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February 15, 2014
• Stadium of Light, Sunderland
Referee: M. Dean
• Attendance: 16777
C. Gardner 49'
That's it from today's clash at the Stadium of Light. I've been Tom J Doyle, and Sunderland's excellent cup form continues this season - if they can carry it over to the Premier League, they may well stay up. Southampton's only task this season, meanwhile, remains chasing down Manchester United in seventh. Bye for now.
Mauricio Pochettino will be getting some tough questions after he picked an under-strength side only to bring on the cavalry too late to turn the tide, while Gus Poyet will be delighted with some fine performances from a much-changed Black Cats starting XI.
That's it! Sunderland progress to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup at the expense of Southampton courtesy of a fantastic Craig Gardner goal fit enough to win any game. The Saints could and should have equalised but Rickie Lambert somehow missed an open goal from three yards, but they were poor today and the hosts deserve their victory.
90' + 3'
Yellow Card Sebastian Larsson
90' + 3'
Everybody's forward for Southampton including Kelvin Davis, and Sunderland break but can't work a shooting chance - this one is surely over as there's just seconds left...
90' + 2'
It's do or die for Southampton, and that Rickie Lambert miss looks set to cost them. All will be forgiven if the striker scores from a corner here...
90' + 1'
We're into three minutes of injury time and Steven Davis' shot is deflected up and into Ustari's hands - the Saints come back for more, but they need something now to rescue the tie.
Yellow Card Jay Rodriguez
Borini breaks forward now and feeds Wickham, who has another crack at goal that results in a corner. The young striker really wants a goal, but would be better off looking for his team mates with Southampton stretched at the back.
So close to 2-0! Sunderland break forward and Colback breaks through the defence before feeding Borini, whose low effort is saved well by Davis.
Jos Hooiveld goes for glory and cracks an effort from 30 yards that skips up off the wet surface, but Ustari holds well. Shaw then wastes a cross from the left and Ustari takes his time over the goal kick - three minutes to go.
Wickham gets away on the halfway line and it's three-on-one for Sunderland, but the striker refuses to look up and drags his shot wide of Davis' left-hand post. Borini was completely free to his right and looks suitably unimpressed.
Sunderland have been pressed back into their own half now and the Saints are really turning up the pressure - but why didn't they do this 25 minutes ago? Poyet looks like he's settling for 1-0 now, and Pochettino's men need something special late on.
LAMBERT MISSES AN OPEN GOAL!!! Davis released Clyne down the right again and he puts in a perfect ball for Lambert, who is all alone - but he somehow turns his half-volley over the bar from around three yards out with Ustari sprawling. What a miss that is - is that the game gone for the Saints?
Yoshida foolishly fouls Wickham in the Sunderland half to give the hosts some breathing space. Southampton have upped their game in the last five minutes, but it's not enough at the moment.
So close for Lallana! Clyne gets in behind Alonso all too easily down the right and crosses from inside the box, and Lallana can only turn his near-post volley wide of Ustari's left-hand post from five yards out. He knows how good a chance that was.
Rodriguez looks dazed but is up again and ready for the rest of the game - the Saints need him fit if they're to have any chance today.
Dossena is the latest Sunderland player to get a good reception as he is replaced by Marcos Alonso for the final 13 minutes of the game.
Larsson hits a shot from 22 yards but it's straight at Davis, who holds despite the power of the effort. Question marks must be raised of Pochettino if this game slips away - given Lallana's pre-match comments about the importance of the game, the line-up was a weakened one and the Saints have simply not got going today at all.
Southampton break forward now and Lallana tries to find Lambert at the back post with a cross, but the striker can only head harmlessly towards Ustari.
Close for Wickham! Larsson puts in another good ball and the striker just can't quite get his foot to the cross to turn it home to double the Black Cats' lead.
That's not the way to do it - Clyne shanks the ball high into the box from the right wing that Ustari easily collects under no pressure.
The referee waves a good play-on in the middle and Sunderland work the ball from the flank to the box, where Borini turns his man but drags a shot well wide. If we were expecting a Southampton comeback, it hasn't arrived yet - it doesn't even look close.
Hooiveld plays a slack pass to lose possession and Shaw does well to deny Sunderland a cross on the right - barring the left-back, nobody has stood out for the Saints in a very low-key performance.
