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The referee brings the game to a close.
The ball is sent over by Boudewijn Zenden.
Asamoah Gyan fires in a goal from the edge of the area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Sunderland 3-0 Blackburn.Free kick awarded for a foul by Anton Ferdinand on El-Hadji Diouf. Direct effort from the free kick comes in from Morten Gamst Pedersen, the assist for the goal came from Jordan Henderson. Anton Ferdinand gets a block in.
The ball is swung over by Jordan Henderson, save by Mark Bunn.
Marcos Angeleri crosses the ball.
Marcos Angeleri joins the action as a substitute, replacing Ahmed Elmohamady. Herold Goulon on for David Dunn. Unfair challenge on David Meyler by Mame Diouf results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Phillip Bardsley.
Ahmed Elmohamady goes off and Marcos Angeleri comes on. Herold Goulon comes on in place of David Dunn. Unfair challenge on David Meyler by Mame Diouf results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Phillip Bardsley.
Josh Morris concedes a free kick for a foul on David Meyler. Direct free kick taken by Phillip Bardsley.
Jordan Henderson takes a shot. Mark Bunn makes a save.
Asamoah Gyan joins the action as a substitute, replacing Darren Bent. Titus Bramble gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Morten Gamst Pedersen. Morten Gamst Pedersen restarts play with the free kick.
Anton Ferdinand is given a yellow card.
Josh Morris is brought on as a substitute for David Hoilett. Jordan Henderson takes a shot.
Darren Bent takes a shot. Blocked by Ryan Nelsen.
Effort on goal by Darren Bent from inside the penalty box misses to the right of the target.
Kieran Richardson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on El-Hadji Diouf. Morten Gamst Pedersen crosses the ball from the free kick left-footed from right wing.
Foul by Brett Emerton on Boudewijn Zenden, free kick awarded. Kieran Richardson takes the free kick.
(Sunderland) makes a substitution, with Boudewijn Zenden coming on for Danny Welbeck. Mame Diouf booked for unsporting behaviour.
The official flags Benjani Mwaruwari offside. Craig Gordon restarts play with the free kick.
David Hoilett takes a shot. Anton Ferdinand gets a block in.
Darren Bent is ruled offside. Mark Bunn takes the free kick.
The ball is swung over by Steed Malbranque, Darren Bent produces a right-footed shot from inside the area that clears the bar.
Effort from the edge of the box by David Hoilett goes wide of the left-hand post.
Mame Diouf takes a shot. Blocked by Titus Bramble.
Kieran Richardson crosses the ball, Shot from close range by Darren Bent misses to the left of the goal.
El-Hadji Diouf concedes a free kick for a foul on Kieran Richardson. Craig Gordon takes the direct free kick.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Morten Gamst Pedersen by David Meyler. Direct free kick taken by Mark Bunn.
Gael Givet fouled by David Meyler, the ref awards a free kick. Mark Bunn restarts play with the free kick.
David Dunn produces a right-footed shot from just outside the box that goes wide right of the target.
The ball is delivered by El-Hadji Diouf, Header by Mame Diouf from deep inside the penalty area misses to the left of the target.
Darren Bent challenges Gael Givet unfairly and gives away a free kick. Mark Bunn takes the direct free kick.
The ball is crossed by Steed Malbranque, Gael Givet manages to make a clearance.
David Dunn receives a caution. David Dunn concedes a free kick for a foul on Danny Welbeck. Kieran Richardson takes the free kick.
Outswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Morten Gamst Pedersen.
Grant Hanley goes off and Benjani Mwaruwari comes on.
The referee gets the second half started.
The referee blows for half time.
Unfair challenge on El-Hadji Diouf by Kieran Richardson results in a free kick. Mark Bunn restarts play with the free kick.
The ball is delivered by Kieran Richardson, clearance made by Gael Givet.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Martin Olsson on Ahmed Elmohamady. Direct free kick taken by Phillip Bardsley.
Steed Malbranque challenges Brett Emerton unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick crossed left-footed by Morten Gamst Pedersen.
Jordan Henderson takes a shot. Blocked by Ryan Nelsen. Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Jordan Henderson, comfortable save by Mark Bunn.
David Dunn has a shot on goal from outside the box which misses left.
Corner taken left-footed by Morten Gamst Pedersen.
Anton Ferdinand challenges David Hoilett unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Brett Emerton.
The ball is delivered by Ahmed Elmohamady.
