Sunderland 2 - 1 Everton
Half-time: 1 - 1
FA Carling Premiership 1999-2000 Game 31
3pm Saturday 25 March 2000
Stadium of Light, Sunderland
Nick Barmby plays despite worries about his calf and hamstring,
but he is unlikely to be all that effective. Davey Weir misses
the match with damaged ribs.
It didn't take long for Sunderland to surge into the lead at the Stadium
of Darkness for Everton: an early free-kick, a poor defensive wall, a low
hard shot, and Nicky Summerbee had scored the opening goal.
Everton improved slowly, starting to move the ball around well and create
some chances, with Joe-Max Moore scooping a good one over the bar.
Then, near half-time, a long throw from Pembridge was pushed on by Stephen
Hughes for Nick Barmby to volley a glorious angle drive into the roof the
net! Game On!!!
At the start of the second half, Everton started well, but Alex Rae
missed a sitter for Sunderland after being put through. A good tussle
ensued, with Everton pressing Sunderland hard, much to the disappointment of
the fickle Mackems... until a moment of brilliance from Kevin Phillips put
them back in the lead.
The match saw the partial rehabilitation of The Prodigal Don, who came on
as a sub with Cadamarteri to replace the somewhat ineffective partnership of
Joe-Max Moore and Mark Hughes. But as usual it was far, far too late
to have any impact on the game. Why does Walter Smith always, always
make his substitutions when the game is effectively over?
Summerbee (7'), Philips (78')
Subs Not Used
Sorensen, Holloway, Craddock, Williams, Makin, Summerbee,
Rae, Schwarz (75' Bould), Kilbane, Quinn, Phillips.
Marriott, Roy, Thirlwell, Dichio.
Gerrard; Dunne, Gough, Unsworth, Xavier, Collins,
Barmby, S Hughes, Pembridge, Moore (83' Cadamarteri),
M Hughes (83' Hutchison).
Unavailable: Cleland, Campbell, Degn, Jeffers, Weir, Williamson, (injured).
Ball, Gemmill, Simonsen.
Red & white shirts; black shorts; red & white socks.
Royal Blue shirts; white shorts; blue socks.
Sometimes this game is
Just when it seems that you are in the ascendancy, the other
side score a beaut from nowhere and suddenly the game is lost. That's the
simple résumé of this game.
Sunderland hand-ball missed by the Officials
The stadium is still in construction,
but looks superb to me, with sweeping curves and fantastic views from all
sides – jeez, but we are so far behind it's scary. As always, loads of
Bluenoses there, and plenty of noise too.
We started in our usual sluggish
and disorganised manner, and went a goal down when Summerbee's free kick
deflected off the side of the wall and wrong footed Gerrard.
As the half
progressed. however, we took control, with Collins bossing midfield, and
good performances by Stephen Hughes and Nick Barmby alongside him. Mark
Pembridge, as always, worked his socks off covering and tackling. In defence
Xavier played alongside Gough for the injured Weir, with Dunne and Unsworth
at full back. So, a centre-back injured, but we play four more!
throw was worked on to Barmby, whose rocket shot flew in for a tremendous
equaliser, and by half time we were pretty happy at progress. In the first
part of the second half, Everton dominated possession, but with no cutting
edge up front.
Mark Hughes, as I leave and breath, is the reincarnation of
the immortal Bernie Wright. A thug who achieves nothing through an
embarrassing lack of pace and basic skill. Moore, never stopped running but
to little effect. Mark Hughes volleyed a good chance from the edge of the
6-yard box high into the crowd, then we were denied a penalty for hand
ball, with both the ref and the linesman unsighted, before Phillips popped
up with a goal of rare quality which eventually won the game.
The home fans
roundly BOOED their team for the period when we bossed them. What pricks, I
thought, until some of our fans BOOED Don Hutchison when he came on. How can
anyone boo a man in the Royal Blue? Jeez...
Hutch did little, but Dancing Dan
got past their defence a couple of times, although to no end product. So, three
defeats in a row, and kiss the Intertoto bye bye. So What?
We were mugged!
