Section: Sunderland

Premiership: Sunderland appoint Dick Advocaat as Black Cats boss

Sunderland have appointed Dick Advocaat as their new manager until the end of the season.

The former Netherlands coach takes over a day after the sacking of Gus Poyet with the Black Cats one point above the Premier League relegation zone.

“We have one aim only now – to climb the table – and everyone is fully focused on the task ahead of us,” said Sunderland chairman Ellis Short.

Advocaat, 67, said: “I can’t wait to get started.”

Poyet was sacked after a run of just one victory in 12 league games, which left Sunderland 17th in the Premier League and one point above the relegation zone.

They were thrashed 4-0 at home by relegation rivals Aston Villa in Poyet’s last match and Advocaat’s reign will get under way with a game at West Ham on Saturday.

“Sunderland is a big club and I am very much looking forward to the challenge ahead,” said the Dutchman, who becomes the oldest manager currently in the top flight.

“We must now concentrate on Saturday as a priority.”

Zeljko Petrovic will be Advocaat’s first-team coach, while former Swansea and England Under-20 goalkeeping coach Adrian Tucker will be part of his backroom staff.

Sunderland academy coach Paul Bracewell will also support the head coach and his backroom team for the final nine games of the season.

Read more at BBC Sport

Premiership: Hull 1-1 Sunderland

Sunderland manager Gus Poyet was sent to the stands as his team came from behind to earn a draw at Hull City.

City boss Steve Bruce and Poyet had to be separated after a touchline argument as the Uruguayan left the pitch.

Dame N’Doye opened the scoring for Hull, back-heeling past Costel Pantilimon in the first half.

Jack Rodwell scored the equaliser, nodding in from a Patrick van Aanholt cross, with the ball also appearing to strike his hand.

The result leaves both sides still separated by a point, with Hull 15th and Sunderland 16th in the Premier League table.

The early signs suggested Sunderland would be the more likely to take home all three points, but Hull grew into the game and created the clearer chances.

However, neither side had the performance required to distance themselves from the relegation zone. Eighteenth-placed QPR are five points behind Hull, with two games in hand.

After his side had gone behind to N’Doye’s opener, scored from a Tom Huddlestone free-kick, Sunderland manager Poyet reacted with frustration to referee Mike Dean’s decision to punish Rodwell with a yellow card for simulation.

The Uruguayan was sent to the stands by Dean, but walked across to Bruce, who appeared to respond angrily and had to be restrained by an assistant referee and members of his coaching staff.

With Poyet in the stands, the Black Cats’ second-half performance was much improved, and Rodwell steered home a deserved equaliser after the introduction of van Aanholt and Ricardo Alvarez changed the game.

With Hull goalkeeper McGregor beaten, Rodwell met Van Aanholt’s cross with a headed effort that appeared to brush his own arm inches before crossing the line.

Rodwell then could have scored a winner, volleying over when well-placed, but a Sunderland win would have been harsh on Hull, who only lacked a finishing touch to their enterprising play.

Read more at BBC Sport

Premiership: Man Utd 2-0 Sunderland

Wayne Rooney’s penalty helped Manchester United beat Sunderland after the visitors’ Wes Brown was sent off in bizarre circumstances at Old Trafford.

Rooney scored after a foul on Radamel Falcao, for which Brown was dismissed and not John O’Shea, despite protests from the visitors.

United added a second when Rooney headed in after Adnan Januzaj’s shot was parried into his path.

The victory reasserted the home side’s challenge for a top-four place.

United moved up to third place in the Premier League as they claimed an 11th home win out of 14 in the top-flight so far this season.

However, Brown’s red card emerged as the talking point as the Old Trafford side finally earned a breakthrough to go with their improved second half urgency.

Falcao controlled an Ander Herrera cross beautifully in the box and, as he turned in between former United defenders Brown and O’Shea, looked to have been pulled by the latter.

