Stoke City moves closer to safety after Sunderland draw

Stoke City took one step closer to safety on Monday after playing to a 1-1 draw with Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.

The Potters entered the match with 40 points from 35 matches and earning a point on Monday moves the club six points clear of the relegation zone.

It's a different story for Sunderland, however, as the Black Cats needed to take all three points to give themselves some breathing room, but are still in danger of falling into the bottom three with 38 points, just three clear of 18th-place Wigan with two matches to play.

Stoke City got off to a flying start just nine minutes into the match when Charlie Adam whipped a corner kick into the box where Jonathan Walters was there to bang home a loose ball to give the Potters the early lead.

Things got even worse for Paolo Di Canio's side in the 34th minute when Craig Gardner was shown a straight red card for a reckless tackle on Adam, reducing the hosts to 10 men.

Despite having the extra man, the Potters rarely went forward in attack and Sunderland drew level in the 63rd minute when a corner kick fell to John O'Shea at the far post and the defender fired it through the legs of Stoke goalkeeper Asmir Begovic to put the sides on level terms.

The Black Cats had one final excellent chance with 10 minutes to play when Danny Rose cut to the inside off a nice feed from Danny Graham and ripped a shot on goal, but it smacked the near post and rolled out of play.