Home » EPL, Latest » Match Report: Everton 2 Sunderland 0

Sunderland may not be the Bank of England club they once were, but they still possess the sort of funds, the scale of ambition, David Moyes can only dream about.

The Everton manager, though, has built a career out of proving that cash is not the be all and end all. Steve Bruce might have the means, but Moyes has the end.

Two goals from Jermaine Beckford, a free transfer signing from one club where finances are scarce to another, handed Everton a crucial victory in their attempts to ensure their penury does not result in a relegation battle this season.

It was Sunderland’s fourth defeat in succession, the most inappropriate way for Bruce to commemorate the extended deal he signed at the Stadium of Light on the eve of this game.

They have nobody to blame but themselves. As Moyes remarked this week, in the two years since he displaced the Drumaville Consortium as the club’s majority shareholders, Ellis Short has provided Bruce with the sort of funds Bill Kenwright simply does not have.

Moyes will have received Bruce’s team sheet and allowed himself a wry smile: Stephane Sessegnon, a £5 million January signing from Paris Saint-Germain, a player he too had watched; Sulley Muntari, on loan from Internazionale, his wages way beyond Everton’s reach.

Within eight minutes, he will have known that any jealousy he felt towards his opposite number was misplaced.

Sunderland’s defence cost the better part of £20 million. That, it turns out, is no guarantee of competence.

Anton Ferdinand’s weak, aimless header found only Leon Osman, a grateful recipient in the left channel. Louis Saha allowed the midfielder’s through ball to bypass him, handing Beckford a clear sight of goal. His scuffed finish looked goal bound – more or less – but Titus Bramble, rather charitably, made sure.

Beckford’s second, the goal that effectively ended the game, was marked by similar good-fortune. Similar ineptitude, too. Ferdinand allowed himself to be muscled off the ball by the noted powerhouse Mikel Arteta; the Basque sped past John Mensah, the Ghanaian’s turning circle suggesting he might like the word Maersk festooned on his shirt, before cutting back for Beckford, five yards out.

His swiped, nervous finish owed more to luck than design. Sunderland had threatened, fleetingly, before that strike, most notably when Sessegnon – who grew in influence as the afternoon wore on – saw a powerful effort cannon off the bar after a fine save from Tim Howard.

The visitors enjoyed plenty of possession after it, but they created precious little. Instead, Moyes’s side were unlucky not to extend their lead.

Osman twice fired wide when well-placed, while Simon Mignolet was forced to deny Saha and Seamus Coleman in quick succession.

When the Irishman, minutes later, miscued a cross that looked destined to squeeze in at the near post, the Belgian did well to avoid embarrassment.

Diniyar Bilyaletdinov, too, might have added gloss to the scoreline. No matter. Moyes will continue to envy Sunderland’s attempts to build a side to compete. He can take solace in the fact that, when everything clicks, he already has one. ends

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