Referee Roger East red-carded Brown and, despite the official speaking to his assistants via his headset, his original decision stood. The fourth official for the game was Martin Atkinson, who was criticised for his refereeing when Chelsea drew with Burnley last week.

After the match, the referees’ body in English football released a statement claiming East had seen contact from both O’Shea and Brown on Falcao.

It added that East chose to dismiss Brown and not O’Shea because he thought the former had fouled Falcao while he was in the act of shooting.

Coincidentally, East’s decision occurred on the same day as video technology trials during competitive matches were put back at least 12 months at a meeting of the game’s lawmakers.

While there may be controversy over the sending off, there could be little argument over a result that leaves the Black Cats three points above the relegation zone.

United dominated possession and were initially frustrated by the massed ranks of the visitors, who had gone close to taking an early lead when Connor Wickham’s shot was saved by David de Gea.

The home crowd offered a sign of their frustration at their side’s failure to find a cutting edge in attack with a chorus of disapproval when a United corner ended up with a back-pass to De Gea.

The home side almost gave the Old Trafford faithful the goal they craved when a Young shot across goal ricocheted off O’Shea and crossbar before Herrera headed wide from the rebound.

A Marcos Rojo shot from a corner was cleared from the goalmouth by Sunderland midfielder Sebastian Larsson and, even though United had 71% of possession in the first half, they could not find a way through.

The ineffective Angel Di Maria was replaced by the lively Januzaj at the break and he powered a shot wide as United began to exert a greater threat.

But the penalty incident gave United the chance to score and Rooney, playing in a forward role, made no mistake as he avoided going nine league games without scoring for the first time since joining from Everton in 2004.

The England striker added a second when he nodded in after Januzaj’s shot was parried by keeper Costel Pantilimon.

Read more at BBC Sport

FA Cup: Bradford 2-0 Sunderland

League One Bradford claimed another Premier League scalp to book their place in the FA Cup quarter-finals for the first time in 39 years amid uproarious scenes at Valley Parade on Sunday.

Billy Clarke’s deflected third-minute effort – which goes down as a John O’Shea own goal – and a cool 61st-minute finish from Jon Stead saw the Bantams build on their stunning fourth-round win over Chelsea by dispatching Gus Poyet’s Sunderland with embarrassing ease.

From Clarke’s effort on, the underdogs seized control of the game in front of a sell-out crowd of over 24,000 and heaped more woe on a Black Cats side already reeling from Tuesday night’s dismal top-flight loss to QPR.

At times it seemed like throwback football – a frenetic pace, a muddy pitch cutting up more by the minute, a pair of players swathed in thick white headbands after an early head clash, and a controversial lack of television cameras present to show the action live.

The roar released by the home fans at the final whistle could probably be heard in the offices of TV executives across the land as Phil Parkinson’s men confirmed their richly deserved place in the last eight for the first time since 1976.

The latest chapter in the Bantams’ extraordinary recent tale of cup success began with just three minutes on the clock as a free-kick from Filipe Morais was only half-cleared to Clarke whose lashed effort was deflected by hapless Sunderland captain O’Shea into the net.

The massed ranks of Sunderland fans who were accommodated down one entire side of the ground might have feared the worst when they arrived at the ground to discover recent saviour Jermain Defoe had been left out of the matchday squad.

And while, Defoe apart, the seven changes made by Poyet might have been construed as a team-strengthening exercise in light of their dismal midweek exploits, the hosts were in no mood to be fazed by the big occasion in light of their extraordinary success at Stamford Bridge.

Bradford were simply rampant in the early stages. Clarke had already dug a shot wide before he sent in his effort for the opener, and James Hanson went agonisingly close to connecting with a Stead flick-on to make it 2-0 with barely a quarter of an hour played.

Sunderland belatedly stirred, Adam Johnson bringing the first save out of Bradford keeper Ben Williams and then Steven Fletcher inexplicably hesitating with the goal at his mercy and the bandage-swathed Rory McArdle getting back with a brilliant tackle to preserve the home side’s lead.

