So how often do Sunderland win after having a man sent off?

Can you remember who Steven Pienaar (number 20) was sent off against?
Can you remember who Steven Pienaar (number 20) was sent off against?

The old football saying goes that it can often be more difficult to play against 10 men than 11.

So how does that theory stack up when analysing Sunderland’s results after having a player red carded?

Newly-compiled statistics suggest that the Black Cats are one of the worst performing sides in the Premier League over the last five seasons when it comes to winning while outnumbered.

They show the club have a 11 per cent success rate after twice triumphing against the odds - we’ll keep you guessing about the games in question for a few paragraphs - in 18 matches since the start of the 2012-13 campaign.

While the table indicates that nine teams have a poorer return than Sunderland, only four of them were in the top flight alongside the red and whites during all five seasons.

Stoke, managed by Mark Hughes, who is always good for a grumble when decisions go against him, are bottom of the 28-club list after failing to win any of their 16 games following a red card.

Middlesbrough - played one, won one - top the pile with a 100 per cent record although they only appeared in the Premier League for one of the five seasons analysed.

Perhaps a more telling statistic is Manchester City in second place with a 70 per cent success rate from 10 matches.

Third were Arsenal, the team to play the most minutes minus a man, with a 44 per cent win rate from 18 games while Everton were fourth with 38 per cent from 13 games.

A spokesperson for betting aggregator Bet-BonusCode.co.uk, which compiled the table, commented: “Being a man light is a real challenge for players, especially when the dismissal is early on in a game.

“However, Manchester City in particular are showing this to be no more than a ‘10-man myth’ with a very impressive goalscoring record and ability to see out games, even after losing a player.”

As for Newcastle United, their four seasons in the Premier League show a 14 per cent success rate after winning three of their 22 games while a man down.

So what were the two games Sunderland won after losing a player?

Both, ironically, were in successive matches during last year’s dismal relegation campaign.

The first saw David Moyes’s side clinch their first victory of the season with a 2-1 triumph at Bournemouth after midfielder Steven Pienaar’s dismissal while the score was deadlocked at 1-1.

The second followed just a fortnight later when Papy Djilobodji was sent off in the 3-0 win against Hull City.

Of course, as seasoned Sunderland fans will quickly point out, the scoring had already ended when the centre half was ordered off with just minutes to spare.

Statistics, eh?