Tuesday, August 28, 2007


Goals from Momo Sissoko - his first for the club - and Andriy Voronin gave Liverpool an excellent 2-0 victory over Sunderland at the Stadium of Light on Saturday.
The Reds found Sunderland's record signing, Scottish goalkeeper Craig Gordon, in superb form and for a time none of their forwards could find a way past him. They eventually took the lead in the 37th minute of a first half that had looked certain to end goalless before Sissoko beat Gordon with a superb right foot shot. Voronin confirmed a second away win of the season after excellent play involving Babel, Pennant and Torres in the 87th minute. Sunderland came into this game having had their good start to life back in the Premier League halted by defeat at Wigan, while Liverpool were hoping to add three points to the four they already had before embarking on the job of ensuring qualification for the group stages of the Champions League against Toulouse on Tuesday. A hairline fracture of the toe meant the Reds had to do without their captain at the Stadium of Light. Gerrard didn't travel to the North East and his place was taken by Momo Sissoko, who partnered Xabi Alonso in the centre of the midfield. There were also first starts in the Premier League for Ryan Babel and Andriy Voronin. Liverpool kicked the game off and started well. We'd had just 30 seconds when a loose pass gave Voronin a chance to score. The Ukrainian did well to muscle his way through the Sunderland defence, but he couldn't beat their goalkeeper Gordon, who made a fine save before the ball was scrambled away. Buoyed by that, Liverpool continued on the front foot in the early stages and two corners in quick succession increased the pressure on Roy Keane's side. Sunderland did manage to break in the 8th minute and Richardson's near post cross bounced dangerously off McShane and just wide. The Reds were back on the attack in the 11th minute when Xabi Alonso had a shot blocked, but they almost went behind in the 24th minute when Stokes, who had just come on for Richardson, broke free. It took a fine save from Reina to deny the Sunderland man. The game appeared to be drifting towards a goalless half time with neither side ready to seize the initiative. Sissoko's goal was just what the doctor ordered. Liverpool almost made it 2-0 on the stroke of half time when Gordon made what was to be the first of a series of saves from Fernando Torres before stopping the ball on his goalline. The second half started as the first had done, with Liverpool on the attack. It took another good Gordon save from the ever dangerous Torres in the 51st minute and the Sunderland stopper was busy again just minutes later when Pennant's shot needed saving. Roy Keane tried to change things when he replaced Dwight Yorke with Grant Leadbitter, but still the chances continued to come for Liverpool with Torres again getting in behind the home defence only to shoot tamely wide. Concern was growing that the Reds would be made to pay for not killing the game off and when Gordon made another brilliant save from Voronin in the 76th minute you feared a sucker punch. But the Ukraine international beat the Scot in the 87th minute to make it 2-0 and two away wins out of two for the Rafa's men.

Liverpool: Reina, Arbeloa, Hyypia, Carragher, Finnan, Babel, Alonso, Sissoko, Pennant, Voronin, Torres. Subs - Riise, Mascherano, Kuyt, Agger, Itandje

Sunderland: Gordon, Wallace, Nosworthy, McShane, Halford, Richardson, Yorke (captain), Etuhu, Miller, Murphy, Chopra. Subs - Leadbitter, Ward, Anderson, Stokes, Connolly Referee: M Halsey

Conditions: Dry

Attendance: 45,645

Liverpoolfc.tv Man-of-the-Match: Momo Sissoko

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