Sebastian Larsson had a shot deflected narrowly over the bar in the 21st minute but the danger was mostly coming from Bradford, their sweeping counter-attacks making the Black Cats stars look sluggish and clueless.

Clarke brushed aside Johnson and Billy Jones to bring a save out of visiting keeper Vito Mannone, then Hanson again went inches away from connecting with a Morais cross as the home side ended the first period well on top.

Any home fears the break could work in favour of shell-shocked Sunderland proved unfounded as the end-to-end action continued to swing mostly in Bradford’s favour in the early stages of the second half.

And it was no real surprise when Stead maintained his remarkable record of scoring in every round of this season’s competition as he squeezed an effort under Mannone after being gifted his chance following a mistake by Johnson.

The home side played out the final half-hour of the game with the minimum of fuss, to the extent that by the time referee Kevin Friend blew the final whistle, the home fans had already started celebrating another great achievement.

While Bradford’s players basked in the richly deserved ovation of their fans, Sunderland slunk off to face the music from Poyet after another humiliation in a season which is quickly turning into another one to forget.

Read more at ESPN

Premiership: Sunderland 0-2 QPR

QPR climbed out of the relegation zone as goals from Leroy Fer and Bobby Zamora against Sunderland ended an 11-game losing run away from home.

The Hoops took the lead when Fer met Matty Phillips’s excellent right-wing cross with a firm downward header.

A fine hooked volley from Bobby Zamora just before half-time sealed a first away win of the season.

Sunderland, who have won one of their past eight league games, are only two points above the relegation zone.

QPR chairman Tony Fernandes talked before the match of finding his “dream manager”to replace Harry Redknapp, but, on the evidence of this encouraging result, his players are already responding to the interim management of Chris Ramsey.

The only sour note for QPR was the loss of Fer, arguably their most influential player, who was carried off on a stretcher with a knee injury 15 minutes from time.

Ramsey’s side were undaunted by the absence of injured leading scorer Charlie Austin, who has 13 league goals this season.

The visitors dominated the opening exchanges, with Joey Barton firing over and Zamora glancing a header wide, and they took a deserved lead in the 17th minute when Fer nodded home.

Sunderland, for whom defeat ended a four-game unbeaten run in all competitions, were denied by a combination of poor build-up play and fine goalkeeping from Rob Green.

The former England international pulled off a spectacular save to parry Connor Wickham’s header on to the bar, then scooped the ball clear as it bounced behind him.

QPR continued to pose a threat on the break, especially down the right, and it was that route that provided the second goal as another Phillips cross set up Zamora, who finished superbly.

Sunderland improved after the break, but a QPR team full of experience – Barton, Karl Henry and Rio Ferdinand all started – nullified the hosts’ threat.

The Black Cats still have only two home wins this season, the lowest tally in the top flight.

Read more at BBC Sport

Premiership: Swansea 1-1 Sunderland

Sunderland claimed a valuable point in their bid for Premier League survival as they held Swansea to a draw.

The Swans dominated the first half but their profligate finishing was punished as Jermain Defoe’s low effort put Sunderland in front.

Ki Sung-Yueng equalised with a diving header against his former club, but Swansea were frustrated as they sought a late winner.

Swansea remain ninth in the table, while Sunderland are still 14th.

Having beaten Burnley last weekend to end a winless run of five games, Sunderland had hopes of claiming back-to-back victories for the first time this season after Defoe gave them the lead.

But having withstood long periods of Swansea pressure, Gus Poyet’s side may have been content with a league-high 12th draw of the campaign.

The Swans gave a debut to Jack Cork, a January signing from Southampton who was joined in midfield by Ki on his return from the Asian Cup with South Korea.

With Sunderland striker Connor Wickham out injured, Poyet sprang something of a surprise as he handed former Swansea player Danny Graham a first Sunderland start since May 2013.

