Liverpool reserves slump to rare defeat at Sunderland

Posted by liverweb on September 18, 2008, 09:16:11 AM

Sunderland 2 Liverpool 1

The Reds slumped to defeat at Sunderland by two goals to one and were ultimately rather disappointing.

The Reds came out in their silver away it up at Hetton le Hole and included Pennant and El Zhar from the first team as well as David Ngog who recently made his debut for the first team as well.

Sunderland got the game underway on what was a nice evening. The first chance for the Reds came on three minutes when they were awarded a free kick just outside the box. Jermaine Pennant took control but slammed his shot in to the wall and the ball was cleared.

On nine minutes Sunderland had a great move down the left where Chopra ran down the inside left channel and laid the ball back but Bouzanis pushed the shot off superbly for a corner. That corner wasn't fully cleared and Bouzanis was again needed to save - this time from Chopra.

Nabir El Zhar was clearly someone who was putting fear in to Sunderland from before the game because any time he got on the ball early on he was clattered.

Sunderland created a half chance on seventeen minutes when they raced clear but the final ball from Stokes was wasted behind his attacking players. IN the very next move Graham Kavanagh hit a great shot just wide of the target with Bouzanis happy to see it go wide.

At the other end Jay Spearing tried to race in to the area but sadly was eased off the ball by McArdle as he got about ten yards from goal.

On twenty one minutes Chopra did put the ball in the back of the net although he long been flagged offside so Bouzanis had stopped playing.

The ref had words with the Sunderland right back Kay on twenty four minutes for a tackle on Insua after the ball went. I'm surprised there wasn't a yellow given that Kay had already committed a couple of free kick challenges on El Zhar.

On twenty eight minutes Sunderland had a great chance but having beaten San Jose with pace, Chopra couldn't get beyond Bouzanis who slid out superbly well to tackle the striker. The home team striker wanted a penalty but Bouzanis clearly took the ball cleanly first.

The Reds weren't looking great as an attacking force overall but thankfully Sunderland weren't piecing to much together either as much of the play happened in the middle third.

On forty three minutes the Reds had a great chance when Plessis picked up a loose ball and raced at the Sunderland line. He shot from the edge of the box only for the goalie to fumble and then the Sunderland defence half cleared. Eventually it fell to El Zhar who blazed over the bar.

In first half stoppage time El Zhar was felled on the edge of the box and Pacheco took the free kick which Colgan saved at the top corner. The one thing in the keepers favour was that the shot didn't have too much pace on it.

The Reds got the second half started without any changes. Four minutes in to the half and the Reds were grateful for the offside flag after Pennant needlessly lost possession deep in his own half. That said Bouzanis was out fast and actually tipped the ball first before the offside Chopra could get to the ball.

Stokes cut inside on fifty minutes but he dragged his shot past the near post for a goal kick.

The Reds had a great chance on fifty five minutes when a deep cross was met firmly on the volley by Ngog but his shot went just over the bar in what would have been a glorious goal.

The Reds made their first change on fifty nine minutes when Ryan Flynn came on for Dani Pacheco who hadn't really got involved in the game. It wasn't an ideal game for the Spaniard but worryingly was the fact he went missing too easily.

Sunderland took the lead on sixty minutes through Chopra who blasted past Bouzanis after the Reds failed to clear a Graham Kavanagh shot which itself had beaten Bouzanis only to fly back out off the foot of the post.

On sixty five minutes El Zhar blasted over from a knock down at a corner. A few minutes later and Ngog raced past two men to collect a ball but having cut inside he could only shoot at the keeper.

Jordy Brouwer was introduced on the seventy minute mark for Jay Spearing which saw Flynn drop back in to midfield.

On seventy three minutes Sunderland should've scored a second when Chopra was found superbly by Kavanagh but he beat Bouzanis only to see his shot rebound off the post and Stokes dragged the rebound wide.

The Reds went straight up to the other end and scored an equaliser. Nabir El Zhar did superbly on the left. Having run at his man he then cut inside him and fired a shot home with the aid of a small deflection.

Jordy Brouwer had a decent shot on seventy nine minutes after being found by El Zhar down the inside left. His shot to the near post though was probably a little weak.

Mikel San Jose picked up a yellow card on eighty one minutes when he went in a little late on Chopra. Whilst the booking was being made Luscombe replaced Henderson for the Mackems.

He was only on the field two minutes when he headed home a Chopra cross at the back post. He headed back across goal and in off the post.

Bouzanis was at full stretch to save a Stokes shot on eighty four and the resulting corner was cleared. Bouzanis was out again on eighty six minutes to flick a ball clear with Chopra offside.

Sunderland switched Dowson for Stokes on eighty seven minutes as the referee finally decided to book a Sunderland player for persistent foul play.

Sunderland finished the stronger and probably on the balance of the game deserved their win.

MotM : Dean Bouzanis - played really well throughout the game. He was very alert to attacks and pulled of a couple of very important saves.

Liverpool    Bouzanis, Darby (C), Insua, San Jose, Huth, Plessis, Pennant, Spearing (Spearing 70), Ngog, Pacheco (Flynn 59), El Zhar

Unused Subs    Gulacsi, Bruna, Kelly

Goal    El Zhar (74)

Sunderland    Colgan, Kay, McArdle, Hartley, Liddle, Henderson (Luscombe 81), Kavanagh, Meyler, Colback, Chopra, Stokes (Dowson 87)

Goal(s)    Chopra (60), Luscombe (83)

Att    1203

Venue    Eppleton Colliery Welfare Ground

Copyright : Liverweb 2008

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