March 20, 2011
LFC v. Sunderland
Liverpool FC 2 – 0 Sunderland FC
It was a great match yesterday for Liverpool FC, while not so much for Sunderland. In case you missed the match, the referee was Kevin Friend, even though he was not a real friend to either side (sorry I had to, too easy). Sunderland where in red and white yesterday while Liverpool wore their blacks (oddly enough the black cats wore red, and the reds wore black). Sunderland used two of their three substitutes early on, one in the 19th minute and the second in the 23rd minute. It was a fairly eventful game with the first half bringing some action but ultimately led up to John Mensah’s foul outside the box on Jay Spearing, which was quickly turned into a penalty. Now let’s be honest, Spearing was a good three or four yards outside of the box here and the sideline referee overruled the head official. I was certainly surprised but nevertheless, it was given. John Mensah received a yellow card and Dirk Kuyt converted an easy penalty kick after Sunderland keeper Mignolet went the wrong way to give Liverpool a 1-0 lead heading into halftime, and totaling Dirk Kuyt’s Premier League tally to eight goals.
At halftime, Steve Bruce was furious and was adamant about a TV replay for the penalty received and released a similar statement to the media after the game. The King was pleased at halftime with the efforts of Carroll and Suarez playing as the main two attackers in the game.
The really interesting stuff happened after halftime though, with many criticizing the many poor decisions of Kevin Friend. Just five minutes into the second half, Andy Carroll nearly scored his first goal in a Liverpool shirt after a free header off of a Meireles corner was headed off the line. Nine minutes into the second half, Titus Bramble received a yellow card for throwing himself towards Carroll on a breakaway which ultimately led to a Liverpool free kick despite Raul Meireles’s shot going over the bar after advantage play. Just six minutes later, Liverpool received their first card after a Lucas challenge and Kuyt received an interesting card decision himself after a small challenge just nine minutes later. Suarez received a card also had received a card a minute earlier. The chances continued for LFC and the Mighty Reds finally capitalized after some more excellent play from Liverpool’s number 7 Luis Suarez that ended in him fooling the Sunderland goalkeep Mignolet and powering one right past him into the side net from the opposite byline. The drama did not end there however, as John Mensah received a straight red for his hold on Luis Suarez after Suarez was clean through from an air ball. Few will say that Suarez would not have reached the ball, but the decision from Kevin Friend was a straight red card. Suarez’s free kick had signs of beauty, but couldn’t dip in time. Four minutes of stoppage time were to be played and LFC played keep away to end the game. No real shot for Sunderland and a quality three points to the Reds.