Salut!’s Week: Villa, Man Utd, Billy Sharp and John Terry

Image: Mrs Logic

Whenever we remember to do it, Salut! Sunderland likes to offer a summary of the week just gone by. Most readers know by now that there is usually plenty more than is flagged here. Have a look up and down the sidebars for links to other material you may have missed …

Drawing at home to Aston Villa felt like a victory to some, given our late second equaliser, and two dropped points to others, who felt we had been comfortably held by an average side.

After the points squandered against West Brom in the previous home game, it was not the ideal result to set us up for Old Trafford today even if it stretched our very mini unbeaten run to three.

Pete Sixsmith’s magisterial account of the game – click here – was followed by a reminder that cheating in football is by no means restricted, as xenophobes like to believe, to foreigners. Unless you somehow work out that being born in Erdington, Birmingham to Nigerian and Scottish parents makes Gabriel Agbonlahor any more than being called Gabriel makes him angelic.

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Bonfire night competition: name the firework that felled Villa’s Agbonlahor

Need for speedImage: Marion O’Sullivan

Just a spot of fun, and Nov 5 is still a few days away.

But there is a serious enough underlying message. A small prize awaits the reader who comes up with the best name for the firework that, according to the report I am about to share, seemed to send poor Gabriel Agbonlahor reeling on Saturday.

We all know what happened next. Larsson, against whom the imaginary foul was given, accused Agbonlahor of cheating but Richard Dunne headed the resulting free kick past Westwood to put Villa ahead.

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The Aston Villa Soapbox: must we settle for mildly entertaining?

Aston Villa, M Salut decided as he walked away from the Stadium of Light, are not a team of thugs. Darren Bent is doubtless “one greedy b******” (there are sensitive souls looking in), though I quarrel with the “only” of the chant; Agbonlahor gives a decent impersonation of a man in training for an Olympics diving medal and Richard Dunne can act like an immature and unpleasant schoolboy, as he did after conceding the foul that led to our second equaliser. For all that, it was not a dirty match and both sides did try to play. But Pete Sixsmith wonders whether “mildly entertaining” football is what both sets of fans must accept as their lot …

Twelve months ago, I was sitting in a darkened room with a cold towel over my head as I tried to get over the 5-1 drubbing at Sports Direct Park. It was probably the worst result in my Sunderland watching experience and, to be honest, I still haven’t fully recovered from it.

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