Writer: Gary Johnson
Date:Saturday January 1 2011
Sunderland manager Steve Bruce had to make a few team selection choices today as Cattermole, Gyan, Onuoha all missed out through recent injuries.
Steve Bruce kept Bent and Welbeck up front together and this choice paid off as Sunderland won with ease against a very, very poor Blackburn team.
Blackburn of course also had massive injury problems with Robinson, Kalinic and Samba all missing. The difference between the two clubs is that we have strength in depth and they do not.
Steed Malbranque ran the show in the middle of the park and the returning Titus Bramble was also brilliant alongside Anton Ferdinand.
The first goal was brought on by a wicked deflection but a good move on the right from Elmo and Bent allowed Welbeck with acres of space in the box. His volley was on target but took a massive slice of luck into the net for our opener.
Just as Sunderland were gathering their momentum they scored another brilliant goal to make it 2-0.
Elmo again involved on the right side whipped in a fantastic cross for the oncoming Darren Bent to glance it past Bunn.
Bent would have been delighted to score after a run of five games without scoring will add to his confidence.
Blackburn did create some good chances, mainly through Pedersen and his outrageous crosses for El-Hadj Diouf to squander.
It was a great day at the Stadium for El Hadj as he was tortured by his old fans and his temper was flaring on more than one occasion. Simply Dioufy, you are not as good as you think you are and simply play the pantomime villian on every given opportunity. Thanks for falling over when Nicky Butt tripped you up when we beat them 2-1 and that is all your worthy of a mention for.
As the game wore on, Steve Bruce made changes with Zenden replacing Welbeck and Gyan coming on for Bent.
The third and final goal was sheer class from box to box in only seven seconds. Sunderland broke through the middle as Gyan was played through down the left hand side. He toyed with the defender before unleashing an awesome curling effort around the defender and the goalkeeper to seal the three points.
Sunderland played well today but came up against an awful Blackburn team destroyed by injuries. We enter January on 30 points and back to sixth in the league.
I'm beginning to like 2011 already!
Date:Saturday January 1 2011
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