Nacho Scocco gets a fine reception as he is replaced by Connor Wickham - the debutant showed good movement, but needs more minutes to get up to speed with the pace of the game in England.
Larsson curls in a fine set-piece but the ball evades evrybody and flies a yard wide of Davis' left-hand post - just a little too much on it there, but a promising ball.
It's Sunderland, however, that look most likely to get on the scoresheet next - the ball almost breaks in the Saints box following a corner, and now they have a chance to put in a good delivery from the left from another free kick.
If the Saints are going to turn this one around, Rodriguez is the man to do it - he's scored seven goals in his last 10 away games, according to Opta Sports.
The game is becoming disjointed in the middle, with Sunderland trying to disrupt Southampton's rhythm as much as possible - and it's working.
Steven Davis whips in the corner, but it says a lot about the weather that the ball was already rolling in the wind by the time he ran up to kick it. It's difficult conditions to try and fight back from a goal down.
Changes for the visitors now as Jay Rodriguez and Morgan Schneiderlin are on to the lift the Saints - Guly do Prado and James Ward-Prowse make way.
Luke Shaw drives at goal down the left and Vergini gets himself in the way to force a corner.
Ondrej Celustka launches a curling long ball over the top of the Saints defence and Gardner is so close to bringing it under control, but Davis comes to collect. Vergini makes another great challenge on do Prado, and looks like a fine signing.
Steven Davis races towards goal but his right-footed effort from 25 yards curls well wide of Ustari's right-hand post. Not a great shot, that.
Southampton fans will be starting to wonder when Pochettino will consider bringing on subs to change this up - they've got plenty of experience and talent on the bench, and desperately need a fresh spark out there.
Cattermole is leading by example with more sliding challenges, and his team mates are following suit by closing down the visitors in midfield.
The Saints have struggled to gain a foothold in this half despite the talent on the pitch, which is surprising given that they're effectively safe in the Premier League. Pochettino will surely see this as a chance of silverware wasted should they go out today.
That is one of the sweetest strikes Craig Gardner will ever hit - the Sunderland crowd are in good spirits now, and that goal is good enough to win any cup tie. Can Southampton react?
Goal Craig Gardner
GARDNER SCORES A SCREAMER!!! What a strike this is from the Sunderland midfielder, who rides a challenge around 25 yards out before unleashing a dipping thunderbolt that cracks off the underside of Davis' crossbar to put the Black Cats 1-0 up. What a top, top effort!
It's Gardner's turn to get through now but he's given offside as he bears down on Davis, while Lallana goes down the other end and shoots wide for the Saints.
Sunderland come out swinging and Borini sprints onto a long ball through, but he's offside. That will get the fans interested early on.
The attendance is around 16,000, well below the 38,000 or so that saw the same sides in the league in January. Whether it's the weather, money, timing of the game or the fact that it's on television, it's not great for the FA Cup.
We're back underway for the second half here at the Stadium of Light - Sunderland won't want a replay, and neither will Southampton to be honest, so expect some more attacking.
The Black Cats have seen plenty of the ball but have sp far been unable to test Kelvin Davis, while the Saints have been quiet, but have had the two best chances in James Ward-Prowse's shot and Rickie Lambert being denied by Santiago Vergini's superb last-ditch tackle.
That's the interval, and it remains Sunderland 0-0 Southampton. Neither side has been good enough in front of goal with chances few and far between, but both managers will feel their sides have enough about them to progress o the quarter-finals.
45' + 1'
Lallana tries to wriggle away in the box but O'Shea tracks him well and wins the ball - that should be it for the first half...
Ward-Prowse clears this time - the Saints have stuttered in attack, but they've been top-notch in the air in defence. There'll be one minute of injury time.
Yet another free kick for Sunderland close to the Saints box - can they make this one count?
Yellow Card Steven Davis
Borini is down injured after a Steven Davis challenge, who puts in a clumsy tackle from behind and receives a yellow card. The Sunderland man looks in pain and could have pulled his hamstring going down there.
Southampton are pressing at the end of half here but can't find a way through, and Kelvin Davis slices another clearance out. It seems as though the weather is having a big impact on his kicking, and Sunderland would do well to close him down more often.