I never want another week like the one I've just had. Suffice to say,
I doubt it will ever be eclipsed from now till doomsday. Nevertheless,
with an enforced spring in my step, I set off for the expected majesty of
the Stadium of Light, safe in the knowledge that things had to get
The meet was made at the Sappers Club (aka the Engineers), a stone's
throw away from the white edifice that is the home of the newly christened
Black Cats. Cheap and cheerless beer, the whole experience enlivened
by Steal's tale of his 10p entrance fee. Maybe he'll care to recount
The Stadium of Light looked impressive as it was lit up by an
early-spring sun, in a near-cloudless sky. Could I live in a home like
this? More anon... Entering at ground level we crossed the
concourse and strode up the shallow slope to the seating area. Stunning is
the word that came to mind as I took my first look at Sunderland's new
home. Then it was off to find our seats.
Down 16 or so rows. We must have been below ground level by now,
but still, the view of the pitch was perfect... ish. We were too far
away. At least in the main stand at Goodison, you know you're too far
away, but that's compensated for by the magnificent view. Here there
is no such compensation.
The teams were announced and I was puzzled by Weir's absence. I
don't remember hearing about an injury but apparently he damaged his ribs
against the Toonies.
We got off to what could only be called a sluggish start. I think
the word revenge had been much bandied about their dressing room as they
swarmed all over us like bees on a honey pot (other metaphors sprang to mind
here). In the end we panicked, gave away a needless free kick centre
of goal and just outside the penalty area.
Gerrard marshalled his wall and Summerbee struck the ball low. A
slow motion effect saw Gerrard dive right, following the ball, a ricochet
off the wall deflecting the ball right and Gerrard helpless as the ball
found the net. 1-0 Sunderland.
Floodgates opening flashed across my mind. But, try as they might,
Sunderland found that they were unable to prise the defence open
again. Gradually we found our way back into the game, with Collins
controlling the middle and Barmby suddenly being given the ball out
wide. We started to look useful again, going forward, playing precise
football, if not inspiring football, at times.
We took the game to Sunderland, the pressure affecting them at the
back. Sorensen is a poorer kicker of the ball than Gerrard and that
can take some doing at times; Sunderland tried hard not to force the ball
back to him. This meant that they went for touch when a keeper ball
might have been the best move.
One such action gave us a throw on the right. Step up, Mark
Pembridge. A long throw into the box, forced out by the defence to
Hughes (S) who nudged it across to Barmby and an unstoppable right-footed
drive saw the ball scream into the net. 1-1 and Sunderland were on the
back foot. We played out the half in relative comfort and went in all
The second half was a cut-and-thrust affair. We dominated
possession and on two occasions were unlucky not to find the net. One
chance fell to Mark Hughes, after Collins won the ball in a scramble.
A trademark volley from Hughes failed, though, to give us the trademark
finish. The ball flew harmlessly over the bar.
Sunderland meanwhile had had a chance at the other end as they broke
quickly. A neat ball through the defence after a Gough mistake saw Rae
blast the ball wide with only Gerrard to beat. That miss saw
Sunderland heads drop and, with the lively Collins picking up every loose
ball, and Barmby and Moore linking nicely down the right, time and again we
brought desperate clearances from the Sunderland defence.
Another second clear goal chance saw a cross from Pembridge on the left
fly across the face of the goal. Moore, racing towards goal, lunged
forward and connected with the ball, but his direction was askew as he did
no more than clear the ball to safety. How we were to rue that
We were neat and tidy, depriving them of the ball, when Unsworth tucked
one back to Gerrard. John Shearon, sitting next to me commented on the
futility of such actions as we now had no more than a 50/50 chance of
winning the ball, rather than controlling it. Suffice to say they won
the ball and drove forward down the left. Xavier, though, who looked
far more composed today, managed to clear, but only out to the Sunderland
Having started to draw back, Sunderland again picked up the ball and a
cross field pass saw Phillips in space, out of harm's way on the left corner
of the box. Out of harm's way? What was I thinking? A
moment of class as he curled the ball beyond Gerrard into the far corner of
the net. 2-1 Sunderland.
After that, it was anyone's guess who might score next as the ball went
from end to end. We had the nervier end to the game, having dominated
for so long. Cadamarteri and Hutchison (to a mixed reception) came on
to replace Mark Hughes and Joe-Max Moore with about ten minutes left, but
all to no avail. Final Score 2-1.
