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March 20, 2011
• Stadium of Light, Sunderland
Referee: K. Friend
• Attendance: 47207
FULL-TIME: Sunderland 0-2 Liverpool Dalglish's men close the gap on Tottenham to four points but in truth the Reds were lucky to be ahead in the first half. A lucky penalty by Kuyt gave them the lead against the run of play as Sunderland could not turn their dominance into goals. The second half was different, Liverpool controlled the match, Suarez scored a fantastic goal and to rub salt into the wounds Mensah was sent off for the hosts. Steve Bruce will not be happy. That's it from me folks hope you enjoyed the match!
90' + 3'
If Sunderland fail to score in the few remainiing seconds left it will now be three games in a row that they have failed to score in. Gyan has work effortlessly up front but it has not been his day today.
Four minutes to be added on and the Sunderland players and fans look they would be quite happy to hear the whistle now. Liverpool running down the clock as chants of "ole's" come from the visiting support.
Liverpool seeing the game out now. Stringing the passes together as they bid to keep possession, however a big concern for the Reds as Suarez pulls up. Dalglish takes no risks and Joe Cole comes on as his replacement.
Owen Watson: "Sunderland down to 10 men here after a strange decision from referee Kevin Friend. The ball is played in top the over of the Sunderland defence and Suarez and Mensah collide. It looked more like a coming together than a foul but the referee disagrees and gives Mensah his marching orders"
It is going from bad to worse for the hosts John Mensah has just received a straight red card for blocking Suarez's run through on goal after a long ball from Reina. The home fans make their way to the exists meanwhile Suarez lines up the free kick in a dangerous position. But it is harmlessly over the bar.
Red Card John Mensah
A melee breaks out and Gyan is furious with Skrtel gesturing to the Slovak that he might have said or did something inflammatory. Kevin Friend lives up to his name and gets players to shake hands and continue with the game.
Owen Watson: "That is what you play £23m for, what a goal from Suarez. He skipped past Cattermole on the byline before drilling home from the tightest of angles. The keeper probably could've done better but he couldn't have been expecting a strike from there. 2-0 to Liverpool."
Assist Dirk Kuyt
Goal Luis Suárez
GOOOOAAAALLL! It looks like its all over here Luis Suarez the man of the moment shows sublime skill to bend the ball from the tightest of angle's past Mignolet. Fantastic!
Gyan takes a tumble in the box but is correctly told to get up to his feet by Kevin Friend. Sunderland starting to get desperate in their quest to get back into this match.
Jay Spearing nearly doubles Liverpool's lead with a thunderous strike however is denied by an equally brilliant save by Mignolet. Nothing is made of the corner but Spearing has certainly impressed today.
Owen Watson: "The applause from the Liverpool support for Carroll as he's substituted is dwarfed by booes from the crowd. "What a waste a money" is the chant as David Ngog replaces the former Newcastle forward."
Carroll makes way for N'gog and as expected he receives a nice friendly farewell from the Black Cats fans..not.
Again the final ball is not the best from Sunderland. Gyan does brilliantly to win the ball back but his cross is over hit with the outside of his foot but a better spell for the hosts!
Yellow Card Dirk Kuyt
Yellow Card Luis Suárez
Luis Suarez shows his ugly side of his nature as he is booked for a volley of abuse at the linesman.
El Mohamady has a free header but he can't direct on target. Meanwhile Kuyt whips a dangerous ball which has Mignolet scrambling to claw the ball away to safety. Carroll cant quite collect the free ball.
Yellow Card Lucas Leiva
Gyan finds Henderson with a lovely pass but so much like the rest of Sunderland shots today its harmlessly wide of Reina's goal. Gyan is played through moments later but his touch evades him at the wrong moment . Better play for the hosts and they have managed to force a corner.
Ahmed El Mohamady
Owen Watson: "Yet another injury for Sunderland here as Danny Welbeck is replaced by Ahmed Elmohamady. Sunderland are struggling to replicate their good first half play and the last thing they needed is another player going off injured."
Wellbeck comes off for the Black Cats he has put in a good shift , linked up really well Gyan but it looks like he might have picked up a bit of a knock.
Its Liverpool who are in the ascendancy and Suarez is at the centre of everything good about the Reds play. He links up with Meireles and he dinks a cross where Carroll is lurking but he can't quite get on the end of it.
The free kick is taken by Suarez as the visting support chant his name but the shot is narrowily wide of Mignolet's right hand post
Yellow Card Titus Bramble
Liverpool attack again and Carroll drives forward he is brought down by Bramble but play continues Meireles has a great chance to the extend their lead but he fires wide! However referee brings back play for the original foul on Carroll.
The big men are up for the Reds as Suarez forces a corner, Meireles whips a delightful ball in and Carroll has a free header at goal but its brilliantly blocked off the line by Cattermole! The best chance Carroll has had in this match.
Suarez leads the counter for the Reds and plays a lovely through ball to Johnson but Bramble sees to it that the England wing back's progress goes no further
Sunderland have started the second half like they did the first, they have taken the game to Liverpool and forced an early corner.
The teams are out for the second half and i wonder what King Kenny said to his team at the interval, the Reds kick off and will be hoping that they can get Carroll and Suarez more involved.
HALF-TIME: Well Liverpool lead through that controversial Kuyt penalty, with replays showing that Mensah's challenge was outside the box. Sunderland will be disappointed that they are incredibly behind in this match as they have dominated possession but Pepe Reina has hardly had a save to make
Yellow Card Lee Cattermole
Three minutes of stoppage time to be played.
