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November 2015

Sunderland U21s vs Athletic Club Bilbao

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Sunderland AFC U21’s (2-1) Athletic Club Bilbao FC U23’s

Sunderland under 21s beat Athletic Club Bilbao after a Martin Smith penalty secured a place in the quarter finals of The Premier League International cup for the Black Cats.

Danny Graham opened the scoring for the Black Cats with a clever shot just outside the six                                         yard box.

Athletic Club hit back just before half time with a well worked goal from Gorka Guruzeta.

The winner came just before the end when Martin Smith converted his penalty.

The home side went into the game top of group D, needing just one point against the Spanish side in order to qualify.

The game began with a scrappy first 10 minutes, with the only real chance coming from the visitors, when striker Inigo Pradera headed just over the bar.

On the thirty minute mark, a pass back towards Sunderland keeper Maksymillian Stryjek, almost found its way into the net, after the ball rolled under the youngsters foot, however it was cleared from danger.

The first big chance of the night came from a free kick edge of the box, when two senior players combined, Patrick van Aanholt brought a save from goalkeeper Unai Simon and striker Danny Graham went close with a scuffed shot that rolled across the line.

However, the deadlock was broken moments later by Graham who finished his chance from 10 yards out.

Gorka did hit back moments before half time, converting his shot into Stryjek’ bottom left corner. The chance came after an accumulation of both good play and poor defending from both teams.

The second half came around still at 1-1, with both teams clearly feeling a win was achievable.

Again the opening moments of the half began with a bunch of hard tackles, resulting in yellow cards for both Smith and Julen Arellano.

The only real chances for either side came from Graham who curled his effort towards the top left corner, but was denied by the Bilbao Keeper and then Inigo Pradera who brought an excellent save from Stryjek.

After some good defending from Sunderland, van Aanholt broke forward and won a penalty for his team.

Smith who was captain for the night, in absence of midfielder Liam Agnew, stepped up and excellently buried his penalty into the bottom right corner of the net.

The game was over and Sunderland were into the quarter finals after an excellent win against a physical Bilbao side.

In his post-match press conference, Andy Welsh was delighted with his team’s performance on the night, and said: ‘’It was a tough game, we had to be organised and compact. We won the game with our desire and effort throughout the 90 minutes.’’

Attendance: 888

Match Officials

Referee: Mr A Greenwood

Assistant referees: Mr N Hawksby, Mr J Suchecki

4th Official: Mr S Dial

Sunderland vs Southampton

Sunderland 0-1 Southampton

Dusan Tadic’ penalty sealed three points for Southampton after Yann M’vila mistake kept Sunderland in the Relegation zone.

Dusan Tadic converted his penalty in the 69th minute after an unnecessary sliding tackle from Yann M’vila.

Sunderland failed to create any chances and Southampton continued to pressurise the Sunderland back four.

Sam Allardyce’ men looked to bounce back after the previous weekends 6-2 humiliation by Everton.

Sunderland started the game with a 4-4-1-1/4-4-2 and resorted to the direct ball from kick off.

The Black Cats struggled to get any foothold on the game through the first half and the relentless pressure from Southampton didn’t end up in a goal, luckily for the lads in red and white.

The home side continued to pump balls forward towards Fletcher, who did continue to flick the ball on but with no support, was left frustrated throughout the game.

Just before the 70th minute, Yann M’vila decided to dive into Ryan Bertrand, who had little control of the ball and was going nowhere, leaving referee Mike Jones with no option but to point to the spot. Sam Allardyce was left with his head in his hands after another individual mistake.

Dusan Tadic smashed his penalty bottom corner leaving Costel Pantilimon with no chance at all.

Steven Fletcher was taken off for Jack Rodwell, leaving Sunderland fans frustrated, demonstrated by certain areas of the Stadium of Light booing Allardyces decision.

Sunderland did press for an equaliser but struggled to create any clear cut chances.

More trouble for Sunderland who now go into the international break looking to forget the result and look to move on against Crystal Palace on Monday night football.

Everton Vs Sunderland AFC

Everton 6-2 Sunderland AFC

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An Aroune Kone hat trick ensured Everton’s hammering over Sunderland leaving Sam Allardyces men still in the bottom three.

Gerard Deulofeu opened the scoring for Everton in the 19th minute and Aroune Kone got the second after some slack defending from Sunderland.

Jermaine Defoe got one back before half time for Sunderland and Sunderland drew level just after the break through Steven Fletcher.

Sebastian Coates own goal and a goal from Romelu Lukaku made it 4-2, and 2 goals from Kone made it six to the home side.

Allardyces men looked to win at goodison for the third year in a row and brought great confidence into the game after winning last week’s Wear-Tyne derby.

Sunderland started very well and hit the same post twice within 15 minutes from Patrick Van Aanholt and Adam Johnson efforts.

The black cats took a risk in their formation with a 3-5-2 from the start and that risk came to haunt them when a through ball from Kone was latched onto by Deulofeu to make it 1-0.

The second went in 15 minutes later when Kone worked his chance well on the edge of the box and finished past Sunderland keeper Costel Pantilimon.

Although 2-0 down, Sunderland fans still saw gaps in the Everton defence which could be exposed and this proved to be true when Defoe’s volley nestled into Tim Howards net.

People always say that scoring just before half time really boosts confidence going into the second half and Steven Fletchers header on the 50 minute mark proved this.

The game became even more stretched and the aging legs of certain Sunderland defenders aided Everton in scoring three in seven minutes.

At 5-2 the game looked gone and was certainly put to bed when Romelu Lukaku’s excellent cross was nodded home by Kone for his third.

Very disappointing for Sunderland fans after starting ever so well and then levelling just after half time.

Duncan Watmore’s performance when coming on in the 75th minute has to be highlighted, causing both Everton centre backs problems and creating chances for himself out of nothing, showing great enthusiasm even though the Black Cats were 6-2 down.

Disappointing for Sunderland who will now look to improve next week at home to Southampton.

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