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On This Day: 2 August 2001 - Laslandes, Bellion & Medina all feature as Sunderland thrash Exeter

ON THIS DAY (2001): A raft of new signings were supposed to be giving Peter Reid’s 7th placed team a boost... and in pre-season they did, as Sunderland ran out 5-0 winners against Exeter.

Sunderland v Birmingham Photo by Owen Humphreys - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images

On this day in 2001, a strong Sunderland side beat Exeter City 5-0, with goals from Stefan Schwarz, Jody Craddock, George McCartney and two from Danny Dichio.

New signings Lillian Laslandes and David Bellion both started on the bench, while Julio’s mate, Nicolas Medina started in the centre of midfield.

Soccer - FA Barclaycard Premiership - Sunderland v Chelsea
“Tell him he’s Niall Quinn.”
Photo by Steve Mitchell/EMPICS via Getty Images

Having finished 7th in the Premier League the season before, optimism was high, the new signings would give us what we needed to crack into Europe.

Sunderland v Liverpool
Don Hutchison was a class act - his departure early in 2001-02 marked the start of a downward spiral

The loss of Don Hutchison after only three games of the new season set the tone, however, and we struggled all year - finishing 17th after a final day draw at home to relegated Derby County.

None of Reid’s signings that summer worked – Bernt Haas being the major one to arrive after the game at Exeter. Expectation was high of Medina in particular, given the impact former teammate Arca had made the year before.

Soccer - AXA FA Cup - Third Round Replay - Sunderland v Bolton Wanderers
Medina in action at the Stadium of Light in his one - and only - first team appearance
Photo by John Walton/EMPICS via Getty Images

It was not to be, however. Medina didn’t make an appearance under Peter Reid, and had to wait until January 2003 to make his debut, Howard Wilkinson selecting him for an FA Cup replay at home to Bolton Wanderers. Despite having an impressive game, it was to be Medina’s only appearance for the club. £3.5m well spent.