Match Analysis: Spare a Thought for the Fans

In the ungodly hours of Saturday morning, almost 1,200 Sunderland fans were making the long trip down to the south coast for the eagerly anticipated away day at Bournemouth. With a minimum of 30 loyalty points needed for a ticket, not to mention the six hour trip, these were some of Wearside’s finest. Unfortunately, the same couldn’t be said for the eleven who pulled on the strip and took to the field at Dean Court.

This was a game Sunderland just had to win. Five games into the season and still looking for their first three points, Dick Advocaat’s men made the trip to Bournemouth buoyed by a spirited performance against Tottenham last week. Expectations were high, fans were optimistic and there was light on the horizon.

After four minutes that all changed.

The man in form, Callum Wilson was played in by Dan Gosling, before spinning Younes Kaboul and firing past Pantilimon in the Sunderland goal.

Five minutes later, those fans in the Sunderland end must’ve been having nervous flashbacks to the last trip to the south coast. Twenty yards out, Matt Richie controlled the ball perfectly on his chest, before firing a volley right in the top corner of Pantilimon’s goal. As good as strike as it was, the floodgate was well and truly open, and it was a long way back for Sunderland.

Advocaat, unable to name an unchanged side due to O’Shea’s illness, welcomed back Sebastian Coates to the starting eleven, but the Uruguayan, alongside Kaboul, was run ragged by the intensity of Bournemouth and the host’s attack.

It wasn’t until the first half was nearing an end when Sunderland created anything of note. Jermain Defoe found himself running one-on-one with Artur Boruc, only to fire his effort straight at the ‘keeper.

A matter of seconds later, Defoe missed again, this time heading M’Vila’s cross past the post. Both times the striker should’ve scored, and Sunderland could have, undeservedly, gone in level at the break.

With Jack Rodwell thrown on at the break, at the expense of Jordi Gomez, Sunderland began the second half with far more intensity than the first, with Borini firstly unable to convert his chances, before Jeremain Lens had one of his, abeit brief, better spells in the game.

Some good work out wide from the Dutchman saw Jack Rodwell fire a volley goalwards, only to be deflected wide. From the resulting M’Vila corner, Jeremain Lens ducked to head the ball past Boruc from the edge of the six-yard box, only to see the linesman incorrectly flag for offside.

Had it stood, it would have made for an interesting final half hour, with the momentum in Sunderland’s favour. As it was, Borini later saw an effort, similar to Ritchie’s strike, fly narrowly over the bar, and that was as close as we pushed it.

Advocaat threw Steven Fletcher and the fit-again Adam Johnson on, replacing Defoe and Borini, to no avail.

Kevin Friend had remained fairly quiet for much of the afternoon, booking just the five Sunderland players. It wasn’t until the third opportunity, however, for him to produce the mandatory red card for Sunderland. The home fans were baying for blood when Kaboul, captaining the side for the first time, pulled back Wilson as he ran through on goal. They were incensed again when Billy Jones’ reckless tackle failed to see a second yellow for the former West Brom man. By the time Kaboul smashed into Wilson on the edge of the area in the 74th minute, everyone knew what was coming.

Bournemouth, content to see the game out as effortlessly as possible, hit the bar in the closing stages. By the time Friend blew for full time, the biggest sigh of relief came from the Sunderland end, happy for the torture to be over.

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Through Their Eyes: What the Otherside make of Sunday's Clash

Through Their Eyes: What the Otherside make of Sunday's Clash

We take a look at the Wear-Tees derby from a Teessider's perspective, as oneBoro's Rob Parvin gives us the lowdown through parmo-tinted glasses.

Having opened the Premier League campaign with a draw against Stoke City, Boro will head into the Tees-Wear Derby with confidence. Antonio Barragan looked good at the heart of the defence, however with Daniel Ayala returning from injury we may see Ayala start alongside Ben Gibson.

Alvaro Negredo opened his Boro account whilst perhaps the pick of the performers against Stoke was Gaston Ramirez. The Uruguayan linked up well with Negredo for the goal and clearly has that little something extra, which almost sealed maximum points for Boro.

The only downside to the match was losing new signing Marten De Roon early on in the first half to a hamstring injury. 

Sunderland’s main threat is Jermaine Defoe, but having handled the likes of Xherdan Shaqiri, Marko Arnautovic, Mame Biram Diouf and Bojan, the Boro defence should be confident they can cope with whatever Sunderland throw at them.

In truth, it’s still early days in the season and it’s difficult to predict exactly how games are going to go. If Boro can defend well, like how they have been since Aitor Karanka joined, then there is a good base from which to build a winning team.

Keeping Sunderland’s chances down to a minimum and using the creativity of Ramirez and the power of Negredo up-front, especially as the match goes on, could see the first win of the season for Boro.

Do you agree with Rob? Give us your thoughts below!

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