New boy Carew stabs in the debatable Stoke equaliser in the first half
By Mark Ashenden
Robert Huth scored two late goals as Stoke fought back to stun Sunderland.
Kieran Richardson rifled in Phil Bardsley's low cross for the visitors on two minutes, only for John Carew to score from a possible offside position.
Sunderland edged ahead when Asamoah Gyan fired in after the break but the match turned on its head on 83 minutes.
Two Jermaine Pennant free-kicks caused the damage, first swinging in for Huth to bundle home and then teeing up the German to stab home in injury time.
It was an astonishing conclusion to a match that had ugly goals, controversial goals, a beautifully created goal and there is nothing like a late fightback to raise the blood pressure and excitement levels.
That will be no consolation for Sunderland boss Steve Bruce who will be furious after his sloppy team gave leads away twice having dominated the game, and seeing the officials fail to flag offside for the first equaliser.
While the result put a huge dent into Sunderland's aspirations for a top-four spot in the Premier League, it is a hard-earned three points for Stoke who overcame the midweek defeat by Liverpool to climb into the top half of the table.
Bruce blames lack of 'courage'
Bruce had warned his players not to be rolled over by their opponent's physicality and it had all looked so sweet as his players got off to a perfect start.
And it was the all-rounder Richardson, deployed in a supporting role behind lone-striker Gyan, to crash home the opener after just 110 seconds and it was thanks to a combination of the beautiful and bizarre.
Defender Bardsley fired in a low cross from the left, Gyan totally missed the ball with an attempted shot, and the alert Richardson followed up to lash in his fourth goal in three league games.
Stoke hit back straight away and only Craig Gordon's chest denied them an equaliser.
Rory Delap launched a throw into the box and Huth first fired straight at the keeper and then hit the rebound over the bar.
Stoke were slowly dominating and soon after a wild volley from Kenwyne Jones, one of four former Black Cats players in the starting line-up, they were deservedly back on level.
It was not pretty and keeper Gordon may not want to watch the replays on Match of the Day later, but it was the throw of Delap that once again caused panic in the defence.
Sunderland failed to clear the danger and as the ball bobbled about in the air, Huth and Ryan Shawcross leapt with the keeper to nod towards the goalline for Carew to stab home.
The on-loan Norwegian striker was delighted to bag his first in 15 games, but Bruce may want to know why the offside flag was not raised with only Anton Ferdinand behind Carew when the ball was nodded through.
All the hesitancy and caution shown by Sunderland following their early opener was blown away three minutes into the second half.
A long through-ball from debutant Sulley Muntari sent Gyan scampering inside the box alongside defender Huth, but the strength and sharpness of the Ghanaian proved too much and Asmir Begovic was soon picking the ball out of the net.
The second period was turning out to be an almost carbon-copy of the first 45 minutes as Sunderland sat back to allow their opponents force their way back into the match.
Pulis salutes Stoke team spirit
Shawcross blasted straight into the defence and Delap followed up with a stinging shot that was blocked bravely by Bardsley.
Sunderland were now hanging on desperately as Tony Pulis' side poured forward in numbers and with seven minutes remaining, up-stepped Pennant to send the home fans into ecstasy and kick off the amazing recovery.
Firstly, Pennant swung in a free-kick from 35 yards and found Huth storming through to poke the ball in alongside Carew for the equaliser.
Worse was to come for the sleepy defence as Pennant looped in another set-piece from the left and it was the German yet again to slide in for the winner.
90:00+4:16 The referee blows his whistle to end the game.
90:00+3:20 Asamoah Gyan concedes a free kick for a foul on Robert Huth. Asmir Begovic takes the direct free kick.
90:00+2:12 Kieran Richardson concedes a free kick for a foul on Dean Whitehead. The assist for the goal came from Jermaine Pennant.
90:00+2:12 GOAL - Robert Huth:Stoke 3 - 2 Sunderland Goal scored by Robert Huth from close range low into the middle of the goal. Stoke 3-2 Sunderland.