Owen Watson: "Unbelievable, Cattermole has barely been on the pitch 20 minutes and he's already gone in the book for a rash challenge of Suarez. So out of character..."
Gyan tries to spin away from the Liverpool defence but again they hold strong Carragher and Skrtl have been excellent so far.
Liverpool win a corner and Meireles delivers a lovely ball onto the head of Carroll but the big centre forward is unable to direct the header on goal.
Luckily for the defender Kuyt is unable to make anything of the opportunity and the Black Cats regain possession.
Bramble gives the ball away to Kuyt in a dangerous position the hosts certainly will not want to do that to often!
For all of Sunderland possession they have yet to register a shot on target the Reds on the other hand have had four and scored one.
Owen Watson: "Steve Bruce is absolutely livid on the sideline, Martin Atkinson is trying to calm him down but he's having none of it. Waving his arms frantically as Atkinson opts to retreat back into the dugout."
Sunderland reply with a Jordan Henderson free kick but it floats harmlessly wide of the goal, the hosts look stunned at what has happened!
Assist Jay Spearing
Penalty Goal Dirk Kuyt
Yellow Card John Mensah
Owen Watson: "Huge controversy here at the Stadium of Light as Liverpool have been awarded a penalty after John Mensah chopped down Jay Spearing after a defensive error. The foul wasn't in question but the referee initially awarded a free-kick on the edge of the box before being overruled by his linesman. The replay is too close to call but it looked outside for my money. It doesn't matter, as Kuyt dispatches it regardless."
GOAL FOR LIVERPOOL!!!! And it's Kuyt who finds the net from the penalty spot!
Well controversy here! Referee Kevin Friend has took the advice of the linesman and given the Reds a penalty! Steve Bruce is furious!
Owen Watson: Another Sunderland player warming up on the touchline as Nedum Onuoha jogs out to stretch off by the corner flag. The home side can't be carrying another injury can they?
The Sunderland fans roar their side on as they can sense a goal is coming however Pepe Reina is still to make a save for the Reds.
Our man at the ground today is Owen Watson, and he updates us: "Steve Bruce must be cursing his luck here, before the game he was talking about how it was good to see players returning to fitness after a bleak winter and he's been stung by two injuries in 25 minutes. His side have looked the more likely to score as well, with some sleek build up play in and around the box. So far they haven't managed to translate this pressure into many goal scoring opportunities, though, and that will be a concern for the man on the touchline."
Again a wave of red and white come forward but the visitors are doing enough to stem the attacks, Sunderland might regret these spurned chances.
Bardsley charges down the left wing and the Scot has appeared in a couple of good positions however the final ball is poor for the Black Cats.
Mignolet keeps the ball in play and the Sunderland keeper nearly gifts Suarez a goal but recovers well at the second attempt.
Suarez drifts wide right to find more space and comedy of errors nearly leads to the first goal.
Liverpool respond with a counter attack and it already clear that Suarez and Carroll have a great understanding. The link up brilliantly and Carroll tries to play Spearing in but his touch lets him down and the chance goes a begging.
Gyan and Wellbeck do excellently down the wing and a fantastic ball across nearly gives Sunderland the lead as Richardson is whisker away from connecting with the cross.
Nearly a quarter of an hour gone and Sunderland have dominated the early proceedings but with Carroll and Suarez upfront the Black Cats know they cant afford to turn this spell of dominance into goals.
Meireles takes the free kick for Liverpool but Agger is adjudged to have fouled Ferdinand.
Suarez sees his first sight of goal and has won a free kick in a dangerous position.
Wellbeck shows his strength as he holds off Lucas and nearly gets around Agger but the Dane does enough to thwart the opportunity.
The Black Cats have started brightly, but the crowd reaction would not suggest this. Gyan is finding pockets of space in midfield but Lucas is not far from the Ghanaian.
Early corner for Liverpool and they nearly break the deadlock. Andy Carroll knocks down for Kuyt who's shot from a few yards out is blocked.
Danny Wellbeck is given the Liverpool defence something to think about his trickiness is already apparent as he gives Martin Skrtel some problems but the Reds defender does well for now
And we're underway at the Stadium of Light!
Liverpool have lost all three of their Premier League away games directly following a Europa League matchday this season. However the Reds can be optimistic about their chances today, having the third best form in the league in 2011 and in their last eight games they are only second in form to Arsenal
Liverpool Line up: Reina; Johnson, Carragher, Agger, Skrtel; Spearing, Lucas, Meireles, Kuyt; Suarez, Carroll. Subs: Gulacsi, Kyrgiakos, Wilson, Cole, Maxi, Poulsen, Ngog. Kenny Dalglish has opted to go for Carroll and Suarez upfront enough to make any defence quiver! its the first time the two have played together since their moves to Anfield.
Sunderland line up: Mignolet; Ferdinand, Mensah, Bramble, Bardsley; Sessegnon, Muntari, Henderson, Richardson; Welbeck, Gyan. Subs: Gordon, Zenden, Malbranque, Elmohamady, Cattermole, Colback, Onuoha The Black Cats will be buoyed with the news that Danny Wellbeck is back after injury. Lee Cattermole is also back but only makes the bench for Steve Bruce's team.
Hello folks and welcome to Goal.com's live commentary of Sunderland v Liverpool with Craig Turnbull! Will the Reds be suffering from a European hangover after elimination from the Europa League against Braga on Thursday or will Sunderland continue their terrible run at the Stadium of light having not won a match there since New Year's Day? Stay with us and enjoy the live commentary to find out!
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