martins Indi, Cameron’s impressive form continued into today’s game as he once again partnered Glenn Whelan in a midfield that dominated much weaker opposition in McNair, Rodwell and Ndong.
Marko Arnautovic [LM] – 7
It was an impressive display from the Austrian once again as he grabbed himself an impressive assist as neat work from him to regain the ball inside Sunderland’s box allowed him to set up Allen with a chance he couldn’t miss. His defensive duties were notably helpful to Stoke today as he regularly regained possession for the Potters, and he looks a real leader in the team at this point. He also had a goal ruled out for offside after a neat finish from Shaqiri’s driven cross. Picked up silly booking, however, and perhaps mocking the linesman after you’ve just received a yellow for dissent perhaps isn’t the smartest move.
Joe Allen [CAM/CM] – 9
By far the biggest positive of our season so far. At only £13 million pounds, Joe Allen for me is looking like the best signing of the summer in the Premier League. Allen grabbed his third, and fourth League goals of the season as he took his tally to five goals in his last for games for club and country. His energy is beyond admirable, and I’m honestly running out of superlatives to describe him every week as he just seems to be getting better and better. Another MOTM performance in a Stoke shirt – please keep it up, Joey!
Xherdan Shaqiri [RM] – 6.5
If you need any indication of just how vital Xherdan is to our performances, you only need to look to the fact that we are unbeaten in ever game he’s played for us this season. (P4 w1 D3) Xherdan’s ability is vital to us as a team, and I’m praying that there’s nothing in a possible switch to Roma in January, as I feel he’s the one player we couldn’t afford to lose. It’s a mark of just how high Xherdan’s performances are that I’m giving him a 6.5 as I don’t feel it was his best game for Stoke City today.
Wilfried Bony [ST] – 6
His best game for Stoke City so far. Wilfried’s hold up play, and neat interchanges were just signs that he will eventually hit the ground for Stoke. There were questions about his fitness, but he proved today he’s more than willing to work for his team, and if Hughes is persistent with Bony, (which he wasn’t with his strikers last year) I’ve no doubt Wilfried will begin to fire.
Jonathan Walters – 6
Marc Muniesa – 6.5
Charlie Adam – 6.5