So close for Southampton! Clyne gallops down the right and puts a cross into the box along the floor - the ball evades everybody and Lambert looks set to tuck in from eight yards, but Vergini slides in superbly to deflect the ball out for a corner. A really top effort to prevent a certain goal.
Larsson pulls the ball back to the edge of the area where Gardner is lurking, but his side-footed finish is deflected high and out for a corner. Sunderland keep up the pressure after the set-piece, but Borini eventually wastes a cross on the left.
Shaw concedes a free kick near the right edge of the penalty area, and Larsson can put a ball in...
Oscar Ustari almost has a nightmare moment as Guly do Prado closes down the goalkeeper and his skewed clearance falls to Lambert, but Southampton can't work the ball into a more promising area.
Pochettino is up and about now barking orders to his men - they've been below par so far but it's still goalless.
The ball is cleared but Lallana picks it up on the right and shows delightful skill to lose his man before crossing low, with Ustari doing well to smother the ball at the second attempt.
Better from the Saints as Clyne drives down the right and forces a corner from O'Shea - a chance to get their big men forward now...
Borini is through and shoots - but he's offside! The striker meets a long diagonal and Davis deflects the ball just wide, but Borini was marginally off. We're talking centimetres.
The one bright spark today for Pochettino has been Wanyama, who is back from injury and looks confident spraying passes around the middle to the flanks. He's a big presence and can give the Saints some muscle today.
Wanyama and Shaw link to set the left-back down the flank, and Ustari has to be sharp to come out and flick the cross away from danger before the hosts win a free kick.
Pochettino looks suitably unimpressed with his arms folded in the dugout - the visitors have done very little with the ball save for Ward-Prowse's earlier effort, and need to wake up a little.
Larsson puts in a fine set-piece from the left but Shaw heads confidently away, and the move breaks down.
Yellow Card Maya Yoshida
Borini wins a free kick after turning nicely around Maya Yoshida - it's an obvious trip, but the Saints defender can feel a little hard done by to receive a yellow.
Clyne is struggling on the right a little, and almost gets caught out on the byline before recovering possession with a nice flick.
Half of the first half has flown by, and Gardner drives down the right before trying to find Scocco, who almost picks up the pull-back. The hosts are getting into decent positions, but the final ball is lacking.
As soon as I say that, Sunderland almost work a great opportunity as Giaccherini picks up the ball on the left with Nathaniel Clyne sprawled on the floor, and the winger cut in further, further, further before... colliding with Gardner and skewing his shot well wide. Laughable really, but more promising.
Mauricio Pochettino's men are pressing higher up the pitch now, and you just get the sense they're starting to exert a bit more control.
Lee Cattermole is going about his 100th Sunderland start in much the same way as his other appearances, sliding in full-blooded and drawing roars from the home crowd. How long before a booking, I hear you ask? With Cattermole, it's never far away.
Gardner is given offside and he doesn't agree with that decision - a furious waggle of the finger, there. The weather is truly terrible.
It's been an enterprising opening quarter of an hour by the hosts, though the Saints have also shown their quality going forward. With both sides eager to get on the scoresheet first, this game is set up perfectly.
Luke Shaw gets down the left well and forces a Saints corner, before Sunderland get forward and the young left-back challenges Borini in the area - Poyet wants a penalty, but there's nothing doing from the referee. It would've been a soft decision, especially in this weather.
Now Sunderland get forward and Giaccherini tries to find Fabio Borini, but the ball just runs out for a goal kick. End-to-end stuff here.
Good save by Ustari! Southampton put together their first move of the game with Lallana spotting Lambert's run at the back post and finding him with a good cross - the striker nods down to the incoming Ward-Prowse, whose half-volley is saved well to his right by Ustari. Fine work all round.
The set-piece comes to nothing and is cleared, with Andrea Dossena skidding a cross-field ball out of play - but the home crowd are well behind their players. Davis slices a goal kick out of play to their delight as well.
Craig Gardner and Scocco link well to force the first corner of the game - the hosts are definitely looking bright early on...
Adam Lallana is in space in the final third between the lines but plays a poor through-ball to Rickie Lambert - he's been in fine form this season, and could well be going to Brazil this summer. Another good performance today wouldn't hurt, either.
