Disappointing Cats defeated at Anfield.Sunderland ended their two year unbeaten run at the home of the Reds with a bad display against a team where Sunderland could get points from.
The warning signs were there for Sunderland early on as Liverpool got two chances to score in the opening exchanges. Andre Wisdom, Liverpool’s 19 year old right back, received a ball from Gerrard on the edge of the box. However, the full back drove the ball a yard over Mignolet’s bar but the warning signs were there. Soon after this, Kilgallon brought down the lively Suarez and Liverpool had a free kick in a dangerous position. Stewart Downing, who used to play for the Lads, then saw his cleanly struck effort pushed away by the diving Mignolet.
It was third time lucky for Liverpool on 19 minutes when they broke the deadlock. Playing a high line against the pace and power of Sterling and Suarez back fired for Sunderland when Suarez’s ball up the pitch beat all of the defender’s before making its way to Sterling. Then, 20 yards out, the 18 year old scored his second goal for Liverpool when he chipped it above the on rushing Simon Mignolet.
Sunderland did have a good chance to equalize only 3 minutes later. After some neat play by Sessegnon and Fletcher, Irishman James McClean was 8 yards out with the whole goal to aim at. However, he slid his shot wide of the right hand post.
Sunderland was punished for this error when Cuellar fouled Suarez. However, the ref played on and Suarez picked up the ball and ran through on goal before driving the ball past Mignolet and into the bottom corner.
Sunderland was still not out of the game as just before half time Johnson crossed the ball to the back post. There was Kilgallon who could have passed to Flethcer for a tap in. However, he chose to shoot but Pepe Reina blocked well.
Sunderland went 4-4-2 in the second half when Campbell came on for Sessegnon but this did not stop Liverpool as they went 3-0 up on 52 minutes. Again a long ball, this time from Gerrard, sliced Sunderland’s defence open and there was Suarez to capitalize on some weak defending. He ran through on goal and slotted the ball past Mignolet to score his 5th goal against Sunderland.
The Merseysiders then almost scored again. Gerrard’s volley was deflected towards the goal by Glen Johnson but thanks to a super reaction save from Mignolet, it stayed 3-0. Suarez then could have grabbed a hat trick when he was put through by Joe Allen but Mignolet again saved, this time with his leg.
Liverpool did score in the final few minutes. Downing crossed to Allen and the back post and the Welshman tapped the ball in but the Linesman had his flag up as Downing was offside.
This defeat leaves Sunderland in 14th place ahead of the 3rd round of the FA Cup. Sunderland will travel to the Reebok Stadium to face off against Championship side Bolton. Sunderland managed to get to the quarter final replay in last season’s competition.
Simon Mignolet, Craig Gardner, Danny Rose, Matt Kilgallon, Carlos Cuellar, Jack Colback, Seb Larsson (James McFadden), James McClean, Stephane Sessegnon (Frazier Campbell) and Steven Fletcher