Too many mistakes

07 February 2009 06:59
Sunderland 2-0 Stoke CitySoccer Saturday analysis

Matt Le Tissier feels Stoke City can look back on four defining moments following their 2-0 defeat to Sunderland.

Firstly they can count themselves lucky not to have conceded a first half penalty and have Danny Pugh sent off when he appeared to handle on the line.

Secondly they can look to the recklessness of Matthew Etherington who got himself sent off for lashing out at Danny Collins after being fouled.

Thirdly they can point to a golden opportunity spurned by Henri Camara to put them in front when he really should have found the target.

And finally they can reflect on Thomas Sorensen's mistake to allow Kenwyne Jones to score Sunderland's opener.

Reflecting on the game on Soccer Saturday, Le Tissier said: "I think Tony Pulis will probably say the red card was the turning point, but they were very fortunate to actually go in at half time at 0-0.

"When Malbranque's header was cleared off the line by Danny Pugh, it was a definite handball and that would have meant a penalty and a red card.

"At that point they were a bit fortunate.

"It was pretty even up until the red card. Etherington was a bit silly because in this current climate any little kick out is going to be punished by a red card and Rob Styles did well to spot it.

"He had to go really - but from that free kick Henri Camara had the clearest chance of the game to put Stoke 1-0 up, but he fired against the crossbar from six or seven yards.

"From that moment on Sunderland were completely dominant, throwing crosses into the box. Eventually from one of the crosses Kenwyne Jones got his head on it, although Sorensen will be kicking himself tonight.

"It was a pretty poor mistake, the ball bounced before him and he flapped at it and the ball ended up in the side netting.

"From that point on Stoke were never going to get anything out of the game."

ConcernsFrom a Sunderland perspective, they will be pleased with the result, but Le Tissier expressed concerns about their lack of creativity.

Despite a midfield featuring the likes of Kieran Richardson, Steed Malbranque and Andy Reid they struggled to carve out opportunities for the strikers.

"On paper there is creativity in the Sunderland midfield but they didn't really carve out any clear-cut chances, he added.

"A few crosses were coming into the box, but nobody was trying to pick out a little pass or thread through a ball to Jones or Cisse.

"Whether that's because the forwards weren't looking to make those runs I don't know, but certainly Ricky Sbragia will be a bit disappointed with the amount of chances that Sunderland create at home."

Source: SKY_Sports