Home » EPL, Latest » Match Report: Sunderland 1 Liverpool 0

A bizarre goal from Nicklas Bendtner condemned Liverpool to a second successive Premier League defeat since their Carling Cup final triumph at Wembley.

Liverpool remain five points behind sixth-placed Newcastle following a lacklustre display on Wearside, although they will feel a little hard done by at the manner in which Sunderland scored their goal.

Fraizer Campbell did well to get his shot away, but when the ball came back off the post, it hit the back of goalkeeper Pepe Reina and hit the same post again before falling kindly to Bendtner. The Dane made no mistake, although questions must be asked as to why no Liverpool defender had followed him into the area.

Sunderland were marginally the better side for the first half an hour, but Liverpool ended the first half in the ascendency.

A glancing header from John O’Shea was as close as the Black Cats got to taking the lead, although Martin Skrtel got a vital touch on a Nicklas Bendtner cross to prevent the ball from finding Fraizer Campbell.

Bendtner also had a half chance , but he failed to make contact with Seb Larsson’s inviting cross.

Liverpool struggled to get going, but they did improve as half-time approached, Simon Mignolet saving a header from Dirk Kuyt just after half an hour.

Mignolet almost made a mistake when he mis-judged Charlie Adam’s free-kick, eventually tipping the ball over. From the resulting corner, Phil Bardsley cleared another Kuyt header off the line.

Liverpool’s best moment came in stoppage time when Luis Suarez’s darting run took him past two defenders only for Mignolet to come off his line and block his shot from a tight angle.

That should have been the platform for Liverpool to come out and attack the game after a half-time recharge, yet it was once again Sunderland who started the brighter and the frustration in Liverpool’s ranks visibly grew.

You do not want to be chasing the game against a side as well organised as Sunderland, but that ix precisely what the visitors had to do once Bendtner had put the Black Cats in front 11 minutes into the second-half.

Liverpool dominated possession as their hosts sat deep. Dalglish put Andy Carroll and Steven Gerrard on with 20 minutes left, but still his side struggled to make an impression in the final third.

Gerrard shot straight at Mignolet from 25 yards, David Vaughan did well to block another while Kuyt just failed to get on the end of a cross from the skipper in the final minute. Sunderland are now just two points behind their big spending rivals.

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