The second half was all Manchester City but a brave rearguard action gave the host a deserved win.
This 1-0 victory was Stoke's first home league win since November and a vital three points in the battle to avoid the drop.
Stoke boss Tony Pulis said, "We were smashing when Rory Delap was sent off early in the first half and we deserved the victory in the end.
"The lads were very resolute and stayed together.
"We do not condone Delap's actions but the incident would not have happened if the referee had blown up after the challenge from Shaun Wright-Phillips.
"We have got 28,000 supporters and they got behind us for every tackle and pass."
"We conceded a goal right at the death in the first half and that gave Stoke something to fight for.
"It was difficult to break them down because they had two banks of four.
"Good players need space and we were not given any although we should have had a penalty when Micah Richards was brought down in the box."