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  • Gray (32)
  • Bent (11), Murphy (64), Bent (90)
  • Date:2005-08-13
  • Kick-off:15:00
  • Venue:Stadium of Light
  • Attendance:34446
  • Referee:Webb, H

Live Commentary


Even though they were reduced to ten men Charlton looked comfortable and were always dangerous on the break earning a deserved win.


Bryan Hughes plays the ball through for Darren Bent and he wraps up the win with a clinical strike.


A Sunderland corner falls to Andy Gray in the box but his toe poked effort goes over the bar.


Chalrton make a change and replace Alexei Smertin with Bryan Hughes.


Sunderland are throwing everything at Charlton but still can't fashion a chance in the box and the visitors are looking solid.


Sunderland's distribution is poor and the frontman are receiving very little to work with.


Sunderland make a double change and bring on Nyron Nosworthy and Stephen Elliott for Stephen Wright and Andy Welsh.


Stephen Wright is lucky to still be on the field after a late tackle on Jerome Thomas is not punished with a card.


Although they are seeing a lot of the ball, Sunderland are creating very little and Charlton still look comfortable.


Stephen Wright loses possession and then cynically brings down Jerome Thomas to earn a yellow card.


Sunderland press forward and feed Julio Arca but his shot from distance is comfortably gathered by Andersen.


Charlton are looking solid at the moment and Sunderland are struggling to find the final ball to unlock the defence.


Julio Arca brings down Luke Young and picks up a booking.


Sunderland have to regroup following Murphy's goal and are beginning to apply the pressure on ten-man Charlton.


Charlton earn a free kick in a dangerous area and Danny Murphy curls a brilliant effort into the top corner.


Herman Hreidarsson ventures forward and his 25 yard drilled left-footed effort brings an excellent save out of Kelvin Davis.


Sunderland make a substitution and bring on Liam Lawrence for Carl Robinson.


Andy Welsh does well down the left but Andy Gray can't quite reach the cross and Andersen collects.


Charlton make a change and bring on Jerome Thomas for Dennis Rommedahl.


Darren Ambrose is dismissed following a tackle on Stephen Wright after it looked as though he stamped on the defender's ankle.


The pace of the game is beginning to pick up and the play is switching from end to end.


It has been a rather subdued start to the second half as neither team has settled yet.


Charlton break forward through Darren Ambrose but his 20 yard drileld effort goes wide of the post.


There are no changes at half-time and Charlton get the game underway.


Charlton dominated the early stages but Sunderland's equaliser has seen them come into the game a lot more.


Sunderland press forward and feed Tommy Miller the ball but his effort is charged down by the Charlton defence.


The game has settled down a bit as perhaps both teams have an eye on half-time.


Sunderland have come into the game a lot more now but Charlton have rallied since the equaliser and force 3 corners on the trot.


The equaliser has really lifted Sunderland and the crowd and they are beginning to put Charlton under pressure.


Andy Welsh crosses for Whitehead who brings a great save out of Andersen, but Andy Gray follows up to level the scores.


Murphy plays a corner short to Smertin who rattles the crossbar with a powerful 20 yard effort.


Sunderland earn a free kick in a dangerous area but Dean Whitehead's drilled effort is straight at Andersen.


Murphy puts a great through ball for Bent but the striker miscues his shot and Davis makes the save.


Sunderland force a corner but debutant Andy Gray can't direct his header on target.


Charlton are dominating the midfield at the moment and are first to everything as Sunderland are finding it difficult to get into the game.


Murphy reacts quickest and sends Smertin into the box but his shot can only find the side-netting.


Charlton open up Sunderland again but Danny Murphy can't keep his header down.


An inswinging corner from Sunderland falls to Whitehead but his shot is saved by Andersen.


Charlton wion the ball in midfield and play the ball over the top for Darren Bent who coolly beats Kelvin Davis from the left side of the area.


Charlton counter well and feed the ball to Alexei Smertin but he can't control his shot and the ball bobbles wide.


The tackles have been flying in the early stages and the game has been littered with free kicks.


It has been a lively start by both teams but neither team has settled as yet.


Howard Webb blows his whistle and gets the game underway.

Match Preview

Sunderland mark their return to the top-flight by meeting the team that beat them 7-6 on penalties in that memorable Division One play-off final back in 1998.

On that magical day at Wembley the sides were deadlocked at 4-4 after 90 minutes, but there's unlikely to be a repeat of that goalfest at the Stadium of Light on Saturday despite the arrival of plenty of new faces in both camps.

Since Sunderland claimed the Coca-Cola Championship title last May no fewer than eight new faces have arrived on Wearside.

Former Everton skipper Alan Stubbs will bring some much needed experience to the back line while Jon Stead – a £1.8million signing from Blackburn – and on-loan Liverpool striker Anthony Le Tallec will form a youthful partnership in attack.

But despite the new arrivals the opening day clash with Charlton – one of few clubs have to won promotion to the top-flight and gone on to establish themselves in the Premiership – could immediately highlight how well or otherwise manager Mick McCarthy has operated during the off-season.

Just like their first opponents, Charlton too have drafted in eight fresh faces ahead of the new campaign as manager Alan Curbishley once again tries to secure the holy grail of European football for the Addicks.

Every season it seems the London club promise to be there of thereabouts in the race for the UEFA Cup places only to drop away during the final few weeks.

The acquisition of Chelsea's out-of-favour Russian Alexei Smertin will add steel to either the centre of midfield or defence, while the arrival of Darren Bent for £2.5million from Ipswich could prove great value for money should he recreate his Championship goalscoring form.


Match Report

Sunderland's hopes of making a winning return to the Premiership were derailed by ten-men Charlton at the Stadium of Light.

Darren Bent opened and completed the scoring, Danny Murphy ramming home a superb 25-yard free-kick in between, after Darren Ambrose had marred an impressive debut by being sent off in the 55th minute for a two-footed challenge on Stephen Wright.

Bent took just ten minutes to make his presence felt, beating the offside trap to go clear. Kelvin Davis raced from his line and became stranded as defenders raced back to help out but Bent kept his cool to hammer the ball into the empty net.

The Addicks spurned two great chances to go further ahead, Murphy heading over from close range and Ambrose hitting the side-netting from a good position.

Andy Gray headed over from a Dean Whitehead free-kick but Charlton always posed a greater danger in front of goal, Murphy setting up Bent who slipped on the wet surface with the goal at his mercy.

Stephan Andersen saved well from Whitehead but the home side were not to be denied and drew level in the 31st minute. The lively Andy Welsh jinked his way to the byline and after Whitehead's shot was beaten out by Andersen, Gray pounced to force the ball home from a tight angle.

Charlton looked as though they were going to rue their missed chances when they were reduced to ten men. Ambrose, booed throughout following his summer move from Newcastle United, went over the top when challenging Wright and referee Howard Webb immediately reached for the red card.

Sunderland, however, failed to take advantage and were stunned in the 64th minute. Wright fouled Alexei Smertin, and although Davis lined up the wall, Murphy gave him no chance from the resultant free-kick.

Julio Arca and Gray were off target as Sunderland went all out for the equaliser, Stephen Elliott replacing the tiring Welsh, but it was to no avail with goalkeeper Andersen never seriously tested.

To rub salt into Sunderland's wounds, Bent latched on to a long throughball and, after holding off a couple of defenders, fired hard and low across Davis into the far corner of the net.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Danny Murphy (Charlton) - The former Liverpool man pulled all the strings in Charlton's midfield, scored a fine goal and was behind all the Addicks' best attacking moves.


Charlton Athletic





Goal attempts


Shots off target