Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Black Cats Beaten by Resurgent Reds

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Black Cats Beaten by Resurgent Reds

Article excerpt


Liverpool 2

Sunderland 0

SUNDERLAND boss Ricky Sbragia absolved Kenwyne Jones and Marton Fulop of blame for the Black Cats' defeat at Liverpool last night - despite the mistakes that cost them dear, writes MARK DOUGLAS.

It was those two players, such reliable performers since Sbragia took over, who were guilty of the mistakes that ruined Sunderland's chances of frustrating their title-chasing hosts.

Ultimately, Sunderland were beaten by two second-half strikes at Anfield, David Ngog breaking their stout resistance after a clever flicked header from Steven Gerrard, before Yossi Benayoun stroked into an empty net after an uncharacteristic error from Fulop.

The Black Cats offered precious little going forward but Jones could have altered the complexion of the contest in the opening minutes if he had swept home a glorious fourth-minute chance. His shot was too weak to trouble Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina, however, and it set the tone for an ultimately disappointing evening for Sbragia's side. "Kenwyne should have scored and he probably knows that. It probably played on his mind a little bit as well," Sbragia said.

"He was obviously disappointed with that but he made the chance himself. On another day he probably would have scored and he has done for us this season but he hasn't on this occasion. It would have been very different if we had have scored at that point, they might have had to throw caution to the wind a little bit. That was our chance really, after a few minutes. You've got to be clinical and ruthless when you get chances like that - Liverpool put their chances away.

"Marton made a mistake but no one is blaming him because he's done super for us. I don't think he should be watching it over and over again. He paid the penalty - we conceded and that was the game."

Those mistakes gave Sunderland little chance of repeating their feat of a week ago at Arsenal, when they frustrated Arsene Wenger's side. But Sbragia said he had no regrets about repeating his spoiling mission.

"We were pleased with the first 45. We created some decent chances and really frustrated Liverpool," said Sbragia. …

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