Danny Welbeck takes a shot.
Centre by Phillip Bardsley, Ryan Nelsen manages to make a clearance.
Morten Gamst Pedersen fouled by Steed Malbranque, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Morten Gamst Pedersen.
David Dunn fouled by David Meyler, the ref awards a free kick. Morten Gamst Pedersen produces a cross, Close range effort by El-Hadji Diouf goes over the bar.
The referee blows for offside against Darren Bent. Mark Bunn restarts play with the free kick.
Shot by Brett Emerton from outside the box goes over the net.
Steed Malbranque crosses the ball, Header from deep inside the penalty area by Darren Bent goes harmlessly over the crossbar.
Ahmed Elmohamady delivers the ball, clearance by Gael Givet. Corner from the right by-line taken by Jordan Henderson, clearance made by Martin Olsson.
Steed Malbranque delivers the ball.
Brett Emerton gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Steed Malbranque. Jordan Henderson crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from right channel, comfortable save by Mark Bunn.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on David Dunn by David Meyler. The ball is crossed by Morten Gamst Pedersen, Header from deep inside the penalty area by Mame Diouf goes harmlessly over the crossbar.
Darren Bent finds the back of the net with a headed goal from inside the penalty area. Sunderland 2-0 Blackburn.Ahmed Elmohamady provided the assist for the goal.
The ball is sent over by El-Hadji Diouf, clearance made by Anton Ferdinand.
A cross is delivered by Martin Olsson.
David Dunn takes a shot. David Meyler gets a block in.
A cross is delivered by Jordan Henderson.
Corner taken right-footed by Jordan Henderson from the right by-line, Gael Givet makes a clearance.
Danny Welbeck finds the net with a goal from deep inside the penalty box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Sunderland 1-0 Blackburn.
Unfair challenge on Titus Bramble by El-Hadji Diouf results in a free kick. Jordan Henderson takes the free kick.
El-Hadji Diouf concedes a free kick for a foul on Anton Ferdinand. Kieran Richardson takes the free kick.
Ahmed Elmohamady takes a shot. Blocked by David Hoilett.
Ahmed Elmohamady takes a shot. Blocked by Grant Hanley.
The ball is crossed by Phillip Bardsley.
Ahmed Elmohamady challenges Martin Olsson unfairly and gives away a free kick. Mark Bunn takes the free kick.
The game gets underway.
Gyan and Cattermole facing fitness battle
Skipper Lee Cattermole and record signing Asamoah Gyan are major doubts for Sunderland's Barclays Premier League clash with Blackburn.
Midfielder Cattermole is struggling once again with a back-related hamstring problem which hampered last season, while Gyan suffered a hamstring injury during Tuesday's 2-0 home defeat by Blackpool.
Defender Nedum Onuoha is likely to miss out with a similar problem, but Titus Bramble, who played almost an hour of Tuesday's game as a substitute, is available after getting further action under his belt in a behind-closed-doors friendly with Gateshead yesterday, while Danny Welbeck (neck) is also expected to be fit.
John Mensah (ankle) remains a week away from a return, but Michael Turner and Fraizer Campbell (both knee) are still on the casualty list.
Manager Steve Bruce did not know whether to laugh or cry as he celebrated his 50th birthday with his side sitting in seventh place.
The former Manchester United defender could scarcely believe it as he reached his personal landmark, although preparations for Blackburn were his overwhelming focus.
Bruce's young side has enjoyed a fine first half of the season with a stunning 3-0 victory at Chelsea just about cancelling out the memories of an horrific 5-1 derby defeat at Newcastle.
But for a shock 2-0 home defeat by Blackpool on Tuesday, the Black Cats could have been in an even healthier position, and Bruce is hoping for more of the same in 2011.
He said: "We could have been because we had a magnificent chance against Blackpool, and anybody witnessing the game would have said how the hell have we not won that?
"But we didn't. It could have got us into a fabulous position - 30 points going into the New Year's Day fixture would have been a fantastic achievement.
"If you can double that, if you can do exactly the same in the second half and get to 60 points, you are there or thereabouts to be where we are at the moment in the league, usually anyway.
"That's the challenge to us now - can we go and repeat it?"
Blackburn goalkeeper Paul Robinson is set to be sidelined for the next three weeks after aggravating a calf injury in his side's 3-1 win at West Brom on Tuesday.