Sunderland have an early chance to put the ball in the box but Larsson plays it short and his team mates make a mess of it. A crossing position is eventually worked but Kelvin Davis comes to collect in the air.
Giaccherini and Shaw battle on the right wing now, with the ball going out for a Black Cats throw. The hosts are certainly not sitting back as they did against the Saints last time round.
It's Sunderland making the early moves as new striker Scocco takes a long ball down in the box, but can't work a shooting position. The Saints retain possession, but that's bright movement from Scocco.
We're underway at the Stadium of Light! Can Southampton get the same kind of start here that they did in January?
We'll have a minute's applause for Sir Tom Finney, Preston's all-time record goalscorer and England legend. It's a great reception from the crowd despite the relatively low numbers, and a fitting tribute to a fine player.
The sides walk out into the rain to the sounds of Prokofiev's 'Dance of the Knights' - think The Apprentice theme. It's dramatic; it's stormy; it's the FA Cup, and it's moments away...
According to Opta Sports, Sunderland would be 10th in the Premier League if the campaign started when Guy Poyet took over. Not bad stats for the new manager.
We're less than 10 minutes away from kick-off, and the fans are wrapped up warm on this stormy weekend. Southampton are unbetaen in eight games, so it will take something special from the Black Cats to get through today.
Sunderland have won six of their past nine games, but the line-up today is experimental to say the least. Gus Poyet has just told BT Sport he has put out a side that wants to show they can play for the Black Cats, and with a relegation battle and a Capital One Cup final to look forward to, today may be more important for Poyet in learning about his squad for the run-in than necessarily progressing.
These two sides met barely a month ago in a curious Premier League fixture - Southampton went two goals ahead and looked totally in control, only for Sunderland to fight back for a 2-2 draw. Pochettino surely won't want to let his side let such a lead slip again on the same pitch.
The cup may have lost some of its lustre over recent seasibs, but not for Adam Lallana - the Southampton captain has told BT Sport that this is the Saints' biggest game of the season so far. Expect a fair bit fo fight from the visitors, then.
A little FA Cup history for you now - Sunderland have won the cup twice, in 1937 and 1973, and also finished as runners-up twice, most recently to Liverpool in 1992.
Gus Poyet makes an impressive nine changes, with Ignacio Scocco making his Black Cats debut and Seb Larsson & Lee Cattermole both making their 100th starts for the club.
Six changes for Mauricio Pochettino today as he brings Kelvin Davis, Nathaniel Clyne, Jos Hooiveld, Victor Wanyama, James Ward-Prowse and Guly do Prado in, while 19-year-old winger Sam McQueen makes his first appearance in the Saints squad.
S'land subs: Mannone, Ki, Wickham, Colback, Alonso, Roberge, Mavrias.
Sunderland XI: Ustari; Celustka, Dossena, O'Shea, Vergini; Cattermole, Larsson, Giaccherini, Gardner; Scocco, Borini.
Soton subs: Gazzaniga, Schneiderlin, Fonte, Rodriguez, Cork, Chambers, McQueen.
Southampton XI: K. Davis; Clyne, Yoshida, Hooiveld, Shaw; Ward-Prowse, Wanyama, S. Davis, Lallana; do Prado, Lambert.
Sunderland have had a tough season so far with Paolo Di Canio being replaced by Gus Poyet, but are unbeaten in the sides' three games so far in the 2013/14 campaign. While they sit 18th in the Premier League, they have reached the Capital One Cup final alongside Manchester City after progressing against Manchester United, and the Saints must be wary of their opponents' confidence in cup competitions.
Some pre-game squad news for you here - Wes Brown is serving the first of a two-game suspension for his early red card at Hull, while Steven Fletcher, Carlos Cuellar and Keiren Westwood are all injured. The Saints, meanwhile, have the same squad available from their win at the Tigers on Tuesday, with Dejan Lovren and Gaston Ramirez still out with ankle ligament damage.
Good afternoon and welcome to Sunderland's FA Cup fifth-round clash against Southampton at the Stadium of Light. I'm Tom J Doyle and I'll be guiding you through the action today. With two big-hitters certain to go out before the quarter-finals with the Premier League's top four facing each other this weekend, both the Black Cats and the Saints will feel that a famous cup run is theirs for the taking if they progress today.
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