Marton Fulop v Bolton

Classic opening-day wins

by Ashley Houghton

Black Cats classics from previous season-openers.

The fixtures for the 2013-14 Barclays Premier League campaign will be released on Wednesday as all football fans eagerly anticipate who they will face on the opening day of the campaign.

Christmas fixtures, Newcastle United home and away and the final day fixture are always ones Sunderland fans keep their eyes on as the season’s schedule is announced.

Here's five great opening-day victories that Paolo Di Canio will look to emulate in his first full season in charge.

Bolton Wanderers 0 – 1 Sunderland (15th August 2009)

Darren Bent scored on his Black Cats debut to give new Sunderland boss Steve Bruce a winning start to the new campaign.

Bent’s fifth minute strike was the deciding factor, though Bruce’s side were largely dominant against Gary Megson’s Wanderers.

Fraizer Campbell, Lorik Cana and Lee Cattermole also made their Sunderland debuts in this game, while Marton Fulop secured the points with a superb late save.

Sunderland 3 – 1 Southampton (25th August 1984)

Gary Bennett was on the mark after just two minutes of his Sunderland debut as the Black Cats were in rampant mood on the opening day of the 1984-85 campaign.

Barry Venison and Mark Proctor were also on target for Len Ashurst’s side as they ran out 3-1 winners over Southampton at Roker Park.

There were also debuts for Stephen Berry, Howard Gayle and Clive Walker as the Black Cats began an eleven-game unbeaten run on Wearside.

Sunderland 1 – 0 Tottenham Hotspur (11th August 2007)

Michael Chopra’s injury-time winner, on his Sunderland debut, earned Roy Keane’s Black Cats a win on their return to the Barclays Premier League.

A hard-working performance from Keane’s side proved too much for Jol’s Spurs as Sunderland won their first opening day game in six years.

Dickson Etuhu, Craig Gordon, Paul McShane and Kieran Richardson also made their Black Cats debuts.

Sunderland 1 – 0 Arsenal (19th August 2000)

Niall Quinn scored the only goal of the game as Sunderland downed the Irishman’s former club Arsenal at the Stadium of Light.

The victory over the Gunners started a 14-game unbeaten run for the Black Cats on Wearside as Peter Reid’s side went on to finish seventh in Premier League.

Jurgen Macho made his Sunderland debut, replacing the injured Thomas Sorensen at half-time, whilst Stanislav Varga also played his first game for the Black Cats.

Aston Villa 1 – 3 Sunderland (28th August 1982)

Sunderland could claim to be the best team in Europe after defeating European Cup winners Aston Villa on the opening day of the 1982-83 campaign.

Colin West, Ally McCoist and Nicholas Pickering scored for Alan Durban’s Black Cats as Villa, under new boss Tony Barton, were put to the sword.

Ian Atkins made his debut in the game against the Villans and went on to make 87 appearances in two seasons on Wearside.