Team: Kenny, Young, Onuoha, Ferdinand, Taiwo, Derry, Taarabt (Wright-Phillips), Mackie, Diakite (Buzsaky), Cisse, Zamora (Bothroyd)
Subs Not Used: Cerny, Hill, Gabbidon, Barton
I travelled in style to Newcastle, due to the vagaries of rail ticketing, first class was cheaper than second ! Had to queue 45 minutes for a ticket, but at least there was a good atmosphere in the away end. I was also happy with the eleven who started. We were a tad negative, but still in the game up until the first, soft goal. After the red card we tried hard but, in reality, Sunderland were professional enough to use their advantage – just what you would expect from a Martin O’Neil side.
I was pleased that Barton didn’t get on from the bench and disappointed that Shaun Wright-Phillips match was summed up when he passed the ball out of play. I chatted to Alan and his son from Dundee as well as Martin from Edinburgh and his dad David from Musselburgh. Met up with my daughter Laura and her partner in the Bow Bar in Edinburgh (remember that Steve and Jimmy?) The recovery process commenced with a pint of Cairngorm Blue Mountain.
Bill Burnett (bungers)
Djibril Cisse was sent off for the second time in just his fifth game for QPR as Mark Hughes’ side crumbled to their 17th league defeat of the season. QPR were awful and the euphoria that followed their brilliant comeback against Liverpool in midweek has been replaced by a sinking feeling. These are difficult times for Hughes, who made the brave decision to leave his captain, Joey Barton, on the bench. Barton tweeted before lunchtime that he was at an all time low and it emerged why as soon as Hughes released his team.
The self-styled “best English midfielder” in the country had been dropped after a woeful performance in QPR’s 3-2 win over Liverpool, a fight back that started and finished after he had been booed off. Deprived of centre stage the pantomime villain contented himself with interacting with Sunderland’s supporters. It’s all about Joey in Barton world.
Meanwhile, on the pitch, QPR were finding it tough. Barton’s replacement, Jamie Mackie, did well enough, but Sunderland were marginally the better side in a poor first and comfortably so in the second. They should have taken the lead after quarter-of-an-hour, but Jack Colback failed to connect properly with Stephane Sessegnon’s cutback. He made the same mistake again a minute later, trying to hit the ball on the half-volley as he ran on to James McClean’s header.
A Mackie header drifted wide at the other end. Sunderland responded, Nicklas Bendtner finding the side netting as he tried to flick a corner in at the near post. Neither side strung enough passes together to be a consistent threat, although the visitors had started to come back into it until Sunderland took the lead, McClean putting the ball on the head of Bendtner, who placed his header beyond the reach of Paddy Kenny.
There was a further snub for Barton in the second-half when Hughes sent on Akos Buzsaky for Samba Diakite, but it was Sunderland who went closest to scoring when a Craig Gardner free kick smashed against the bar. Moments later, Cisse was shown a straight red for a two-footed lunge on Fraizer Campbell and it looked like game over with 20 minutes left to play when McClean scored Sunderland’s second. It was, Sessegnon adding a third from McClean’s low cross before Taye Taiwo pulled one back with a well-placed free kick.
Had a good trip down on Saturday and after a couple of refreshments in Newcastle, I picked up a copy of ‘The Big Match’ DVD featuring eleven QPR Victories from the late 70’s and 80’s (from the Back Page shop). The wee man got his Sunderland pennant from the Club Shop, which he collects at away matches we go to and even met a couple of decent Sunderland fans !
Then it all went pear-shaped at 3pm. I was so upset and felt so totally let down, especially by that idiot Cisse, who my son was so excited about seeing. I’m pretty used to seeing the R’s lose on their/my travels, but it was the manner in which it happened on Saturday, lack of guile and guts, inept defending etc etc. I met bungers on the train home and felt a bit better sharing our frustration and woes over a tin of beer ! Here’s to the next trip eh !