Sunderland 1 Southampton 0 match report: Keeping alive the cup dream ends Gus Poyet’s nightmare

Black Cats have appeared a different team in recent weeks as they progress to the FA Cup sixth round to compliment their Capital One Cup final

Stadium of Light

Gus Poyet no longer knows whether to laugh or cry. For the eighth time this season, Sunderland have won a cup tie at home. In context, it has taken them 37 games to amass that many victories at the Stadium of Light in the Premier League.

Poyet admitted he had not considered either domestic cup competition when he arrived at the Academy of Light to clear up the carnage left by Paolo Di Canio back in October. But the cups have become the gifts that keep giving.

There were fewer than 17,000 in the ground to see Sunderland reach the quarter-finals of the FA Cup. Once upon a time that would have seemed implausible, but there were factors that dampened the supporters’ ardour, along with the relentless rain. 

The club announced yesterday that it had sold its full 31,000 ticket allocation for the Capital One Cup final with Manchester City next month. A trip to London, most likely for the whole weekend, is not cheap. All that said, it was still a disappointing crowd.


For Poyet, the angst goes beyond empty seats. A replay, which was only avoided because of an awful finish from the England striker Ricky Lambert in the final 10 minutes, would have had to have been played on the week leading up to their final against City. It could not have been in the middle of that preceding week because that would have clashed with the Champions League.

If there was relief that a replay had been avoided, victory meant another fixture cancelled. Sunderland, who are fighting for their Premier League lives, have now to rearrange games with West Bromwich Albion, Liverpool and Manchester City.

“I would be more famous if we win a cup than if we stay up,” Poyet said. “They would build a statue, but I don’t want to be known by any more people.

“If you win, there is a problem with [fixture] congestion. If you lose, you don’t care. I cannot win! We are trying to get a good feeling [in the team]. I want them to feel we can win games with anyone on the pitch, with any shape against anyone.

“That feeling was not here when I arrived. It was the opposite. There was a fear. It was not to lose. Now it is the opposite.”

Victory, in a game the absent fans didn’t lose much in missing, came four minutes into the second half, when Luke Shaw erred, Victor Wanyama dithered and Craig Gardner (pictured) strode through and smashed a 25-yard shot off the underside of Kelvin Davis’ crossbar.

Only in the closing moments did Southampton rally. When Nathaniel Clyne crossed low into the Sunderland six-yard box with eight minutes remaining, Poyet’s worse nightmare looked set to come true. But Lambert, to everyone’s surprise, his own included, proceeded to blast the ball over the crossbar from four yards.

“A striker is happy when he scores,” said the Southampton assistant manager Jesus Perez. “He is disappointed when it is going out. Ricky tried as good as he could. There is nothing to say.

“We are a little bit sad to be out of the FA Cup. We tried to move forward. It proved impossible today. We protect and support all our squad. When you are not winning games you are disappointed for the supporters. To support us they are doing a long journey to watch the game. We tried to play as good as we can. We are sorry.”


Sunderland (4-1-3-2): Ustari; Celustka, Vergini, O’Shea, Dossena (Alonso, 77); Cattermole; Larsson, Gardner (Colback, 82), Giaccherini; Borini, Scocco (Wickham, 69).

Southampton (4-2-3-1): K Davis; Clyne, Yoshida, Hooiveld, Shaw; Wanyama, S Davis; Ward-Prowse (Scheniderlin, 62), Lallana (McQUeen, 82), Do Prado (Rodriguez 62); Lambert.

Referee: Mike Dean.

Man of the match: Gardner (Sunderland)

Match rating: 3/10


Actress sees off speculation about her appearance in an amazing way

Arts and Entertainment
Serge Pizzorno of Kasabian and Noel Fielding backstage at the Teenage Cancer Trust concerts
musicKasabian and Noel Fielding attack 'boring' musicians
peopleLynda Bellingham's tragic final Loose Women appearance moves audience to tears
Arts and Entertainment
'Right Here' singer Jess Glynne is nominated for Best Newcomer at the MOBO Awards 2014
musicExclusive: Jess Glynne hits out at 'ridiculous' criticism of white artists nominated for Mobo Awards
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Separated at birth? Frank Sivero (left) claims The Simpsons based Mafia character Louie on his Goodfellas character
arts + entsFrank Sivero sues Simpsons studio over allegedly basing mobster character on Frank Carbone
Carl Bernstein (left) and Bob Woodward (right) with former 'Washington Post' executive editor Ben Bradlee

The Washington Post editor helped Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein bring down President Nixon


Stephanie first after her public appearance as a woman at Rad Fest 2014

Arts and Entertainment
Laura Wood, winner of the Montegrappa Scholastic Prize for New Children’s Writing

Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London