Several times a season, Britain’s best newspaper, The Observer, recognises quality elsewhere and comes to Salut! Sunderland, or rather to
Pete Sixsmith, for a match summing up. So did Pete witness a game in which our stars, released from the least relegation concerns, produced an away win with free-flowing total football? Not exactly. Pete saw an away win – at last – but it was painful. But let’s hear from a disconsolate Hull first…
RICK SKELTON HullCityOnline.com:
It was a bit of a wimper-ish way to go down. We started appallingly, and Sunderland could have had three in the first 10 minutes. Then we missed the penalty, lost Altidore – who was stupid to react and deserved to get sent off – and the second half was a non-event. We had plenty of the ball but we haven’t broken anybody down in two seasons. We’re in trouble now – there’s going to be a CVA or we’ll go into administration, and I’m certain we’ll start on -10 points next season. I wouldn’t mind Iain Dowie staying as he seems to empathise with the place but will we be able to afford even him?
Player ratings: Duke 7; Mendy 7, Gardner 6, Mouyokolo 8, Dawson 6; Barmby 6 (Fagan 62 6), Boateng 8 (Cullen 75 7), Bullard 5, (Cairney 46 7) Geovanni 7; Altidore 4, Folan 6
PETE SIXSMITH, SalutSunderland.com:
An away win at last but it was as poor a game as I have seen all season. We played some decent stuff in the first half and could have been three up early on, as Hull were caught square very easily. Once again Bent showed how important he is. But referee Lee Probert had a nightmare 20 minutes leading up to half time- the penalty should have been a foul on Hutton, some of his bookings were bizarrre and by the time he sent Hutton and Altidore off, he had lost the game. The second half was truly awful: niggling, scrappy and devoid of skill. Hull worked hard and their fans who stuck with them, but I fear for their future.
Player ratings: Gordon 8; Hutton 6, Turner 8 (Ferdinand 46 7), Kilgallon 7, Richardson 7; Campbell 6, Meyler 7, Henderson 7, Malbranque 6 (Bardsley 46 7); Jones 6 (Cana 60 7), Bent 7