It was another ex-Swan, however, who had Sunderland’s first chance, as Jordi Gomez fired wide with a well-struck shot from the edge of the area.

That chance midway through the first half seemed to spark the match into life, as Swansea had a flurry of opportunities.

A flowing move involving crisp interplay between Neil Taylor, Nathan Dyer and Jonjo Shelvey ended with a close-range effort from Bafetimbi Gomis smothered by Costel Pantilimon.

Shelvey then had two long-range shots saved and a free-kick of his appeared to have created the opening goal for Swansea, but Ki’s sharp finish was disallowed for offside.

The hosts’ despair was compounded seconds later, as Defoe put Sunderland ahead against the run of play with a drilled shot into the bottom corner shortly before half-time.

Swansea continued to control possession after the restart, and their perseverance eventually paid dividends as Ki met Kyle Naughton’s inviting cross with a fine diving header.

Garry Monk’s men pressed for a winner, as Shelvey went close with a curling free-kick from 25 yards and substitute Nelson Oliveira had a low shot saved by Pantilimon.

But Sunderland resisted to claim a potentially precious point in their attempt to steer clear of relegation.

Read more at BBC Sport

FA Cup: Fulham 1-3 Sunderland

Bettinelli blunder helps Sunderland

Sunderland looked like they would become the latest Premier League victim of a shock-filled FA Cup fourth round until Fulham goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli’s embarrassing fumble help them turnaround this replay.

Little over a week after Chelsea, Manchester City, Tottenham and Southampton saw their hopes go up in smoke, Gus Poyet’s side looked like they would follow suit after Hugo Rodallega gave the Championship side a first-half lead.

However, an unfortunate own goal from the otherwise impressive Bettinelli was followed up by a fine strike from Ricardo Alvarez and Jordi Gomez’s penalty as Sunderland secured a 3-1 win at Craven Cottage.

A trip to giant-killing Bradford now awaits in the fifth round for Sunderland, who dominated proceedings for the most part.

However, poor finishing and fine goalkeeping from Bettinelli allowed Fulham to make the breakthrough in the 28th minute as Rodallega struck home their first real chance .

Ross McCormack threatened to add to that strike but Sunderland pushed for a leveller which came in slapstick fashion as Bettinelli somehow fumbled a deflected Patrick van Aanholt cross over the line.

It proved the catalyst to a Sunderland comeback and Alvarez, the evening’s standout player, cut in from the right to unleash a fierce drive to put the visitors ahead with 15 minutes remaining.

Gomez’s stoppage-time penalty to a chorus of “cheat, cheat, cheat” rubber-stamped their progress to the fifth round.

Read more at ESPN

Premiership: Jermain Defoe: Sunderland sign England striker from Toronto

Toronto FC and England striker Jermain Defoe has completed his move to Sunderland, signing a three-and-a-half-year deal with the club.

Defoe, 32, played alongside Gus Poyet during the first of his two spells at Tottenham, and was then coached by the Sunderland manager at White Hart Lane.

Poyet said: “His exceptional goal-scoring record speaks for itself.”

United States international Jozy Altidore, 25, moves back to the MLS with Toronto as part of the deal.

Defoe could make his debut against Spurs at White Hart Lane on Saturday if international clearance is – as expected – received by 13.45 GMT.

“It is a great club and I’ve always enjoyed coming up here and playing against Sunderland because of the stadium and the supporters,” the striker said.

“It is a great place to play and I’m really looking forward to it.”

Defoe, capped 55 times by England, is 14th on the list of all-time Premier League goalscorers, with 124 from his time with Spurs, West Ham and Portsmouth.

He scored 11 times in 16 games in his first season with Toronto and had been training with Tottenham during the MLS close season.

Sunderland currently lie 16th in the Premier League, with only Aston Villa having scored fewer than their 18 goals.