Sunderland knicked it off us, we were robbed, we were mugged (© Stuart
Roberts). All the usual clichés. All they help do is disguise
the fact that we are missing Kevin Campbell up front.
There were many good points to take out of today.
- Stephen Hughes, still not match fit, didn't go into
hiding. He was still chasing towards the end.
- Richard Dunne had an excellent second half after a dodgy
- Xavier looked much calmer.
- Pembridge showed passion and commitment and not a little
- Collins ran midfield.
- Barmby just ran and ran and ran and scored a superb goal.
- Mark Hughes though still baffles me. A much better
performance for the team today, but still he didn't harry the defence
enough. There were times when Sunderland were so frightened in
possession that a bit of passion might have taken the ball off them and
given us a chance. Barmby and Moore did this to great effect, but
Mark Hughes wasn't interested. I'm not and never will be his
greatest fan. But he still needs to contribute more.
As for a conclusion on the Stadium of Light . In the end I was
disappointed. For a brand new ground, the facilities in the away
supporters concourse were poor. One small bar and toilet facilities
for 24. Having built the stadium below ground level they appear to
have catered only for those above ground, with effectively half the
facilities there should be. Even the Gwladys Street, for all its
faults isn't this bad. The main stand though is a stunning piece of
architecture. Score for the ground: Aesthetics 9/10, practicality
Man of the Match:
After much deliberation, John Collins, who ran the midfield and showed
his commitment and disappointment at the end when he repeatedly kicked at
the ground. As for our ex-captain: first to the showers after
the final whistle. Must try harder if he wishes to rebuild those bridges.
Phillips' solo effort ends Sunderland's misery
Steve Thomson, Electronic Telegraph
Kevin Phillips's 26th Premiership goal of the season ended Sunderland's
miserable run of 12 games without a win. The England striker conjured up a
glorious solo effort 16 minutes from time to claim the North-East club's
first victory since mid-December.
Peter Reid's team had looked like being the surprise package in the top
flight after an impressive early-season surge, but the wheels came off,
ironically, at Goodison Park on Boxing Day when they suffered a crushing 5-0
Yesterday's triumph was therefore particularly sweet revenge for Reid, a
former Everton favourite. For his old club, however, the result was their
third defeat in a row which represents their worst run in the League this
Sunderland were doubtless relieved to be able to name Steve Bould in
their squad following a lengthy lay-off with hamstring trouble. During the
former Arsenal stalwart's absence their defence has looked disturbingly
fragile and he was clearly the pillar around which it was built.
The Roker club's problems clearly have not been up front, where the
aerial threat of Niall Quinn and the penalty box potency of Phillips have
continued to keep opposing centre-backs fully occupied.
Don Hutchison, meanwhile, was restored to Everton's bench after a spell
in which he has been out of favour due to a contract dispute. As one of
their few naturally inventive players thrusting forward from midfield, his
presence might have made a difference in recent disappointing displays,
particularly last Sunday's defeat by Sunderland's neighbours Newcastle.
That was the club's first home defeat of the season and dented Walter
Smith's professed ambitions of clinching a top-six finish.
Alex Rae forced the goalkeeper to block smartly in the second minute, but
four minutes later Nicky Summerbee put the home side ahead. Everton's
veteran defender, Richard Gough, approaching his 38th birthday, found
Phillips too hot to handle and barged him over 30 yards out. Summerbee's
free-kick somehow sneaked through the defensive wall and crept past Paul
Urged on by another near-capacity crowd at the Stadium of Light,
Sunderland's quest for a second goal continued with their captain, Stefan
Schwarz, and Rae just off target with long-range efforts. Everton's first
opening did not come until the 34th minute when Darren Williams stumbled,
letting in Joe Max-Moore. But the American ballooned the ball embarrassingly
over the top.
His blushes were spared eight minutes before the break, however, when
Nick Barmby equalised in spectacular fashion. A long throw-in was only half
cleared to the edge of the box where Barmby unleashed a ferocious right-foot
volley into the top corner.
Despite their sudden parity, the visitors were quickly forced on the back
foot on the resumption and, when Phillips's pass gave Rae a clear sight of
goal, Gerrard was relieved to see the lively midfielder miscue badly. In a
rare counter, Mark Hughes was guilty of an equally glaring miss at the other
end, blazing wide after John Collins found him in space with a clever chip.
