EFL

Day to remember for Sunderland as Southampton are hit for five

By Sports Desk September 02, 2023

Southamtpon’s unbeaten start to the Championship season came crashing to an end as Russell Martin’s side were blown away 5-0 by brilliant Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.

Sunderland fans taunted Ross Stewart after the injured striker’s deadline-day switch to Saints as Tony Mowbray’s side built on a dream start and stunned the visitors.

Jack Clarke scored the opening goal after just 52 seconds before Pierre Ekwah added a deflected second six minutes later.

The outstanding Ekwah scored his second and Sunderland’s third on the stroke of half-time. Bradley Dack added a fourth early in the second half before 16-year-old substitute Chris Rigg rounded off a perfect afternoon with his first league goal in the fifth minute of stoppage time.

The win means Sunderland – who signed four players on deadline day, including Chelsea loanee Mason Burstow – are now unbeaten in three games.

In the week boss Mowbray marked his first anniversary as boss, the Black Cats delivered their best performance of his tenure so far.

A fine opening goal inside a minute set Sunderland on their way. Abdoullah Ba found Trai Hume on the right and the full-back delivered a teasing cross that was met by winger Clarke, who ghosted in at the back post to head home.

Ba was again involved in the second six minutes later. After a Jobe Bellingham cut-back, the winger, only in the team because of the injury to Patrick Roberts, who Southampton tried to sign this week, teed up Ekwah on the edge of the box and the former West Ham midfielder found the bottom corner from 25 yards.

After their nightmare start, Southampton settled down and tried to get a grip of the game. In a dominant 10 minute spell, Martin’s side had 91 per cent of possession but failed to find the goal they needed after the horror opening.

And rather than sit back and soak up pressure, Sunderland then pushed for more goals.

The third came in the 45th minute when Ekwah pounced on a mistake by Southampton debutant Mason Holgate and curled into the bottom corner from 25 yards out.

Southampton made two substitutions at the break, introducing Che Adams after his deadline-day move to Wolves fell through and Newcastle loanee Ryan Fraser. But the changes did not have the impact Martin had hoped for and within four minutes of the restart Sunderland had their fourth.

Gavin Bazuna saved well to keep out a header from Dack but the home side kept the ball alive and the former Blackburn man poked home from close range.

Sunderland put the icing on the cake in the 95th minute when Rigg headed in a cross from fellow substitute Jewison Bennette.

Related items

  • Leon Balogun happy with Rangers’ resilience after semi-final victory over Hearts Leon Balogun happy with Rangers’ resilience after semi-final victory over Hearts

    Leon Balogun believes Rangers showed resilience to overcome Hearts 2-0 in their Scottish Gas Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden Park on Sunday.

    Eyebrows were raised when Gers boss Philippe Clement left regular centre-back Connor Goldson on the bench with the 35-year-old Nigeria international Balogun making his first start since a 3-0 win over Livingston at Ibrox on February 3.

    After just two wins in eight in all competitions and on the back of a goalless draw against Dundee on Wednesday night, which followed their first ever defeat by Ross County in the cinch Premiership in Dingwall the previous Sunday, the pressure was on the Ibrox side.

    However, a Cyriel Dessers double set up an Old Firm final on May 25, the first since 2002.

    Balogun, in his second spell at the Ibrox club, said: “I think at this club, it felt like we had a few horrible weeks and it’s been two games only, obviously very important games, but within a week.

    “So I think it was very important to bounce back against a team that has put in good performances in every game we have played this season so far.

    “They never make it easy for us and certainly didn’t on Sunday.

    “But it felt good to be out there and show some resilience and get a good result, 2-0 and a clean sheet. Overall I can be can be happy.

    “For me, it was just to make sure to prepare well and to have a good start to the game and do what I’m supposed to do and serve the team.

    “I think overall as a team, as a unit, we did really well.”

    Balogun revealed Clement has tried to keep the Rangers squad focused on the positives during the recent ropey spell which leaves the Light Blues three points behind cinch Premiership leaders Celtic.

    The Light Blues begin their five post-split fixtures next weekend with a trip to St Mirren on Sunday.

    He said: “He’s been really good with us because he makes sure that we don’t get too emotional because it’s always very easy to watch those games back and then just feel sorry for yourself, talk yourself down.

    “He just reminded us of things that, even though we had bad performances, we still did good.

    “He makes sure that he reminds us of what we have to do and repeats that quite heavily as well.

    “Then you can see throughout the training sessions how the confidence slowly builds back up.

    “I think it’s not a surprise that we had a few difficult spells in the game on Sunday as well.

    “But then again, we showed the character that he was able to instil in the team.”

  • Nottingham Forest did not ask for Stuart Attwell to be taken off VAR duties Nottingham Forest did not ask for Stuart Attwell to be taken off VAR duties

    Nottingham Forest did not ask for Stuart Attwell to be taken off VAR duties for their match against Everton, sources have told the PA news agency.

