Nicklas Bendtner

Game of the Day: SAFC 1 Liverpool 0

by Ashley Houghton

Bendtner fires the winner at the SoL.

Sunderland 1 Liverpool 0

10th March 2012

Nicklas Bendtner scored the only goal as Sunderland defeated League Cup winners Liverpool at the Stadium of Light.

Bendtner converted on the hour mark to pile the misery on the Reds as their bid for a top-four finish took a huge dent.

The Black Cats' cause was aided by another fine defensive performance against a Liverpool outfit who were restricted to only a handful of shots on target.

Sunderland created the early chances, with John O'Shea flicking Seb Larsson's free-kick over the top nine minutes in.

Another Larsson set piece caused more problems soon afterwards, as Fraizer Campbell headed his corner back across goal for Bendtner to test Pepe Reina with a low shot.

Liverpool's Dirk Kuyt created his side's first chance of the game just after the half-hour when he met a cross from the right with a flicked header which was easily claimed by Simon Mignolet.

The Black Cats gained the advantage when Campbell turned smartly on the edge of the box and stole a yard on Martin Skrtel before firing in a shot which struck the post, hit the diving Reina on the head and struck the upright again before bobbling loose.

The Stadium of Light held its collective breath as the onrushing Bendtner bore down on goal, and the Dane, completely unmarked, smashed the ball high into the net to give his side the lead.

It was Sunderland’s sixth home win of the season as they went on to finish 13th in the Barclays Premier League.

Sunderland: Mignolet, Bardsley, Bridge, Turner, O’Shea, Larsson, Gardner, Colback, McClean, Campbell (Vaughan, 75), Bendtner (Wickham, 83).

Subs not used: Gordon, Kilgallon, Kyrgiakos, Meyler, Elmohamady.