Stoke City 2 Sunderland 0: Allen double eases hosts to first win
Joe Allen's scoring streak continued as Stoke City beat Sunderland 2-0 at the bet365 Stadium to register their first Premier League win of the season.
The former Liverpool man had netted in each of his previous three appearances for club and country, and added a brace against David Moyes' men to steer Stoke to victory.
Allen had been an injury doubt for this game, but scored a header in the opening stages and drove home another effort late in the first half.
With Sunderland similarly waiting for a first league success of this campaign, Moyes was frustrated to see poor defending again cost his side.
The visitors had been unbeaten in five against Stoke, but found the game beyond them at half-time, with Lee Grant hardly tested.
Sunderland must now take their hunt for a maiden victory to another struggler in West Ham United next weekend.
A first attempt on goal arrived after eight minutes, with Allen nodding Stoke in front.
Didier Ndong sloppily gifted the ball to Xherdan Shaqiri, and, with two Sunderland defenders slow to react, he was able to pick out Marko Arnautovic. The Austrian crossed from the left and Allen stooped to head home.
Only an excellent Ryan Shawcross block prevented Jermain Defoe from responding, before the Sunderland forward fired over the top from a Wahbi Khazri pass.
Wilfried Bony then shot wide at the other end following a neat turn, and later delivered from deep for Arnautovic, who could not quite stretch to toe into the net.
Moyes lost left-back Patrick van Aanholt to a groin injury before the break, and his side were two behind in first-half stoppage time.
Jordan Pickford made a stunning stop to deny Geoff Cameron from close quarters, but, when the subsequent corner was only half-cleared, he could do little to repel Allen's low drive.
Boosted by their lead, Stoke began the second period with real confidence.
Pickford was required to make a fine save from Bony's curler, and the Ivorian then raced away from the Sunderland defence but stabbed wide.
Arnautovic was soon enraged by an unsuccessful penalty appeal, with John O'Shea apparently handling, but the visitors could have pulled a goal back had Shawcross not again shut out Defoe from Duncan Watmore's square pass.
Another Sunderland error granted Arnautovic the opportunity to tee up substitute Charlie Adam, but the former Werder Bremen man was offside as he turned a return ball past Pickford.
Although Khazri curled a free-kick over the wall for Sunderland, Grant was able to hold, and Adam then struck against the crossbar as his side searched for a clinching third goal.
It was not necessary, though, with no riposte forthcoming and Stoke finally ending their wait for a win.