The most rousing cheer at this stage came when Bould, making his first
appearance for two months, came on as a substitute for Schwarz in the 74th
The return of their ever-reliable defensive linchpin must have had an
instant settling effect on Sunderland for, within 60 seconds, they claimed
A long ball in from the right picked out Phillips on the far side of the
area and he turned quickly inside before curling the ball exquisitely beyond
Gerrard from 20 yards.
Phillips is Sunderland's star
Louise Taylor, The Sunday Times
JUST where would Sunderland be without Kevin Phillips? Craving revenge
for their 5-0 Boxing Day reverse at Goodison Park, Peter Reid's side
struggled to contain the Merseysiders until the Premiership's leading scorer
conjured a splendid winner from a mere half-chance. "It was a goal out
of nothing," admitted a relieved Reid at the end of an afternoon
otherwise dominated by Everton's Nick Barmby and John Collins. Sunderland
scarcely deserved it, but Phillips's 26th goal of the season – an
extravagantly curling right-footer, which arced imperiously over Everton
keeper Paul Gerrard's left shoulder and into the top corner from 20 yards
– secured their first victory of the 21st century.
After last week's largely unsatisfactory dalliance with 3-5-2, Reid
reverted to his preferred 4-4-2, precipitating a recall for Nicky Summerbee
on the right wing. Recently out of favour, Summerbee justified his inclusion
in the seventh minute, scoring with a direct free-kick from 25 yards. The
kick, awarded after Richard Gough had fouled Phillips, took a hefty
deflection off the wall.
Having begun in 3-4-2-1 mode, Everton duly re-adjusted to 4-4-2. They
nearly earned a swift reward. Exhibiting a sudden change of pace followed by
adroit footwork, Joe-Max Moore tricked and turned Jody Craddock, leaving
himself with just Sunderland keeper Thomas Sorensen to beat. The American
international seemed certain to score, but his poise momentarily deserted
him, and he lifted the ensuing shot embarrassingly high over the bar.
No matter. Everton were soon level, thanks to a brilliant Barmby volley
into the top right corner, exquisitely executed at waist height from 25
yards after a Sunderland half-clearance had fallen to Stephen Hughes, who
miscontrolled it, leaving the ball to drop conveniently for the former
Suitably encouraged, Everton became a different team. By the interval
Sunderland supporters had become a little restless, but were placated by the
introduction of Milton "Tyson" Nunez, their new international
attacking midfielder and, incidentally, the first black player signed by
Reid during his five years on Wearside. Having just flown in from Greece,
where he failed to command a first-team place at PAOK Salonika, Nunez jogged
towards the centre circle. Delighted by his passionate reception, he then
embarked on a spontaneous lap of honour, sashaying round the perimeter and
waving to the crowd before reluctantly allowing himself to be enticed back
down the tunnel.
Reid has been proudly showing off videos of his £2.6M acquisition, who,
on film at least, looks fast, strong and two-footed. The only doubts are
over how the Premiership's first Honduran will adapt to English football,
and that he will often be absent on international duty. Surely Reid, who had
a £1M bid for Everton's Don Hutchison rejected last week, would have been
better advised to splash out the £3M asking price for the Scottish
A proven performer, Hutchison fell out with Walter Smith after he branded
the Everton manager's final offer of improved contractual terms a
"disgrace", but a thaw is in the air, as the Merseysiders' former
captain was a substitute here.
From the bench he watched Collins and Barmby strutting the midfield to
impressive effect, the latter contributing some delightful touches and
surely deserving a second chance with England.
With Stephen Hughes, Smith's £3M England Under- 21 international recruit
from Arsenal reserves, beginning to impose himself, too, Everton were firmly
in the ascendant.
Sunderland badly needed some opportunism or inspiration. Not for the
first time, Phillips provided both. Lurking just outside the penalty area
down Sunderland's left flank, the England striker wrapped his right foot
around a ball from Darren Holloway, spotted Gerrard slightly off his line,
and curled a delicate chip into the top corner with consumate precision.
Small wonder that Reid was so willing to smash his wage structure and pay
him £25,000 a week.
