Reds in reserve - Win sends Reds five points clear

Posted by liverweb on February 13, 2008, 11:49:57 AM

Sunderland 0 Liverpool 1

The Reds reserves stretched their lead at the top of the table with a 1-0 win over Sunderland. An early goal from Krisztian Nemeth was enough for the Reds on the night. It was an intriguing game in which the Reds didn't play particularly well but never really looked like conceding.

Sunderland put out a strong side including Dwight Yorke, Anthony Stokes and Ian Harte and had a lot of possession throughout the game without doing a massive amount.

Sunderland set off at a strong place and looked to dictate the play from early on. Chandler headed just wide after three minutes.

The Reds took the lead though after just seven minutes and a very route one method it was too. David Martin kicked long up field and Nemeth got in behind M'Voto who seemed to trip over as the two players got close together. The Ref saw nothing wrong in the move and Nemeth lobbed Carson from the edge of the box.

Sunderland continued to press after the goal but the Reds never looked like conceding much. Daniel Ayala was being well guided throughout by Huth at the back although he often got dragged across the pitch a bit.

On seventeen minutes came an injury scare for the Reds and one which resulted in the first sub of the night. Jay Spearing went in for a challenge that was probably 60-40 against him and he came off worst. He limped to the sidelines for treatment and after a while a sub was decided upon and Spearing limped off down the tunnel.

After a short time of playing with ten men the Reds were able to bring on Ryan Crowther in a move which saw Ryan Flynn move more central.

On twenty four minutes Insua battled hard high up the pitch to win a a ball and then went on to fire a cross in the box but both Nemeth and Brouwer had stayed out for a pull back. It was something that happened more and more and perhaps this is just down to the partnership working over time.

The Reds really should have gone two up on the half hour mark but sadly if ever there was someone you wanted to go clean through on goal it's not Brouwer. He didn't look comfortable and shot across the keeper and wide.

Russell Anderson picked up a yellow card on thirty five minutes when he took down Nemeth. The Hungarian striker had just got away from him and was bearing down on the keeper.

Sunderland got the second half underway and again looked to control the play. Once again though the Reds continued to play within themselves at the back. The Reds didn't look superb in their movement going forward but were certainly working hard for one another.

Just two minutes in to the half and Crowther was sent clear down the right hand side but his ball across the six yard box wasn't converted as again neither striker attacked the box.

Sunderland best chances came just past the hour mark when David Martin pulled off two great saves. The Reds looked stretched a little at the back and Chandler shot on goal only for Martin to push wide. The ball continued to bobble in the box and Martin then saved from Chandler once again before Harte shot well over the bar and out of the ground.

With the ground being so compact it was easy to lose the ball and there was a fair few occasions when the ball went out of the ground.

The Reds did get the ball in the net on sixty three minutes but it was deemed offside. Crowther put a free kick in to the far post which Huth sneaked in and headed past Carson. Flynn went for the ball and then Ayala prodded over the line from half a yard but the flag was raised against someone and it was chalked off.

Sunderland did try and push on more as the clock ticked on but the defence stood firm throughout. A number of corners were whipped in but time after time the Reds cleared. Donoghue did go close on sixty nine minutes with one header though.

The Reds had the final chance of the night on the counter attack. They cleared a corner and Putterill broke forward before feeding Crowther but his shot was saved.

Overall this was an excellent win which the Reds deserved. When their chance came Nemeth was clinical, whilst the back line grew in confidence the more the game went on.

MotM : Ronald Huth - played superbly at the back and coached Ayala well in his first game. The second half in particular saw Ayala improve massively and much of this was down to Huth and the communication across the back line.

Liverpool    Martin, Darby (c), Insua, Ayala, Huth, Plessis, Flynn, Spearing (Crowther 22), Brouwer (Bruna 80), Nemeth, Putterill

Unused Subs    Gulacsi, Simon, Pacheco

Goal    Nemeth (7)

Sunderland    Carson, Weir (Donoghue, 59), Harte, Anderson, M'voto, Chandler, Richardson, Yorke (Hartley, 83), Dowson, Stokes, Dennehy

Unused Subs    Noble, Scott, Brown

Referee    A Halliday

Att    1324

Venue    Eppleton Colliery Welfare Ground

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