What a difference a few weeks makes! Wes Brown was Sunderland’s ‘hero’ as his last minute goal enabled Sunderland to climb above QPR at a time when they looked to have thrown away the three points.
Yet less than six weeks ago Brown was the ‘villain’ as he gifted former club Manchester United the all decisive goal on Sir Alex Ferguson’s 25th anniversary at Old Trafford.
This really was a ‘tale of two halves’ for Sunderland were in the ascendancy from the off and it was no surprise when Niklas Bendtner’s header put them ahead after 14 minutes and the Black Cats stretched that lead early in the second half with a breakaway goal coming from Stéphane Sessègnon after 53 minutes.
Former Republic of Ireland goalkeeper, Paddy Kenny, returning to the side after injury, made several high quality saves and this helped inspire Rangers . They responded through Heidar Helguson in the 63rd minute after Ireland No 2, Keiren Westwood had fumbled a Faurlin cross , and rocked Sunderland further with a Jamie Mackie equaliser on 67.
And so to that dramatic winner from Wes Brown whose last Premiership goal came in October 2008 . He secured Sunderland’s fourth win of the season and a vital three points with a fine header from Richardson’s corner which eluded the best efforts of both Kenny and Alejandro Faurlin.
A good start to the busy Christmas period for Martin O’Neill – two wins now in his three games since taking over from Steve Bruce. But for Neil Warnock the likelihood is that he will have to invest in at least two new players, maybe three in the ‘ January sales’. Reaction from the Managers?
Neil Warnock (QPR) : “I thought Christmas was on Sunday! ” “I’ve never felt as disappointed – I thought the lads were fantastic.
“All three of their goals were very poor – anyone looking at them would know that Sunderland got out of prison tonight.
“I could accept it if Sunderland were better than us – or scored some fantastic goals – but I thought we were the better side.
“We’ve had so many blows – it’s like a dagger to the heart tonight.
Martin O’Neill (Sunderland): “This was a big win for us,” he said.
“We deserved to win, we scored three goals away from home and it seems as though we have had to win the game twice tonight.
“At 2-0 we were in a great position. .”We conceded the two goals, but we fought back and deserved the win.”