90:00+0:59 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Jermaine Pennant by Stephane Sessegnon. Free kick taken by Asmir Begovic.
89:48 John Mensah concedes a free kick for a foul on Kenwyne Jones. The free kick is delivered left-footed by Matthew Etherington
from right channel, clearance made by John Mensah.
89:35 Handball by Asamoah Gyan. Free kick taken by Asmir Begovic.
88:34 Substitution Sulley Muntari goes off and Boudewijn Zenden comes on.
84:50 Matthew Etherington takes the inswinging corner, Ryan Shawcross gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Craig Gordon.
Craig Gordon restarts play with the free kick.
84:23 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Jermaine Pennant from the left by-line, Nedum Onuoha manages to make a clearance.
84:11 Substitution Steed Malbranque comes on in place of Jordan Henderson.
82:12 Foul by Sulley Muntari on John Carew, free kick awarded. The ball is delivered by Jermaine Pennant, John Carew takes a shot.
Blocked by Robert Huth. John Carew provided the assist for the goal.
82:12 GOAL - Robert Huth:Stoke 2 - 2 Sunderland Robert Huth fires in a goal from close in to the bottom right corner of the goal. Stoke 2-2 Sunderland.
79:35 Foul by Jordan Henderson on Matthew Etherington, free kick awarded. Jermaine Pennant crosses the ball in from the free kick,
clearance made by John Mensah.
79:35 Booking Jordan Henderson goes into the referee's book for unsporting behaviour.
78:11 Corner taken by Jermaine Pennant from the left by-line, save by Craig Gordon.
77:57 Matthew Etherington takes a shot. Blocked by Kieran Richardson.
77:12 Unfair challenge on Matthew Etherington by Jordan Henderson results in a free kick. Jermaine Pennant delivers the ball from
the free kick right-footed from left wing, Craig Gordon makes a save.
75:07 Headed effort on goal by Jonathan Walters from inside the penalty box misses to the right of the goal.
74:21 Jordan Henderson decides to take a short corner.
74:09 Kieran Richardson takes a shot. Save by Asmir Begovic.
73:38 Short corner taken by Jordan Henderson from the right by-line.
73:01 Rory Delap challenges Kieran Richardson unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick crossed right-footed by Jordan Henderson
from left wing, clearance by John Carew.
73:01 Booking Rory Delap booked for unsporting behaviour.
71:51 Inswinging corner taken by Matthew Etherington, save by Craig Gordon.
71:08 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Jermaine Pennant by Phillip Bardsley. Dean Whitehead takes the free kick.
68:58 Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Jermaine Pennant, clearance by Anton Ferdinand.
68:19 Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Jermaine Pennant, Anton Ferdinand makes a clearance.
65:43 Substitution Jonathan Walters joins the action as a substitute, replacing Andy Wilkinson.
64:44 Corner taken left-footed by Matthew Etherington from the right by-line, Effort on goal by Robert Huth from just outside the
area goes harmlessly over the target.
63:38 Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Matthew Etherington, clearance made by Phillip Bardsley.
63:14 Rory Delap takes a shot. Blocked by Phillip Bardsley.
59:36 Stephane Sessegnon takes a shot. Blocked by Robert Huth.
56:52 Effort from outside the penalty box by Stephane Sessegnon goes wide left of the target.
55:54 The assistant referee signals for offside against John Carew. Anton Ferdinand takes the indirect free kick.
55:11 Stephane Sessegnon challenges Jermaine Pennant unfairly and gives away a free kick. Asmir Begovic restarts play with the free
55:11 Booking Booking for Stephane Sessegnon.
50:35 The official flags Stephane Sessegnon offside. Indirect free kick taken by Asmir Begovic.
Correction - 47:22 GOAL - Asamoah Gyan:Stoke 1 - 2 Sunderland Asamoah Gyan finds the back of the net with a goal from inside the penalty area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Stoke
47:22 Assist by Sulley Muntari.
