Big man downs Arsenal in 2000.
A Niall Quinn header gave Peter Reid’s Sunderland a 1-0 victory over Arsenal on the opening day of the 2000-01 season.
Quinn headed home Michael Gray’s teasing cross just after half time, much to the delight of a full house at the Stadium of Light.
There were Black Cats debuts for Stanislav Varga, who went on to make 41 appearances for Sunderland, and Jurgen Macho, who replaced Thomas Sorensen after half-time when the Danish international goalkeeper picked up an injury.
In fairness, Arsenal dominated the majority of the game but the resilience and desire shown by Reid’s men shone through as Patrick Vieira and company were frustrated by the Black Cats defence.
Quinn’s goal against his former club was a sign of the increasing amount of quality in the Sunderland side. Gray’s cross was inch perfect for the big frontman and the Irishman made no mistake from six yards.
Arsenal’s Vieira was sent off late on for striking Darren Williams, much to the fury of Gunners boss Arsene Wenger, but that was no concern to a Sunderland side that went on to finish seventh in the Premiership.
Sunderland: Sorensen (Macho, 48), Makin, Gray, Roy (Williams, 59), Butler, Varga, Kilbane, Thirlwell, Holloway, Quinn (Reddy, 79), Phillips.
Subs Not Used: Bould, Nunez.