Black Cats progress to final eight of the Capital One Cup.Sunderland bounced back from their 1-0 defeat at the weekend to Hull City well, defeating Southampton 2-1 at the Stadium of Light to book a last eight home meeting with Chelsea.
Gus Poyet made seven changes to the team that lost in Yorkshire, with only John O’Shea, Phil Bardsley, Jack Colback and Jozy Altidore starting both matches.
Sunderland took the lead through Bardsley’s first goal for the club since scoring against the Saints at the end of last season.
Seb Larsson then added what proved to be the winning goal before Maya Yoshida netted a late consolation goal for the away side.
Ondrej Celustka, returning to the side, could have set up two Sunderland goals in the opening stages of the match.
A long ball forward was taken down well by Jozy Altidore, who was celebrating his 24th birthday. The American got the better of Jos Hooiveld in the Southampton defence before hitting a weak shot toward former Sunderland ‘keeper and Southampton captain for the night Kelvin Davis.
The second chance that Celustka created was for Italian Emanuele Giaccherini. This time further up the pitch, the right back delivered a low cross to the front post, but the ball hit Giaccherini’s standing leg and trailed harmlessly out of play.
Altidore had another chance to score his second Capital One Cup goal of the season, but it was always likely to go wide when the striker hit the ball from 25 yards out after a good lay-off from Craig Gardner.
The Saints, who made ten changes to their previous Premier League side, did manage to put the hosts under some pressure before Lee mason blew the half-time whistle.
The away side had Sunderland doing a good amount of defending and eventually their pressure paid off when Jack Cork slide a neat ball through to Gaston Ramirez on the fair side of the box. However, the striker could not convert and blazed his chance over Vito Mannone’s crossbar.
The second half began with Sunderland creating the best chance of the match so far. Altidore’s back heel to Craig Gardner saw Davis pull of a good close range save from the midfielder, who struck a volley from little more than 12 yards out.
Sunderland, though, would take the lead with their next chance. Lee Mason blew for a Red & White free kick when Jack Colback was fouled on the left wing.
Adam Johnson swung the dead ball toward the back post. Wes Brown was there to head the ball back across goal, only to see Jozy Altidore’s header saved by Davis. However, the ‘keeper could on parry the ball into the path of Phil Bardsley, who was there to just poke the ball over the line, giving The Lads a deserved 1-0 lead.
As Sunderland looked to be cruising with some good possession play, they almost shot themselves in the foot when Adam Lallana quickly closed Vito Mannone down. The Italian shot stopper was lucky to see the ball deflect wide after he had played it off Lallana’s back.
The Wearsiders, though, managed to grab another goal five minutes before the end. Jozy Altidore, who was having a good game in the second half, thought about shooting 25 yards out, but instead slipped in the over-lapping Seb Larsson.
The Swede slid the ball past Davis and into the bottom left hand corner to put some breathing space between them and the Saints.
However, there was time for one last twist yet as Maya Yoshida managed to get on the score-sheet for the visitors with minutes remaining.
Wes Brown gave the free kick away for a foul on Gallagher of Southampton, who opted to test Sunderland’s defence rather than Mannone with a cross to the back post. Hooiveld managed to header the ball back across the face of the goal and centre back partner Yoshida rose above Larsson to header into the net.
Sunderland held on for the win, though, to send most of the 16,000 fans who attended the game home happy.