Let's just hope that Phillips and yesterday's other outstanding
individual, Barmby, get their just reward and a chance to enjoy a slice of
the Euro 2000 action in June.
Phillips finds a winning flourish
Scott Barnes, The Independent
Sunderland's awful run finally came to to an end thanks to a superb
strike from Kevin Phillips which sealed his side's first win of the year
with a style that the game barely deserved.
It came in the 77th minute when he deliciously curled the ball from 20
yards over Paul Gerrard's outstretched arm so that it dropped under the bar
into the right-hand corner.
"When it gives you three points and you haven't won for 12 games,
any goal is a great goal," said Sunderland manager Peter Reid. "The crowd was getting restless and it was going to be either a bit of
luck or something special that brought us victory and that goal was
Sunderland's dreadful sequence, which had seen them drop from third,
began with a 5-0 drubbing on Boxing Day at Everton and this result,
Everton's third consecutive defeat, brought a measure of revenge.
"We've got to stick in and keep going," said Everton's manager
Walter Smith. "When we equalised, I thought we were the better side but
a couple of chances went begging and that was the story of the game – we
missed our chances."
Sunderland took the lead in the seventh minute after Richard Gough had
crudely up-ended Phillips a couple of yards outside the penalty area. Nick
Summerbee, reconciled with his manager after a disagreement and starting his
first game for three months, struck the kick low and it sneaked beneath the
wall and slid under Gerrard's right arm.
Being ahead was such a novelty for Sunderland that it unnerved them.
Niall Quinn towered above the mess and in the 24th minute he rose on the
halfway line to set Phillips racing away. Gerrard comfortably palmed
the shot aside.
Everton hadn't managed an effort on target in all 90 minutes last weekend
and this game was 33 minutes old before Joe-Max Moore plucked up the
courage to have a go. His shot, however, flew high.
It was a surprise, then, when Nick Barmby struck in the 38th minute.
half-cleared ball was bouncing without menace 25 yards from goal when Barmby
lashed it beautifully into the top right corner.
Not even the pitchside presence of the Premiership's first Honduran,
Milton Nunez, just signed by Sunderland for £1.6M, could raise the game
from its scrappy state. In the 53rd minute Quinn chipped the ball into
Phillips' path, but from six yards and with only Gerrard to beat, the
league's leading marksman was dreadfully off target.
To ease Phillips' discomfort, seven minutes later, from a similar
distance, Mark Hughes crashed what should have been a trademark volley well
wide of Sunderland's goal. Fifteen minutes later Phillips' 26th of the
season won the game.
Phillips exhibits predator's touch
George Caulkin, The Times
THE ink on his new contract is barely dry, yet Kevin Phillips plays as if
angling for extended terms. If, on occasions, his presence can be
inspirational, on others, as on Saturday, it can simply be enough; nipping
at the heels of irritated defenders, pursuing lost causes and conjuring a
vital, blissful goal. If the qualities sound familiar, then so they should,
for according to his captain, Sunderland possess an accurate replica of
another striker of some renown, television and disciplinary appearances
aside. "Ian Wright is crackers, loud and funny and Kevin is the
opposite, a very quiet character, but he's just as good when it comes to
finishing," Steve Bould said.
And, after countless seasons deflecting Wright's practical jokes at
Highbury, Bould should know. "Watching him in training, Kevin reminds
me very much of Ian. All he wants to do is score, and in that way they are
identical. If we're serious about finding someone to get goals, put him in
the England team."
In Sunderland colours, Phillips has pilfered 86 in 108 matches, the last
of which not only represented one of his best – struck venomously with
little warning from 20 yards out – but was responsible for bringing his side
their first victory for more than three months, a reward that they scarcely
Before his goal, in the 78th minute, every excursion made by Peter Reid,
the Sunderland manager, from the dugout prompted a chorus of catcalls and
jeers. "It was the first time the crowd have had a go at us to that
extent," Bould said.
Sunderland had taken an early lead through Nicky Summerbee's deflected
free kick, but their play was characterised by hesitation and indecision.
That Everton lost their third game in succession occasioned disbelief from
Walter Smith, their manager, who, without the injured Francis Jeffers and
Kevin Campbell, watched his players scorn a host of opportunities. Nick
Barmby proved the exception, volleying beyond Thomas Sorensen after 38
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