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Sunday, 26 September 2010
LIVERPOOL 2-2 SUNDERLAND MATCH REPORT
In what has been a very difficult week for Liverpool with losses to Manchester United and more surprisingly Northampton in the Carling Cup on Wednesday this was a game you felt that Liverpool had to win as results in the start to the season have been poor with only one win in the league so far. But with many first team players being rested on Wednesday, they would be back for this one. Most times this fixture would be a home banker but not this day with Sunderland showing good form and Liverpool struggling for form.
As expected the big guns were back for this one. So no surprises for me Roy's team selection other than Kuyt starting I didn't think he would have been fit enough to start, so that was a welcome boost for Liverpool. I think this was as strong a team as Roy could have fielded so I can't blame Roy for the team he sent out.
Liverpool started the game with great intention and put Sunderland on the back foot from the start. Inside the first 5 minutes Torres had the ball in the back of the net only to see it chalked off for offside where replays show it was marginal. But then on 5 minutes Liverpool took the lead with one of the most unusual goals you will ever see. Sunderland were awarded a free kick inside their own half, Michael Turner rolled the ball back to his goalkeeper Mignolet to let him take the kick but the ever alert and cheeky Torres siezed on the ball as it rolled way short of Mignolet. with Turner not even looking back Torres ran towards Mignolet who was appealing furiously to referee Attwell, then Torres unselfishly squared the ball to Kuyt who rolled the ball into the empty net. The Sunderland players were incensed and surrounded Attwell at this contoversial decision to allow the goal, even after consultation with his assistant Attwell pointed to the centre circle and the goal stood. It was just the start Liverpool wanted and they kept attacking Sunderland who were hanging on at this stage with Torres in particular looking very sharp and going close with an effort that just found the roof of the net.
But as the half wore on with Liverpool failing to find a second goal, Sunderland gradually came into the game. Then on 25 minutes Sunderland were awarded a fortunate penalty when a cross from the right hit Poulsen on the arm, to be fair his arm was raised and there was no complaints from the Liverpool players. Bent scored from the spot with Reina unlucky as the ball went below him as he dived the right way. The goal gave Sunderland a lift and Liverpool lost their way and were happy when half time came.
Then right at the start of the second half Liverpool's day got worse when they fell behind with Bent scoring his second of the day with a very good header. A response was expected, but in all truth it never came and Sunderland were well in control and Liverpool looked all over the place. Reina was fortunate not to give away another penalty as he took out Welbeck as he got to the ball just before Reina. Just when it looked like another defeat for Liverpool up popped Gerrard. Great work from Torres down the right who then sent over a cross which took a slight deflection to Gerrard and he produced a great header into the Sunderland net making it all square. It really was against the run of play but it gave Liverpool a massive lift and they went for the winner. It looked like Liverpool were going to steal it right at the death in the 96th minute when a ball pumped into the Sunderland box was headed across goal to Agger who from six yards out could only head it agonisingly past the post.
This really was an incident packed match. But another disappointing result for Liverpool as they really need to start winning games. As strong a team as Roy could field, Liverpool started really well and got the ideal start, but it was very disappointing the way Liverpool fell out of the game after losing a goal. It looked worryingly like another defeat until Gerrard stepped up to the plate once again. Liverpool did push for the winner but in all truth I believe a draw was a fair result.
Man Of The Match - Gerrard Once again Gerrard saved this team when all looked lost.