… but, in all honesty, when you win 3-1 away and have waited a long time to win anything, it’s natural to want to crow about it.
That is what Monsieur Salut resolved to do.
Pete Sixsmith’s report will be its usual glorious self. If you cannot wait for him to find the time in a busy teacher’s schedule – retirement was a sham, as I knew it would be – go along to our little satellite site known as ESPN.
Here is a flavour:
Hadn’t Philip Mison, my Fulham counterpart on these pages, warned me to expect a 3-0 defeat for Sunderland?
Friends wrote him off as a cocky southerner. I loyally agreed but feared he would be proved right.
A scoreline that reads S O Else or A N Other 1 Sunderland 3 is something of a lesser spotted variety. True, there have been even better results in what is, at-best, a patchy modern history. But the last time that particular one happened — Sunderland winning 3-1 away — was in April 2008. Against Fulham.
… any Sunderland match report under my name is likely to be considered partisan. So let me try my best to be even-handed and say Fulham going forward rarely looked a man short. Dimitar Berbatov, such a fine player, was central to most of what the home side managed as an attacking force. It is also difficult to argue with television viewers who made Sunderland’s goalkeeper, Simon Mignolet, the man of the match. When you’ve just won 3-1 away, that is close to an insult. But he did make two or more outstanding saves to protect the lead.
But who was more dangerous, more often? I’d say it looked more like ending 4-1 than 3-3.
There you are. See the full posting her: http://soccernet.espn.go.com/blog/_/name/sunderland/id/610?cc=5739
Disagree by all means – comment over at the ESPN site, too – but the only thing I missed in my report was special praise for Adam Johnson who I thought had a terrific second half. Fabulous ball to Fletcher for the first, great shot brilliantly saved, corner straight to Cuellar’s head, fine cross for Fletch’s offside “goal”.