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Match Report


Posted Wed 10 Mar 10 at 12:56 PM

Report: Sunderland 4 Bolton 0

Bolton's recent run of good form came to an end at the Stadium of Light as they fell to a 4-0 defeat.

Darren Bent bagged a second-half hat-trick following Fraizer Campbell's early opener.

And Sam Ricketts became the second Bolton player in as many matches to be sent-off when he brought down Bent inside the penalty area for the striker's second goal.

The spot kick was sandwiched in between two clinical finishes from the England hopeful who exhibited the skills that suggest he might be worthy of a place in Fabio Capello's 23-man squad for this summer's World Cup.

Indeed, Wanderers had got off to the worst possible start as Campbell put Sunderland ahead with just 44 seconds on the clock.

Black Cats captain Lorik Cana lofted a high cross from the left side of the 18-yard box and the former Manchester United striker stole in at the back post to convert from just a few yards out, beating Jaaskelainen on his near post.

The Whites had hardly a kick before they were picking the ball out of their net, but the response to the early goal was encouraging.

Johan Elmander, who had netted a brace in the corresponding fixture last season, sliced wide and a Gretar Steinsson throw-in landed in Craig Gordon's net, but the strike had to be disallowed because the ball had not taken a touch off anybody en route to goal.

It did in fact prove to be a very open start as Bent tested Jaaskelainen with a weak shot from outside the box and Campbell glanced a head over the bar.

The Whites dominated possession but they had to be wary of the threat posed by the pacy frontline of Bent, Campbell and Kenwyne Jones.

This was highlighted at the midway point of the first half when the goalscorer almost came provider after whipping over an inviting ball from the right touchline. Bent was the recipient, but he could only drag his finish wide after beating Steinsson and cutting into the penalty area.

Jones came close with two quick-fire opportunities shortly before half-time, firstly forcing Jaaskelainen to palm around the post before missing the target with an effort from 20 yards out.

But as with the victory at Upton Park just three days earlier, the Whites passed the ball around in convincing style, with the recalled Gardner, Wilshere and Chung-Yong Lee offering a particular spark.

It was the South Korean's determination which almost back-fired on the stroke of half-time as after opting to dribble down the right wing, he was caught in possession and Alan Hutton came within a couple of yards of rounding off the resulting counter-attack.

The Whites came out after half-time and looked like a team determined to get back into the game.

Gretar Steinsson had a goalbound shot blocked desperately inside a packed penalty area and Gardner shot over from outside the box.

Close to the hour mark, Owen Coyle was given a further injury problem as Fabrice Muamba hobbled off to be replaced by Vladimir Weiss. The reshuffle saw Chung-Yong move into the middle of the park meaning that Wanderers lined up with an extremely attack-minded midfield four.

The anxiety levels inside the Stadium of Light grew as Bolton pressed with a series of attacks but the vast majority of the 36,000 supporters inside grounded breathed a big sigh of relief when the hosts doubled their lead on the hour mark.

A breakaway involving Malbranque and Cattermole on the left touchline saw Bent get goal side and the England international blasted the ball under Jaaskelainen from ten yards out.

Klasnic and Taylor were introduced and the former almost halved the deficit with an instinctive left foot drive after tremendous wing play from Weiss.

But Sunderland made the game beyond Wanderers when they added a third from the penalty spot with 15 minutes remaining.

Bent had been adjudged to have been fouled by Sam Ricketts inside the area, and with the Wales international being booked in the first half, he was sent from the field by referee Steve Bennett.

Bent picked himself up from the turf and sent Jaaskelainen the wrong way from the spot.

Michael Turner cleared a Davies header off the line in the latter stages and Jones had a goal disallowed for offside before Bent completed his hat-trick on 88 minutes.

Campbell cut the back from the right and the former Spurs man side-footed home to end a disappointing night for Wanderers in the North East.

Sunderland: Gordon, Turner, Ferdinand, Hutton, Malbranque (Benjani 85), Campbell, Bent, Mensah (Zenden 77), Jones, Cana, Cattermole (Subs: Carson, Bardsley, McCartney, Zenden, Da Silva, Kilgallon)

Bolton: Jaaskelainen, Robinson, Knight, Ricketts, Steinsson, Wilshere, Gardner (Taylor 71), Muamba (Weiss 57), Chung-Yong, Elmander (Klasnic 62), Davies (Subs: Al Habsi, Samuel, Riga, O'Brien)

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