Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Liverpool 2-0 Sunderland

Liverpool halted their recent damaging league decline with a victory over Sunderland at Anfield.

The Reds should have gone behind but Kenwyne Jones had his shot saved when one-on-one with keeper Jose Reina.

They were eventually made to pay for the miss when David Ngog side-footed in his first league goal for the Reds after Steven Gerrard's headed pass.

Yossi Benayoun slotted in a second to secure the win after keeper Marton Fulop had spilled Ngog's cross.

The win was just the tonic Liverpool needed as they attempted to get over the hangover of suffering a massive setback to their title hopes with defeat at Middlesbrough last Saturday.

It also saw them complete the type of win they have failed to manage at home this season as they broke down stubborn defensive opponents to earn the three points.

But the belief and confidence the Reds showed at the end was in stark contrast from their start to the game.

There was a sombre feel about the home side and Sunderland should have capitalised when Jones touched the ball past Martin Skrtel before racing clean through on goal.

The striker had only Reina to beat but saw his effort saved as the Reds keeper guessed correctly by diving low to his right.

Liverpool arose slightly from their stupor and, although they began to dominate possession, their was little industry or invention about their play.

Benayoun showed some promise on the right of the Reds midfield but epitomised his team's play with his final ball lacking in both direction and a cutting edge.

Sunderland had come to contain their opponents and were doing so in an assured manner.

When the Reds did threaten a goal, Black Cats keeper Fulop kept them at bay as he impressively palmed Albert Riera's deflected shot off Grant Leadbitter wide.

Midfielder Javier Mascherano, playing at right-back for the Anfield side, saw his long-range shot skim the top of the crossbar shortly before the break.

Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez praises his side's "character" as they recover from their weekend defeat by Middlesbrough by beating Sunderland 2-0.

Liverpool v Sunderland Full Team Line-ups:

Liverpool Team: Reina, Mascherano, Carragher, Skrtel, Insua, Benayoun, Gerrard, Alonso, Riera, N'Gog, Kuyt.

Liverpool Substitutes: Cavalieri, Dossena, Hyypia, Aurelio, Babel, Lucas, El Zhar.

Sunderland Team: Fulop, Ben-Haim, Ferdinand, Collins, McCartney, Malbranque, Whitehead, Reid, Leadbitter, Richardson, Jones.

Sunderland Substitutes: Gordon, Bardsley, Edwards, Cisse, Murphy, Davenport, Healy.

No comments:

Post a Comment