For a few hours Tottenham was ahead of us in the table after a scrappy win against Blackburn. Our win was not the prettiest either, but to sooo much relief. It's like Zola said, football is a strange game, sometimes you play beautiful and come out with nothing... So I guess we have all learned that fighting is always number one, playing pretty football number two... Even if we wan't everything - always including three points. But this win was really great as we are still better off than Tottscum, and that this win with another cleen sheet make us feel so much better. Not at least as our forthcoming games will be tougher than tough.
Zola gave us some surprising changes in the team today, the only one I disliked was that Collison was out of the team and Bowyer in...
Green 6. Even if Sunderland created a lot of offensive play (mostly with Andy Reid involved) Green was actually never really tested. Did what he had to do.
Neill 6.5. Our back four were great today, although our captain the least impressive, had some hard times against Reid. But also some good clearings.
Collins 8. My man of the game. Did anyone count how many headers he won? Kept Jones, which is not so easy, quiet. Took down Cissé once which could have been a penalty or rather a free-kick, but did it so "smart" that the referee waved play on.
Upson 8. Also solid as a rock. Seemed only to benefit from his outing in the national team in midweek. Cissé did not confront him so much, and neither did anyone else.
Illunga 7. Great work, played cool and did again no mistakes. Should be able to offer even more in the offensive play sometimes, as we've seen that before. But relly good defensivly. You can't do anything but like Yo-yo!
Faubert 6. Better in his defensive work today than when we've seen him as a RB lately. So he had a decent game, not at least as he was the man behind the attack that led to our goal. But can't understand his slow play sometimes. He must be much quicker.
Bowyer 5. Not a great game. Like when he runs into the box, did some nice passes too, but can't offer anything that differs anymore.
Parker 7. Solid. Did stop a lot of counterattacks. But failed to create any offensive pressure. Well, maybe that's not mainly his work to do...
Behrami 7.5. Love to see his working-rate. How he really runes like a Duracell rabbit and annoys the opposition. Don't understand how he could miss when he was totally free, but what the heck, he scored the winner anyway! His first goal in the PL.
Cole 6.5. Won nearly as many headers as James Collins (slightly exaggerated), but failed to make them into sharp opportunites. Mainly because Bellamy was hard to find, and noone else was there, but also lacked the skill from time to time. The referee always seems to act against our strong man. Worked hard, but can't remember him having any chances in the game at all.
Bellamy 6. When totally free with the keeper Bellamy should have done much better. Not one of his better games for us, but keeps on running all the time. Subbed late in the game (perhaps cause he started to argue with the referee a bit too much)
Mullins - replaced Bowyer and did ok.
Boa Morte - late sub for Faubert. Did ok.
Di Michele - was not able to see him or the last three minutes of the game as my recorder stopped to record (which of course made be angry, nervous, irritated and.... x%€##& ) just as he was to be on.
Nonused subs: Lastuvka, Davenport, Collison, Sears.