    Forest issued an extraordinary statement on social media on Sunday after their 2-0 defeat at Goodison Park, saying they had “warned” referees’ body Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) that Attwell “was a Luton fan” but that “they did not change him”.

    The statement also complained about three penalty appeals which were turned down. Forest said they were now “considering their options”, while the Football Association is understood to be investigating the post.

    PA understands Forest’s referee analyst Mark Clattenburg contacted PGMOL’s chief refereeing officer Howard Webb on Friday to share that manager Nuno Espirito Santo might be asked about Attwell’s appointment at his pre-match press conference, but ultimately no such questions were asked.

    However, the PA news agency has been told Forest, and Clattenburg, did not request for the appointment of Attwell to be changed and nor did the club express that they had any problem with the appointment.

    Forest have been contacted for comment.

    The Reds were furious not to be awarded spot-kicks by referee Anthony Taylor for challenges on Giovanni Reyna and Callum Hudson-Odoi by Ashley Young, who also escaped a handball decision. Attwell backed the referee’s on-field decision in each case.

    The club’s social media post on X read: “Three extremely poor decisions – three penalties not given – which we simply cannot accept.

    “We warned the PGMOL that the VAR is a Luton fan before the game but they didn’t change him. Our patience has been tested multiple times. NFFC will now consider its options.”

    Clattenburg later wrote in a Daily Mail column: “One of these errors would have been bad enough. Three was a joke, and that is why Nottingham Forest were left feeling victimised after another defeat in which zero big decisions went their way.

    “In a season where they have had to endure some egregious refereeing, this trip to Everton was as grim a game as they have encountered since returning to the Premier League.”

    He added: “You will have seen the statement released by the club — how the PGMOL was contacted to warn that it was not appropriate for a Luton fan such as Attwell to play such a pivotal role in a massive match that would impact the relegation race.

    “Certainly, I would not have risked this situation if I were the head of the referees and all of this could have been avoided had the PGMOL simply made smarter appointments.

    “Referees do not make mistakes deliberately but this was mind-boggling to watch. Why Attwell did not send Taylor to his screen, only he will know.”

    Clattenburg also spoke out last month after Forest’s defeat to Liverpool, when he highlighted that referee Paul Tierney had made an error in law by mistakenly handing possession back to Liverpool for a drop ball late in the game.

    On that occasion, the club were fined £75,000 for failing to control their players while first-team coach Steven Reid was fined and given a two-match touchline ban for his abusive behaviour towards Tierney.

  • Facts and figures behind Manchester FA Cup derbies as rivals meet again in final Facts and figures behind Manchester FA Cup derbies as rivals meet again in final

    Manchester City and Manchester United will meet in the FA Cup final for the second year in a row after City beat Chelsea and United survived a thrilling semi-final against Coventry.

    Here, the PA news agency looks at their head-to-head record in the competition and the historical significance of next month’s clash.

    Previous meetings

    Ilkay Gundogan’s goal after 12 seconds – the fastest FA Cup final goal in history – is the abiding memory of City’s 2-1 win last year.

    Bruno Fernandes equalised from a penalty but a second Gundogan strike sealed City’s fourth and most significant victory in nine FA Cup derbies dating back almost a century.

    City won the 1926 semi-final 3-0, Tommy Browell scoring twice, but went on to lose the final 1-0 to Bolton. The Manchester rivals did not meet in the competition again until a 1955 fourth-round clash also won by City, 2-0.

    United won the next four ties against City, starting with another fourth-round meeting in 1970 when Brian Kidd – a future assistant manager of both clubs – scored twice in a 3-0 win.

    Norman Whiteside scored the only goal in 1987’s third-round tie and Eric Cantona’s penalty proved decisive in a 2-1 fifth-round win in 1996. They met at that stage again in 2004, Ruud van Nistelrooy scoring twice as United won 4-2 despite Gary Neville’s first-half dismissal.

    A solitary Yaya Toure goal settled the 2011 semi-final in City’s favour before United’s Paul Scholes was sent off – this time City went on to win the competition, beating Stoke in the final.

    United held off a second-half fightback from 10-man City in the following season’s third round, Wayne Rooney’s brace setting up a 3-2 win, before Gundogan’s Wembley heroics last year.

    Deja vu

    This will be the first time in 129 years that the same two clubs have met in the final in consecutive seasons. Queen’s Park, the only Scottish side to play in an FA Cup final, were beaten by Blackburn in both 1884 and 1885 at the Oval.

    The nearest in the intervening years has been the same two teams meeting three years apart, most recently Arsenal beating Chelsea 2-1 in both 2017 and 2020. City and United will become the 17th pair of teams to meet in multiple finals.

    United rank second all time for FA Cup wins, two behind Arsenal on 12, and will remain there regardless of the outcome this time around. Victory for City would be their eighth, lifting them to joint third alongside Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.