Altidore departs having failed to score in 13 appearances this term.

The American striker netted just once in 42 games for Sunderland after arriving in a £6.5m deal from AZ Alkmaar in July 2013.

Read more at BBC Sport

Premiership: Sunderland 0-1 Liverpool

Liverpool’s challenge for a top-four spot continued to gather pace as they claimed a third win in four league games by beating 10-man Sunderland.

Lazar Markovic poked in a shot to put the visitors in front.

A volley from the Serb also hit the crossbar, while Sunderland had Liam Bridcutt sent off for two bookings.

The home side’s Adam Johnson hit the crossbar but Liverpool held on, despite losing skipper Steven Gerrard at half-time after he felt his hamstring.

It was only a sixth clean sheet in 37 games for Liverpool and they had to endure a nervous finish following their failure to turn their dominance and numerical advantage into more goals.

But, despite Sunderland carrying a greater threat with 10 men than 11, the Black Cats struggled to create chances and have managed just one home win in 11 top-flight outings so far this season.

The Stadium of Light side were given a reprieve in the opening minutes when a piercing Philippe Coutinho pass found Markovic, who went down under a Wes Brown challenge.

The Reds were furious at referee Craig Pawson’s decision not to award a penalty, but were grateful when the official played advantage in the build-up to their intricate opener.

Fabio Borini appeared to have been fouled just outside the area, but Pawson allowed play to continue and Markovic slotted a shot past keeper Costel Pantilimon for his first league goal for the club.

Markovic almost added a spectacular second when he produced an acrobatic 20-yard volley which hit the crossbar and keeper Pantilimon before going wide.

Borini – who scored 10 goals on loan at Sunderland last season – latched on to a Emre Can pass only to send a shot from a tight angle into the side-netting.

Sunderland managed just one attempt on goal compared to Liverpool’s eight in the first half and their cause was not helped when they had midfielder Bridcutt sent off for second yellow after a foul on Can.

Nevertheless, the home side rallied and came closest to an equaliser when a swerving 30-yard Johnson shot came back off the Liverpool crossbar.

Read more at BBC Sport

FA Cup: Sunderland 1-0 Leeds

Patrick van Aanholt marked his return from injury with the winning goal as Sunderland beat Leeds in the FA Cup.

The Dutch defender, 24, drilled a low left-foot shot past Leeds goalkeeper Marco Silvestri from the edge of the penalty area in his first start since November.

The scoreline was a repeat of Sunderland’s 1-0 win in the 1973 final.

Leeds captain Liam Cooper’s hit the post in second-half injury time.

Sunderland manager Gus Poyet made six changes to the side which lost 3-2 against Manchester City on New Year’s Day as Van Aanholt returned from a shoulder injury.

Leeds manager Neil Redfearn gave debuts to defender Dario Del Fabro and striker Brian Montenegro.

Striker Steven Fletcher had a great chance to open the scoring for Sunderland but failed to keep a right-foot effort from inside the six-yard box under the bar.

Leeds midfielder Casper Sloth cleared a header from Santiago Vergini off the line, but it wasn’t long before the opening goal.

Van Aanholt shot from the edge of the penalty area across the face of goal and found the bottom right-hand corner, off the inside of the post.

Leeds offered more threat in the second half. Striker Adryan was denied just after the restart by a save from the legs of Sunderland goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon.

The visitors were convinced they had a penalty when Charlie Taylor was fouled as he burst down the left wing, but referee Mike Dean gave a free-kick on the edge of the penalty area.

Fletcher was twice denied when he tried to double Sunderland’s lead, first when a shot was ruled out for offside and then soon after when Silvestri palmed away a shot from 12 yards out.

Sunderland midfielder Jack Rodwell, who played just 16 league games for Manchester City from 2012-2014 after struggling with a hamstring injury, was substituted before half-time with what appeared to be a muscle strain.

Read more at BBC Sport