English Premiership

Sunderland blank Blackpool

2011-01-22 19:13
Kieran Richardson (File)

Blackpool - A double from former England international midfielder Kieran Richardson saw Sunderland shrug off the surprise sale of Darren Bent earlier this week as they ran out 2-1 winners over Blackpool on Saturday.

Richardson's first goals this season, both in the first-half, were enough against their hosts, who are worryingly edging down towards the relegation zone after losing four of their last five league matches.

While Sunderland are a highflying sixth, Blackpool are just six points above the bottom three in 11th place.

Sunderland struck after 15 minutes as Richardson broke the offside trap and kept his nerve to beat Blackpool's Ghanaian international goalkeeper Richard Kingson.

The Black Cats were playing against 10 men at the time as defender Neil Eardley was being treated after receiving a kick in the face from the goalscorer prior to the passage of play that led to the goal.

However, if there was any question marks over their first, there were none about the second as Steed Malbranque broke down the left flank and found Richardson who slotted the ball coolly home in the 36th minute.

Blackpool went close to reducing the deficit shortly before half-time as highly-rated Scottish playmaker Charlie Adam came up with an excellent freekick but Sunderland goalkeeper Craig Gordon was equal to the task and produced a stunning save.

Things got worse for Blackpool early in the second-half as experienced Scottish defender Stephen Crainey went off injured and was replaced by veteran Brett Ormerod, and all Blackpool had to show for plenty of effort was a late penalty by Adam.

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