After The Match 


Sunderland-Liverpool 0-2 (0-1)       25.8.07                        PL
Goals: Sissoko (37), Voronin (87)
Team: Reina, Arbeloa, Finnan, Hyypia, Carragher, Pennant, Babel, Alonso, Sissoko, Voronin, Torres
Subs: Agger (Hyypia 16), Riise (Carragher 76), Kuyt (Babel 88)
Not used: Itandje, Mascherano
Yellow: Arbeloa (67)           Etuhu (27)
Red: None
Referee: M Halsey
Attendance: 45,645
Shots on target: 2-12
Shots off target: 5-5
Fouls conceded: 12-12
Corners: 6-4
Yellow: 1-1

HEADLINES "The players showed character and played well..."
     Rafael Benitez

2708: Reina pleased for Momo
2508: Keane accepts defeat
2508: Benitez banishes away blues
2508: Momo: I hope it's the first of many
2508: Liverpool snuff out Sunderland

Reina pleased for Momo

By Al Campbell - LFC Online

Pepe Reina was pleased to see Momo Sissoko open the scoring on Saturday.

Sissoko scored his first ever Liverpool goal during Saturday's 2-0 win at Sunderland. The players were all delighted to see the midfielder off the mark.

"Momo deserved his goal, we were happy for him and really excited. It was funny for him. I could hardly believe it, it was a great goal," said Reina.

"Some other times he was close like the Barcelona game at home. But it was important for us to get ahead and to relax.

"The second goal was a good counter attack and a good finish. We'd created a lot of chances and missed many of them but it's important to create them.

"It is difficult when we come back after the international break and play an early kick off. The other teams play on Saturday evening or even Sunday and it's not easy for us.

"The clean sheet is important for team confidence but I've said many times the three points is the most important thing and we got them."

Keane accepts defeat

By Amanda Cornforth - Sky Sports

Sunderland boss Roy Keane accepted his side were beaten by the better team as they lost 2-0 to Liverpool at the Stadium of Light.

Keane, who was left furious following last Saturday's 3-0 defeat at Wigan, conceded that his players tried hard against tough opposition as goals either side of half time from Mohamed Sissoko and Andrei Voronin handed the Reds three points to take home.

"I've not got too many complaints today," Keane told Sky Sports 1."We showed some good bits of quality, it just wasn't our day.

"That was the effort I wanted to see.

"It's tough when you're playing against teams like Liverpool with the strength in depth they've got, it was always going to be a tough afternoon."

Keane added that the Black Cats have had a hard start to the season on their return to the top flight with their opening games seeing them face Tottenham, Birmingham and Wigan before Liverpool.

He continued: "It's been a tough start for us but that's the beauty of the Premier League and every game will be different but it's where we want to be.

"We're here to stay and enjoy ourselves."

On adding to his squad, Keane said: "We are sometimes lacking a little bit of experience. We're maybe short of as striker and defender."

Benitez banishes away blues

By Amanda Cornforth - Sky Sports

Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez believes his side have finally overcome their troubles away from home after their second successive away win.

The Reds ran out 2-0 winners at Sunderland thanks to goals either side of half time from Mohamed Sissoko and Andrei Voronin.

"It was really good, really important for us," Benitez told
Sky Sports 1.

"The players showed character and played well and we had a lot of chances.

"We killed the game at the end but it could have been before.

"We had chances that maybe could have been in before (the second goal) but in this period when everyone was talking about our performances away last season, I think it was really important to win the match."

Benitez praised the display of Sissoko, who replaced injured captain Steven Gerrard and scored his first-ever goal for the club.

"It was important to see different players doing the job," he added. "It showed how strong our squad is now."

Benitez also revealed that key defender Jamie Carragher, who left the field in the second half through injury, would have an X-ray on a suspected broken rib.

Sami Hyypia also left the pitch in the first half with what was later confirmed as a broken nose.

