Soccer Saturday – Sunderland v. Bolton

The English Premier League kicks off today – Sunderland starts off the season with two matches in a week.  They travel to Bolton this morning and then home against Chelsea on Tuesday afternoon.

BLACK CATS v. BOLTON

FIRST HALF

Well, that was pretty much the ideal start to the season for Sunderland.  New acquisition Darren Bent heads home the first goal of the match in the fifth minute.  One of the issues the Black Cats had last year was holding on to leads (they had the worst record in the Premiership when scoring first last season), so right away they get to work on improving that.

Most of the first half seemed to go Sunderland’s way – they had four corners to Bolton’s zero (until a couple of Bolton corners in the last minutes).  The Black Cats put quite a few shots on, but were unable to extend the lead.

45 minutes down – Sunderland leads 1-0.

SECOND HALF

Sunderland seems capable of shutting down an attack reasonably well.  Not a whole lot of action in the first 20 minutes of the half on either end.

Here comes the push by Bolton.  10 minutes to go – can the Cats hold on?  Frazier Campbell makes his first appearance for Sunderland, coming on in the 77th minute and then getting a yellow card within 10 minutes.

A close play or two, but Sunderland holds on to get three points in match one of the ’09-’10 season. A win on the road, against a mid-table team, where the lead was held for 85 minutes.  I’d call that a real positive start to the season.

Final –

1 – 0

Other results from opening weekend:

Chelsea 2, Hull City 1 – Not much surprise there.

Fulham 1, Portsmouth 0

West Ham 2, Wolverhampton 0 – Inauspicious start for the new Premiership club.

Man City 2, Blackburn 0

Wigan 2, Aston Villa 0 – That’s a surprise, is Wigan that good? Or is Villa in trouble this year?

Stoke City 2, Burnley 0 – Probably the start of a long season for newcomers Burnley.

Arsenal 6 – Everton 1 – Yikes, who pissed off Arsenal?  That’s an early statement from them.

Tottenham Hotspur 2 – Liverpool 1 – Another surprise result.

Man U 1 – Birmingham 0 – No draws in week one.  At least Sunderland is in the top half.


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