In a gutsy and compelling Premiership game between two teams looking to attack at every opportunity, Sunderland edged ahead of a hard-working Everton in the last quarter of the game, only to concede a deflected equalizer late on for a 2-2 draw.. It could even have been worse for the hosts as Beckford drove over the bar in the closing stages.
Everton showed their attacking intent in by scoring in virtually their first attack, with Baines lofting a ball over from the left for Cahill to head home in the 6th minute. Then an amazing run by Zenden cutting into the box from the right ended with a cross that was poked in instinctively by Welbeck. It was the young loan star who edged the home side ahead on 70 minutes, with an excellent header from a Richardson cross. His form in front of goal has illustrated the talent of this England U-21 star, who has shown amazing drive in the last 3 games. In a compelling second half, Arteta’s deflected drive from the edge of the box provided a late equalizer for the Toffees, for whom defeat would have been harsh.
"I quite like Welbeck," said Steve Round, David Moyes's assistant. "He's an emerging talent who has certainly got the talent to go far. Playing here is doing him the world of good." Eric Black, Bruce's deputy, was even more fulsome about a player aided by Sunderland's reversion to 4-4-2. "Danny's got phenomenal potential," he said. "He's exceptionally talented and has now got confidence. Not playing every week at United was stunting his development."
The match had started with news of the absence of two star performers for the Black Cats, Titus Bramble and Asamoah Gyan. Whereas the African striker should be fit for the next game at Wolves, Bramble will be out until the New Year with a serious knee injury, and he will be missed. He has proven an astute signing by Bruce, has won over sceptical fans with assured performances at the back. With John Mensah out, Ferdinand and Da Silva are competing for the slot alongside Turner.
Top striker Gyan is becoming a cult figure already at the Stadium of Light, having grabbed his opportunity and made a huge impression as a striker with a special eye for goal. His dancing goal celebrations are the stuff of legend, for proof, take a look at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/gallery/2010/nov/23/asamoah-gyan, even when Zenden joins in!
Next up Wolves then at Molyneux, not an easy game. Could this be a chance for Gyan and Bent to feature together up front? An intriguing thought, but it would be hard on Welbeck…a place in midfield for the lad may be on Bruce’s mind. Having too many on-form strikers is the sort of problem a Premiership manager wants, though.
©Lars J.S. Knutsen
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