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On This Day (17 Nov 2002): Jurgen Macho masterclass sees Sunderland claim clean sheet at Anfield

Who remembers the Jurgen Macho masterclass at Anfield that occurred on this day 18 years ago that saw Sunderland pick up a clean sheet against the odds?

Soccer - FA Barclaycard Premiership - Liverpool v Sunderland Photo by Matthew Ashton/EMPICS via Getty Images

Liverpool attempts on goal: 21

Sunderland attempts on goal: 0

Quite how the Lads emerged from the game without conceding a goal still remains a mystery to this day, but those who watched will remember that we had one man to thank for keeping the scores down - Austrian goalkeeper Jurgen Macho.

It was an especially heartbreaking result for Liverpool as, had they won, they would have gone top of the table and above Arsenal.

Macho - who did of course collect the man of the match award after the game - made a host of important saves, the best of them in the first half coming after Didi Hamann struck a clean volley at the Sunderland stopper.

Chances for Markus Babbel, Vladimir Smicer, Michael Owen, Danny Murphy, Emile Heskey, El Hadji Diouf and John Arne Riise all went begging, with the man between the sticks for the away side successfully keeping the title contenders at bay.

Sunderland gaffer Howard Wilkinson was modest at the close of play, indicating that it was the result and performance that his side had hoped to achieve - sticking eleven men behind the ball and wishing for the best:

We had a plan and the keeper allowed us to stick to it.

Wilkinson was honest - perhaps a little too honest - about Macho, who was set to become Sunderland’s fifth choice keeper with the impending arrival of Mart Poom on loan:

Five weeks ago he was nowhere; he would have struggled to catch a beach ball.

It was to be Macho’s finest day in a Sunderland shirt, one that lives long in the memory.

SUNDERLAND: Macho, Bjorklund, McCartney, Kilbane, Craddock, Babb, Proctor, McCann, Flo, Phillips, Gray. SUBS: Ingham, Thirlwell, Williams, Stewart, Kyle.

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