Saturday, August 25, 2007

Sunderland try rough stuff but come up short...

Following the three-nil drubbing by Wigan Athletic last week it came as no surprise that Sunderland came out all guns blazing against Liverpool in the early kick-off at the Stadium of Light. But as early as the first minute the home side nearly conceded when Halford's back pass fell short and Voronin was only denied by the excellent Gordon in the Black Cats goal, but for the Sunderland keeper the final score-line of two-nil would have been much, much wider.

Sami Hyypia had to leave the field of play on 20 minutes after what he claimed was elbow in the face by winger Murphy, the Liverpool back-room team worked on the defender's bloody nose, but they could not stem the flow of blood and eventually Agger replaced the Finn.

Eventually the visitors class started to tell as Ryan Babel, Voronin and Torres started to click and it came as no surprise when Liverpool broke the deadlock just before half-time with a class goal which was somewhat surprisingly finished off by Sissoko from 20 yards.

The pattern of the second half was much the same as the first with the home team huffing and puffing, but with no end product and in truth Liverpool's keeper didn't have a shot to make all game long. Meanwhile at the other end Sunderland were kept in the game by the excellent Gordon who had to make a string of fine saves. However eventually Liverpool got the killer goal when they scored another well crafted effort that was finished in some style by new boy Voronin.

Verdict: Liverpool will push Chelsea hard for the title. Sunderland will be in trouble unless Keane can find a creative midfield player. Against Liverpool the Irishman started with a negative 4-5-1 and when the home side went one down Keane was unable to change the pattern of the game. That is the problem when you start with a negative line-up, once you go behind it can be difficult to change to a more attacking formation and that is precisely what happened today.

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