Leighton Baines penalty snatches a draw for Everton
A second half Leighton Baines penalty crushed Sunderland’s hope of a win and three points, as Everton and the Black Cats drew 1-1 at the Stadium Of Light today.
It was a very tough and close game today, as both Sunderland and Everton fought hard for the points, and did the 43,476 fans at the Stadium of Light get their money worth.
Sunderland fans have experienced a month with many ups and downs, especially in October, where they saw their beat Stoke 3-1 at home one week, and the next week losing 8-0 away to Southampton.
The Black cats have won two and lost two in their last four games, and were they looking to get another important win today, which could put them further away from the relegation zone.
Roberto Martinez’s Everton on the other hand have been in great form lately, not losing a game in their last five matches. They especially showed great football in their 3-0 home win in the Europa League against Lille on Thursday.
However, the Toffees have been quite poor away from home this season, and have they only won twice in their nine away games so far. It has especially been their ability to keep a clean sheet, which has been their main problem, something that also was the case in today’s match.
The game started off with a bad incident in the 10th minute, when Sunderland’s Jordi Gómez with a heavy tackled hit Gareth Barry on his right leg, and was the tackle so bad, that the 33 year-old Barry had to be sent directly to hospital.
It was suspected that the midfielder had broken his leg, however an x-ray later revealed that there was no break, and was Jordi Gómez lucky to only have been shown the yellow card.
Everton were better in the first half and did they have most of the chances. In the 32nd minute, Aiden McGeady received a great ball from outside the box from Seamus Coleman, and was his left footed swerving shot just inches wide from the left post
Then again three minutes later, Aiden McGeady found Ross Barkley, whose right footed shot from the centre of the box was bravely blocked by Sunderlands Liam Bridcutt.
Sunderland’s firs real chance came just before half time, when Jordi Gómez right-footed low shot from the centre of the box was saved by Tim Howard’s legs on the edge of the penalty box.
In the second half, Everton started where they left off, and should they have taken the lead a few minutes from the whistle, when Romelu Lukaku got the ball from a terrible Bridcutt backpass and went one on one with the Sunderland goalkeeper. However, Lukaku’s touch was to heavy and did Costel Pantilimon manage to come off his line quick to gather the ball at the feet of the striker.
Out of nowhere Sunderland managed to take the lead in the 67th minute, when Leighton Baines fouled Sunderland’s Buckley just outside the box, which left Sebastian Larsson in a perfect position to make one of his many free kick goals that flew straight in the bottom left corner.
Unfortunately for Gus Poyet’s men, the lead didn’t last for very long, as the man who had the fault for the Sunderland goal, received a penalty in the 76th minute after his team-mate Seamus Coleman was brought down by a clumsy Connor Wickham tackle.
A lot of pressure was on Baines, as he missed his first penalty in the Premier League against Manchester United last month. However, the English left-back kept his cool on the spot, and put the ball a bit luckily under Pantilimon’s body.
Both teams tried to get the final goal, but the match finished 1-1, despite both teams having over 10 shots each on target, and almost the same amount in ball possession.
Everton will take today’s draw as a positive, as their one point puts them above their main rivals Liverpool on the Premier League table. Everton’s next Premier League match will not be until the 22nd of November, due to international break, where they will face West Ham at home.
The draw puts Sunderland on 14th position with 12 points, just three points above the relegation zone. Sunderland must therefore win the game against Leicester away on the 22nd of November, as they will face leaders Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool afterwards.
Sunderland: Pantilimon, Reveillere, O’Shea, Brown, Vergini, Larsson, Bridcutt, Gomez (Rodwell – 84′), Johnson (Buckley – 64′), Wickham, Fletcher
Everton: Howard, Coleman, Jagielka, Distin, Baines, McCarthy, Barry (Gibson -13′), McGeady (Naismith – 70′), Eto’o, Barkley (Osman – 86′), Lukaku