English Premiership

Gomez gives Sunderland hope

2015-05-02 19:59
Jordi Gomez (File)

Sunderland - Two penalties by Jordi Gomez gave Sunderland's hopes of retaining their Premier League status a boost on Saturday as they beat 10-man Southampton 2-1.

Sunderland's win - only their second in their last 11 Premier League games - didn't see them climb out of the bottom three but they are just a point behind Hull and fourth from bottom Leicester, who thrashed Newcastle 3-0, and with a game in hand on the latter.

The signs weren't good for the hosts at the outset as home fans didn't pile in to support their ailing team, with plenty of spaces in the stands testament to their dissatisfaction with yet another relegation battle.

Those that were there went deathly silent early on when news filtered through that fellow strugglers Aston Villa had taken the lead against Everton.

They were cheering in the 20th minute, though, as former Wigan star Gomez converted a penalty to give them a 1-0 lead after the lively Danny Graham was unceremoniously bundled to the ground by Jose Fonte.

However, the home fans cheers were barely out of their mouths before Sadio Mane levelled as he tucked home the chance after Romanian goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon spilled the ball.

The hosts went close to restoring their lead before the end of the first-half but Kelvin Davis pulled off a superb fingertip save from Jermain Defoe's header.

Sunderland's hopes of taking all the points received a huge boost nine minutes into the second-half as James Ward-Prowse brought down Defoe in the penalty area and referee Mike Jones didn't hesitate in flourishing a red card.

Gomez once gain showed no nerves as he slotted home the penalty.

Sunderland manager Dick Advocaat rang the changes as the game entered the final 10 minutes and sent on Adam Johnson for Defoe -- his first appearance since being charged with three counts of sexual activity with a 15-year-old girl.

However, it was the visitors who finished the stronger despite being a man down and Pantilimon more than made up for his error earlier on as he produced a stunning reaction save to deny Graziano Pelle only his second goal away from home this season.

Read more on:    sunderland  |  english premiership  |  soccer

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