Momo: I hope it's the first of many

By Jimmy Rice - LFC Official Website

Momo Sissoko has spoken of his desire to start climbing the Anfield scoring charts after breaking his Liverpool duck on his 75th appearance for the club.

The Malian scored the Reds' 7,000th league goal in Saturday's 2-0 win over Sunderland.

"I am very happy, not only because I've got my first goal for the club, but also because the team won. This was a very good result," said the midfielder.

"It's been a long time coming I'm in my third year here! I was very surprised to score but I want to go on and score many goals for Liverpool."

Meanwhile, Sissoko is refusing to get carried away despite the Reds' excellent start to the campaign.

"Sunderland are a very good team, but we played well today. We are going to have to work hard to win games.

"There's no need to talk about the title at this stage of the season we just need to keep winning games."

Liverpool snuff out Sunderland

Andriy Voronin scores Liverpool's second goal at the Stadium of Light.Sunderland 0 Liverpool 2: Andriy Voronin struck late to end Roy Keane's hopes of another dramatic Sunderland escape after Mohamed Sissoko grabbed Liverpool's 7,000th goal in league football at the Stadium of Light this afternoon.

Manager Rafael Benitez had railed against what he perceived to be a catalogue of injustices against his side this week but his mood will have lifted after Liverpool's solid display.

Sissoko grabbed his first goal for the club in the 37th minute to put the visitors in control and Ukrainian Voronin sealed victory with four minutes to go after a sweeping move on the break.

In truth Benitez's men were in control throughout and only some superb saves from Sunderland keeper Craig Gordon and the application of the home defence kept them at bay for so long.

The visitors could have made life easier for themselves had Voronin properly capitalised on a dreadful error by home left-back Greg Halford with just 25 seconds on the clock. Voronin pounced on Halford's short back pass and struck a low shot which squeezed under the impressive Gordon but wriggled agonisingly wide of target.

The early loss of Sami Hyypia with a broken nose seemed set to matter little to Liverpool, who remained camped in the home half, while Sunderland suffered a bigger blow when Kieron Richardson limped off.

Xabi Alonso screwed a rising shot just wide in the 14th minute after Ryan Babel had cleverly laid off a Steve Finnan right-wing cross, but the expected succession of chances did not materialise.

Once again Paul McShane and Nyron Nosworthy held firm in the centre of the home defence, marshalled superbly by captain Dwight Yorke, and frustration slowly grew among the visitors.

That frustration should have increased in the 24th minute when substitute Anthony Stokes, on for Richardson, had a superb chance to give his side a shock lead.

Stokes was played clear by Chopra into the right side of the Liverpool box and hit his shot under the advancing Jose Reina, only for Agger to clear from the edge of the six-yard box.

Despite the visitors still failing to carve out too many clear-cut chances there was a feeling the home side had missed their opportunity and that was underlined in the 37th minute.

The lively Voronin laid the ball back to Sissoko on the edge of the box and the Mali international drilled a low right-foot shot past Gordon into the corner of the net.

With the visitors finishing the second half strongly, McShane needed a big interception to prevent Torres getting in a clear header, before Gordon grasped another effort by the Spaniard on the line.

The second goal seemed a matter of time early in the second half as Liverpool resumed their dominance and Xabi Alonso played in Torres who was denied by the impressive Gordon.

Gordon saved Sunderland again three minutes later after Torres burst through the home defence and fired a fierce shot that was brilliantly blocked by the chest of the 9 million man.

If nothing else, Keane will have been pleased with his side's obvious desire not to accept defeat, and there was a growing suspicion that another late escape act might be on the cards.

Ross Wallace's deep cross into the Reds box in the 68th minute was punched away by Reina under pressure as the Stadium of Light crowd sensed a comeback.

But Liverpool's front line oozed class and Gordon was required again in the 79th minute to produce a point-blank save to deny Voronin in front of goal.

Finally Voronin extinguished those lingering Stadium of Light dreams with four minutes to go with a clinical finish to wrap up a productive afternoon for Benitez.

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Thor Zakariassen