47:22 GOAL - Asamoah Gyan:Stoke 1 - 2 Sunderland Asamoah Gyan scores a goal from inside the penalty box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Stoke 1-2 Sunderland.
45:01 The second half kicks off.
45:00+2:10 The half-time whistle blows.
42:44 Kieran Richardson takes the inswinging corner, clearance made by John Carew.
40:54 Asamoah Gyan takes a shot. Blocked by Ryan Shawcross.
39:11 Shot from outside the box by Sulley Muntari misses to the left of the target.
35:41 Corner taken left-footed by Sulley Muntari to the near post, Kenwyne Jones manages to make a clearance.
34:34 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on John Carew by Titus Bramble. Jermaine Pennant crosses the ball in from the free
kick, John Carew concedes a free kick for a foul on Titus Bramble. Direct free kick taken by Craig Gordon.
33:05 John Mensah gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on John Carew. The ball is sent over by Matthew Etherington, Headed
effort from inside the box by Robert Huth misses to the right of the target.
32:24 Foul by Stephane Sessegnon on Danny Higginbotham, free kick awarded. Dean Whitehead takes the free kick.
31:24 The assist for the goal came from Robert Huth.
31:24 GOAL - John Carew:Stoke 1 - 1 Sunderland John Carew grabs a goal from close range to the bottom right corner of the goal. Stoke 1-1 Sunderland.
30:11 Jermaine Pennant takes a shot. Save by Craig Gordon.
29:37 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Matthew Etherington by Sulley Muntari. The free kick is delivered right-footed
by Jermaine Pennant from left wing, blocked by Sulley Muntari.
29:37 Booking Sulley Muntari booked.
26:04 Stephane Sessegnon gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Dean Whitehead. Ryan Shawcross takes the free kick.
25:44 Robert Huth concedes a free kick for a foul on Stephane Sessegnon. Direct free kick taken by Sulley Muntari.
25:06 Phillip Bardsley has an effort at goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the left-hand post.
22:46 Foul by Rory Delap on Jordan Henderson, free kick awarded. John Mensah restarts play with the free kick.
21:42 Jermaine Pennant takes a inswinging corner from the left by-line played to the near post, Effort from deep inside the area
by Danny Higginbotham misses to the right of the goal.
21:24 Jermaine Pennant takes a shot. Blocked by Titus Bramble.
19:03 The official flags John Carew offside. Indirect free kick taken by Craig Gordon.
18:04 Jordan Henderson takes a shot. Asmir Begovic makes a save.
16:15 Jermaine Pennant takes the inswinging corner, Headed effort from deep inside the penalty area by Danny Higginbotham misses
to the right of the target.
13:49 Matthew Etherington has an effort at goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the left-hand post.
13:22 Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Matthew Etherington, save by Craig Gordon.
12:46 Corner taken by Jermaine Pennant from the left by-line, clearance made by Phillip Bardsley.
11:48 Foul by John Carew on Titus Bramble, free kick awarded. Craig Gordon takes the free kick.
11:08 Kieran Richardson has shot on goal from just outside the area which goes wide of the right-hand upright.
8:30 Danny Higginbotham fouled by Asamoah Gyan, the ref awards a free kick. Asmir Begovic restarts play with the free kick.
7:56 Robert Huth produces a right-footed shot from close in that clears the bar.
7:39 Robert Huth takes a shot. Save by Craig Gordon.
4:31 Free kick awarded for a foul by Ryan Shawcross on Stephane Sessegnon. Jordan Henderson produces a cross, Titus Bramble takes
a shot. Save by Asmir Begovic.
3:47 Shot from deep inside the area by Kenwyne Jones goes over the bar.
1:54 Asamoah Gyan provided the assist for the goal.
1:54 GOAL - Kieran Richardson:Stoke 0 - 1 Sunderland Kieran Richardson scores a goal from close range to the top right corner of the goal. Stoke 0-1 Sunderland.
0:33 Shot from inside the six-yard box by John Carew goes wide right of the target.
0:00 The game gets underway.
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