The former England number one had to be replaced by Mark Bunn at the Hawthorns and is also expected to miss games against Liverpool, QPR and Chelsea.
Striker Nikola Kalinic is suspended for the next three matches following his sending-off against the Baggies, while manager Steve Kean expects to be able to recall Christopher Samba following an ankle problem.
Bent to the fore for Black Cats
Darren Bent ended his personal goal drought as Sunderland bounced back from their horror show against Blackpool to defeat Blackburn 3-0.
The England striker glanced home a header eight minutes after Danny Welbeck's deflected 11th-minute shot had put the Black Cats in front to claim his 10th goal of the season and his first in six games.
Bent could easily have grabbed a second-half hat-trick and was guilty of a glaring 62nd-minute miss from just three yards, although former Sunderland striker El-Hadji Diouf had earlier contrived to fire over from even closer.
But substitute Asamoah Gyan sealed a victory which took Sunderland to 30 points for the season with a third at the death to provide the perfect antidote to their wastefulness against the Seasiders in front of a crowd of 36,242.
For manager Steve Bruce, there was also a taste of vicarious revenge on behalf of close friend Sam Allardyce following his unceremonious dismissal by Rovers.
It had been a difficult week for Bruce, who was without seven players for the Boxing Day trip to Manchester United, and then saw his side create a hatful of chances against Blackpool and fail to take any of them as they slipped to a 2-0 home defeat, their first of their league campaign and just the second in 2010.
Add to that his dismay at turning 50 yesterday, and the former United defender could have been forgiven for wishing to see the back of an eventful seven days.
In the circumstances, his players could hardly have responded anymore positively as they took the game by the scruff of the neck from the off and threatened to have it won by the break.
Welbeck, Bent and record signing Gyan uncharacteristically fired blanks on Tuesday, but they made amends in fine style.
Injuries to Nedum Onuoha, Lee Cattermole and Gyan meant Bruce had little option to reshuffle his side, and his decision to restore Kieran Richardson at left-back and move Phil Bardsley to the right to allow Ahmed Elmohamady to resume his preferred midfield role proved a masterstroke.
The Egypt international made life intensely difficult for full-back Martin Olsson, and it was his ability to deliver the ball into the danger area which was responsible for both first-half goals.
Rovers skipper Ryan Nelsen got his head to Elmohamady's 11th-minute cross and then attempted to block Welbeck's shot after he had controlled on his chest and volleyed towards goal.
However, the New Zealand international only succeeded in deflecting the ball past wrong-footed keeper Mark Bunn to hand Sunderland an early lead.
Blackburn's plight became increasingly desperate within eight minutes when Bent got in front of defender Grant Hanley to head Elmohamady's cross into the bottom corner.
But for all their dominance, the home side should have been pegged back 11 minutes before the break when former Sunderland striker El-Hadji Diouf was guilty of a glaring miss.
Bruce's men were aggrieved to concede a free-kick as David Dunn ducked into David Meyler's challenge, and their mood might have darkened from the resulting set-piece.
Morten Gamst Pedersen curled an inviting free-kick to the far post, where Diouf met it unopposed but somehow contrived to smash it over the bar from barely two yards.
Welbeck clipped the top of the crossbar with a delicate 37th-minute chip with the Black Cats looking to kill the game off, but keeper Craig Gordon was relieved to see Dunn's 44th-minute effort from distance fly just wide after he had cut inside onto his left foot.
Rovers boss Steve Kean withdrew Hanley at the break and replaced him with striker Benjani Mwaruwari as Brett Emerton moved back into defence with his team having abandoned the 4-5-1 formation with which they had started the game.
That gave them a more adventurous look and they might have capitalised nine minutes after the restart when El-Hadji Diouf did well to get in a cross from the right and Mame Biram Diouf headed it just wide.
Dunn went close seconds later with a dipping volley as the Black Cats came under sustained pressure for the first time in the game, but the game should have been over with 62 minutes gone.
Steed Malbranque and Richardson carved Rovers open down the left and when the full-back crossed for the unmarked Bent in the middle, only to see him miss the target from just three yards.
Bent passed up another glorious opportunity two minutes later when he shot wide after Gael Givet had failed to cut out a Malbranque cross, and drilled a 75th-minute left-foot effort wide, while Jordan Henderson hit the bar three minutes later.
But Gyan made sure a minute from time to wrap up a regulation victory with a fine individual goal.
"Opening Day Fixtures"