Sunderland produced an uber-defensive performance on the road today that earned Paolo Di Canio’s side a point against Southampton. Goals were scored at the very beginning and very end of this fixture at the St. Mary’s Stadium, which finished a 1-1 draw. The visitors were on the scoreboard after just 3 minutes when Italian Emanuele Giaccherini guided his header off a corner kick into the back of Artur Boruc’s goal to give the Black Cats a rather surprising lead. Southampton weren’t able to muster much of anything in response to this in the first half as they only managed a lone shot on target that was gobbled up easily by Keiren Westwood. The second half was a completely different story though, as Sunderland then made like a scared turtle and dropped deep into their shell, playing an incredibly defensive game of “anti-football” and inviting Southampton to attack them at will. Indeed the numbers produced were staggering as Southampton maintained 100%, yes 100% of possession in the second 45. They also managed to put 5 shots on target in the second half with the breakthrough finally coming in the 88th minute courtesy of a headed goal by defender Jose Fonte. That did it for the dramatics in this match as Sunderland’s bold strategy somewhat backfired with Southampton claiming a point at the death, although the Black Cats emerge with both a point and goal from the match.
Next Matches: Southampton at Norwich City Sunderland at Crystal PalaceStat of Match: Percentage of Shots On Target Southampton: 35% Sunderland: 37.5%