Ten man Sunderland had John O’Shea to thank for a second half goal to gain them a crucial Premier League point against Stoke City, after Jonathan Walters had put the visitors into the lead.
Ten-man Sunderland took a small step towards Premier League survival after coming from behind to draw 1-1 at home to Stoke on Monday.
Former Manchester United defender John O’Shea rescued a point for Paolo di Canio’s side, already a man down after Craig Gardner was sent off, when he struck from close range in the 63rd minute following a corner.
Jon Walters gave Stoke a ninth minute lead, reacting first to fire home after his header from Charlie Adam’s cross was blocked.
Then, for the second match in a row, Sunderland found themselves down to 10 men after Gardner was shown a straight red card by referee Lee Mason for an over the ball one-footed challenge on Adam.
The draw left Sunderland as one of three teams on 38 points (above Norwich and Newcastle on goal difference) and three points clear with two games to play of Wigan, who currently occupy the third and final relegation place.
However, FA Cup finalists Wigan will also move to 38 points with two league games left if they win at home to manager Roberto Martinez’s former club Swansea on Tuesday.
Bottom of the table Queens Park Rangers and Reading have already been relegated.