Tuesday 25 October 2016

Gomez gives Sunderland lifeline

Sunderland 2-1 Southampton

Damian Spellman

Published 03/05/2015 | 02:30

Sunderland manager Dick Advocaat
Sunderland manager Dick Advocaat

Dick Advocaat is confident Sunderland can stay up after seeing them rekindle their Premier League survival bid.

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The delighted Dutchman looked on as Jordi Gomez converted two penalties to secure a 2-1 win which proved vital on an afternoon when Leicester and Aston Villa also won.

Sunderland remain in the bottom three but just two points adrift of 14th-placed Villa, and asked if there was enough in the dressing room to get the club out of trouble, Advocaat replied with a smile: "Yes, definitely. We have still everything in our own hands."

The home side took a 21st-minute lead when Gomez dispatched his first spot-kick after Jose Fonte had caught striker Danny Graham in the face with a flailing boot, but squandered it within seconds as keeper Costel Pantilimon collided with defenders Sebastian Coates and John O'Shea to present Sadio Mane with the easiest of chances to level.

Gomez was handed a second opportunity from 12 yards 10 minutes after the break when James Ward-Prowse bundled Jermain Defoe to the ground.

It proved a sobering afternoon on Wearside for Southampton manager Ronald Koeman as his hopes of securing European football were dealt a blow. Koeman said: "Sunderland put everything in - that's normal in the situation they are in - but I expect much more of the team than we saw today."

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