Belfast Telegraph

Gyan double downs Potters

Record signing Asamoah Gyan marked his first Barclays Premier League start with a match-winning double as Sunderland completed a controversial 2-0 victory over Stoke.

Gyan needed just nine minutes to put the Black Cats ahead from close-range, and after Steed Malbranque saw a 29th-minute penalty saved by keeper Asmir Begovic, the Ghana international wrapped up the win with a second four minutes from time.

However the Potters, who saw Ryan Shawcross sent off for a second bookable offence late on, were convinced they should have had a penalty of their own when Lee Cattermole appeared to keep out Kenwyne Jones' 71st-minute header with his arm.

It took Gyan just nine minutes to make his mark when he was presented with a tap-in after goalkeeper Asmir Begovic had parried Nedum Onuoha's initial effort.

Sunderland goalkeeper Simon Mignolet thwarted the returning Kenwyne Jones' 12th-minute toe-poke with his foot while Steed Malbranque's intelligent pass put Gyan in on goal 17 minutes before the break and, in his attempts to get goal-side of the striker, Jon Walters hauled him to the ground.

Referee Martin Atkinson pointed to the spot and with top scorer Darren Bent absent, Malbranque sidefooted his shot low to Begovic's left, but the keeper guessed correctly and saved to keep the visitors in the game.

Tony Pulis' side had a let off with 19 minutes remaining when Jones' header from Matthew Etherington's corner looked to be creeping inside the far post until Lee Cattermole bundled it away with more than a hint of handball.

Cattermole hacked another Jones header off the line from the resulting corner to deepen Stoke's woes.

Ryan Shawcross, who had earlier been booked for a dreadful challenge on Danny Welbeck, was cautioned again, perhaps harshly, for a trip on Gyan and was sent off eight minutes from time.

And the points were safe when Gyan fired handsomely into the bottom corner from substitute Kieran Richardson's left-wing cross.

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