Thursday 17 October 2013
Premierleague.com rifles through the annals of the Barclays Premier League to find significant events.
A Darren Bent goal after five minutes helped Sunderland climb above Liverpool with victory over Rafael Benitez's side at the Stadium of Light.
The goal was unusual in that Bent's shot, on its way past Pepe Reina in the Liverpool goal, had deflected off a beach ball that had crept on to the pitch from the end containing the Liverpool supporters.
Despite the lucky nature of the goal Sunderland were not fortunate to have claimed the win. In front of nearly a full house, Steve Bruce's team largely dominated a Liverpool side playing an unfamiliar 5-4-1 formation and missing Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres through injury.
In seven minutes of stoppage time Dirk Kuyt had a chance to claim a late equaliser but Craig Gordon blocked the Dutchman’s shot before saving the follow-up from Ryan Babel.
After the match Bruce praised the performance of captain Lorik Cana.
"It's wrong on days like today to single out individuals but I think I've witnessed an exceptional performance from a central defender," he said of the Albanian. "He was unbelievable; great in the air, the tackles he made, the interceptions he made - and he passed it well, too. He can take a pat on the back for what he did. I thought we deserved it. These are the kind of days I came up here for."