Another outstanding performance. Having gone behind at the end of the first forty-five, an o.g. from Cuellar and a fine piece of opportunism from Lennon just after the break gave us the points we very much deserved.
Some profligate finishing and some random and frustrating refereeing meant that the final period of the game was far more tense than it need have been. Adebayor (from no range) and Defoe missed in the first half and the same two should’ve tucked the game up in the proverbial bed well before referee Atkinson became the latest man in the middle to try his hand at Gareth Bale bingo. The Welsh genius looked like he’d completed another superb performance by gaining our first league penalty of the season (I think) but instead Craig Gardner’s tug at Bale in the box combined with contact at knee level was rewarded with a yellow card for our man, one that means he’ll miss Tuesday’s game against Reading. Agger’s tackle, Sidwell’s trip and now Gardner’s effort were all fouls yet all resulted in cards for Bale. There’s no doubt he makes a meal of challenges, but basically he’s just a victim of shitey referees who can’t keep up with what’s going on in front of them.
Dembélé and the very impressive Sandro were once again at the core of everything. They gained possession and made keeping it look easy. Bale and Lennon ran their full-backs ragged and if their dominance had been matched by the two in the middle we would’ve been able to kick back well before the end. Walker and Naughton supported the wingers ably, Dawson and Caulker were composed and comfortable and Dempsey’s cameo was full of classy touches that kept Sunderland on the back foot. Lloris was again excellent.
Any win over a Martin O’Neill team is a good one normally and whilst this one isn’t one of his best it’s a result we should be very proud of, they did beat Man City last time out after all.
Reading at home next and then QPR, two winnable games. Wahey! It’s inevitable that tiredness will kick in though and personally I hope that AVB’s statements about no planned buys are kidology. With Defoe, Bale, Adebayor, Sigurdsson and Dempsey we should be bulging with goal threat but it’s the first two who are doing all the work. If more clinicality could be introduced together with some cover for Lennon then I reckon we could approach the second half of the season with much confidence and optimism.
Have something to tell us about this article?