Sunday, March 18, 2012

FA Cup 2011 2012 Sunderland Middlesbrough

Round of 32
29 January 2012
Stadium of Light, Sunderland
Referee : Kevin Friend
Attendance : 33275

 The striker, whose last goal came over 500 days ago, came off the bench to rescue his side with a lovely finish from a Black Cats counter attack on the hour mark. Middlesbrough had taken the lead against the run of play after 16 minutes when Barry Robson volleyed home a spectacular strike after confusion in the Sunderland defence. Neither side could find the elusive winning goal though and with the draw Martin O'Neill maintained his unbeaten record at the Stadium of Light, whilst Boro fans will be delighted with their side's performance against Premier League opposition.

Martin O'Neill named a strong starting lineup for Sunderland with Stephane Sessegnon partnering youngster Connor Wickham in attack.  The visitors were missing Julio Arca and Kevin Thomson through suspensions, after their red cards against Coventry. The Black Cats largely dominated the first half but were always susceptible to a Boro counter attack, with the first goal of the game firm evidence of that. Faris Haroun managed to escape down the right, and after his cross wasn't dealt with by John O'Shea, the ball fell perfectly for Robson who struck a sumptuous volley across Simon Mignolet into the far corner. O'Neill's men did trouble the Boro defence every time they came forward though, with Sessegnon playing a prominent role in attack. The Benin international had already seen his cross headed wide by Sebastian Larsson before he teed up Craig Gardner for a crashing volley which dipped just over the bar. Boro keeper Danny Coyne then produced two fine saves to preserve his side's advantage when he made a double stop from James McClean.

The Northern Irish winger ran onto Wickham's flick-on before shooting low at Coyne, before heading straight at the keeper from David Vaughan's resulting cross. Then, the talking point of the first half came. Kieran Richardson's lofted ball into the box appeared to have been chested down by Gardner before his strike went in via the post. A halt was brought to the Black Cats' celebrations as the linesman deemed that Wickham, who was offside, had got a touch on  Gardner's strike before it hit the back of the net. Television replays showed that this wasn't the case but that Gardner had handled during the build-up to the finish.

It was a major let-off for Boro, but it was Tony Mowbray's men who would then give the Black Cats a let off themselves as they should have doubled their lead on the stroke of half-time. Faris Haroun advanced on the right flank again and released Lukas Jutkiewicz who forced Mignolet into a fine stop. The Belgian midfielder had carried on his run however and when it came back to him, his touch deflected back to the striker who could only volley wide first time, when he perhaps had more time than he thought.
The second half though, belonged to Campbell. The livewire striker stepped off the bench to replace Connor Wickham at half-time and his presence was well and truly felt on Wearside. Boro created several chances in the opening ten minutes of the second half but Marvin Emnes and Robson both wasted good openings.

Mowbray's side, and in particular Robson, would pay for their profligacy. It was Robson who went from hero to zero as he handed McClean possession on the halfway line. The winger released the onrushing Campbell, who slid home first-time past the previously unbeatable Coyne to the delight of the Mackems fans. The goal proved to be a slightly brighter note on the second half for Sunderland as they lost Wes Brown to a nasty-looking knee injury just minutes before that strike as he tussled with Emnes before falling heavily.

Chances from there on were few and far between as Middlesbrough appeared to settle for a draw but they did force Phil Bardsley into heading into the side netting before Emnes volleyed high and wide when well placed from the subsequent corner. Boro were forced into a change of their own as Coyne was replaced by youngster Connor Ripley, who made his FA Cup debut, but he was largely untroubled throughout his 10 minute stint between the sticks. Sunderland mustered one last foray forward, but after good interplay by Sessegnon, McClean fired his shot just past the post. It was the last meaningful action and it means that the two sides will do battle once again in nine days' time. 

French comments
Full game,t73pbvb6l3r6dsh,1i6ki0is9wbm744 


Le coup classique de la tête qui disparaît derrière le ballon :


You may have difficulties watching the first half. Thanks to tell me if you have problems.

I'll put soon the quarter-finals, except the 43 or 44 minutes of Tottenham-Bolton, matter of respect to Fabrice Muamba.