Sunderland 5 Wolves 2: Five-star show bemuses manager Bruce

27 September 2009 10:14
Five goals for Sunderland at the Stadium of Light for the first time in the Barclays Premier League, but still Steve Bruce was angry and disappointed.

Mick McCarthy, on the other hand, wondered how his Wolves side left the North East emptyhanded, despite watching them fold under the goals of Sunderland pair Kenwyne Jones and Darren Bent.

Spot on: Darren Bent notches his sixth of the campaign with this crisp penalty

'It wasn't a 5-2 result,' said the Wolves manager. 'I have had more frustrating afternoons. If you want to talk about frustrating days we will be here for a long time. The swingometer is somewhere between pleasing and frustrating.'

Sunderland took the lead from an eighth-minute penalty after Wolves midfielder Segundo Castillo was harshly judged to have fouled Darren Bent as he turned on Steed Malbranque's pass into the area.

  McCarthy rushed over to the television monitors by the Wolves dug-out, which showed the former Everton man touched the ball before Bent fell under his challenge.

'It was harsh,' said the Wolves boss. 'He had his foot on the ball and I don't think the referee had a great view. He has to be certain.'

Bent showed no sympathy and buried the kick neatly under Wayne Hennessey's dive. But he handed the ball to strike partner Kenwyne Jones when the home side won a second, more decisive penalty two minutes into the second half, having survived a Wolves onslaught.

In vain: Wolves players surround referee Lee Mason after the award of the penalty

'That won't be happening again,' said the Sunderland manager. 'It says something about the mentality that we have to change. He wanted his mate to score, but Darren is one of the best penalty takers in the country and he will take them in future.

'I had no idea and it was a good job he scored or there would have been hell to pay. I have a silly superstition and I don't watch penalties.'

Wolves were denied a plausible penalty shout when Michael Turner barged into the back of Kevin Doyle, but they pulled level within seven minutes of the second goal as Sunderland folded under pressure.

Double trouble: Kenwyne Jones scores from the spot to put Sunderland 2-0 up

The first goal was one of the strangest at the Stadium of Light. John Mensah, preferred to Anton Ferdinand, nudged the ball past keeper Craig Gordon as he tried to block Berra's cross, but hardly anyone in gold, most notably the fans, realised it had crossed the line.

It mounted the pressure on the home side, and Kieran Richardson was punished for a ridiculous back pass which Gordon parried to safety, forcing referee Lee Mason to award a free-kick on the six-yard line for handling a back pass. Greg Halford's shot was blocked before Doyle prodded the ball home.

False dawn: Kevin Doyle pulls Wolves level

GRAHAM POLL:          The official line            Many fans might have wondered why Sunderland keeper Craig Gordon was not sent off for deliberately knocking the ball away from the goal as it was heading in from Kieran Richardson's back pass. However, a goalkeeper cannot be shown a card, either yellow or red, if he handles a back pass and so referee Lee Mason was correct to merely award an indirect free-kick to Wolves in yesterday's game at the Stadium of Light. The day before,Phil Dowd was also correct to send off Chelsea keeper Petr Cech for thedenial of an obvious goalscoring opportunity. There can be no questionthat Cech fouled his opponent, who looked certain to score. The law statesthe attacker must be heading towards goal, but if a referee feels theonly reason he is not doing so is because he is going around theoncoming opponent, then he can still dismiss. Well done the refs.

McCarthy said: 'We could have won it at 2-2 so we went for it. I think we deserved something but it was their day. Kenwyne Jones scored one which could have gone anywhere.'

Watched by new owner Ellis Short, on a rare visit to Wearside, Sunderland's big-money signings overpowered Wolves to clinch three points which took them joint fifth.

Jones grabbed the third, with a low shot which flew through Michael Mancienne's legs, then an unmarked Turner powered Andy Reid's corner beyond Hennessey. Bent's strike in added time deflected in off Mancienne after a slick move involving substitute Ferdinand and Malbranque.

Bruce said: 'It was one of those crazy ones. I am delighted to have three points but not really happy. We went into meltdown with every Wolves attack.

'I don't feel like we have won 5-2.'

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Source: Daily_Mail