Big Sam laments 'cruel' defeat
Blackburn boss Sam Allardyce was left to bemoan the cruelty of the Barclays Premier League after seeing his side create more than enough chances to beat Sunderland only to lose 2-1. Rovers took the lead at the Stadium of Light, had two goals disallowed and saw new signing Nikola Kalinic pass up four glorious opportunities as the Black Cats came from behind to snatch all three points. "I have left a group of players in the dressing room who are very, very disappointed," said Allardyce. "We are all very, very disappointed that we haven't come away with anything today based on the performance." He added: "But this is the Barclays Premier League, this is the cruellest league in the world for punishing somebody that doesn't take advantage when they are in control." To add to Allardyce's misery, skipper Ryan Nelsen limped off with a recurrence of his medial ligament injury and striker Franco di Santo damaged a hamstring. Rovers went ahead with 21 minutes gone when Gael Givet smashed a long-range shot home after Lee Cattermole had cleared Morten Gamst Pedersen's corner to the edge of the box. The Black Cats were level within 11 minutes of Givet's opener when Kenwyne Jones out-stripped the Blackburn defence to collect Steed Malbranque's ball over the top and round keeper Paul Robinson. He headed home Cattermole's cross nine minutes after the break to put the home side ahead, but Steve Nzonzi's header was ruled out for offside against Christopher Samba seconds later. Samba also hit the bar and Kalinic failed to make the most of a series of openings as Rovers' luck deserted them. Sunderland boss Steve Bruce admitted his side had ridden their luck. "We just simply couldn't cope with Blackburn in the first half, so we were itching to get them in at half-time and to be level was good for us," he said. "We rode our luck a little bit, we have to say."
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