It was a foul by Stearman on David Silva that gave Adebayor the chance to open the scoring from the spot, but the defender responded superbly for the rest of the game.
"It was a mistake by Stears," admitted the boss. "But wasn't he brilliant afterwards?
"You make a mistake and give a penalty away and you could crumble against a team like that.
"He reacted really well and defended superbly afterwards. Stears may be young but he's played a lot of games and is not inexperienced.
"He was great today."