The greatest moments of the Gus Poyet reign as Sunderland manager!
Philip West says...
It simply has to be the Chelsea match at Stamford Bridge. Mourinho had returned after six years away, and his record of never having lost a league game at the Bridge looked safe for at least one more game. Our survival hopes at that point were extremely perilous, and we all knew the scale of the challenge if we wanted to pull off an escape from the drop. Gus Poyet had already shown that he possessed a good level of tactical nous during his time at the club, but this was an altogether different task.
The fighting spirit we showed during that match was reminiscent of the Roy Keane years. In theory, we were completely outclassed by Chelsea, but we simply refused to cave in, scrapping furiously and frustrating Chelsea at every turn. Connor Wickham opened the scoring and was a real problem for Chelsea all game, and the likes of Marcos Alonso and Lee Cattermole also poured every ounce of energy into the game. They knew what was at stake, without a doubt.
When Jozy Altidore fell under extremely minimal contact, Fabio Borini stepped up, and rolled the ball into the Chelsea net from the penalty spot in a ridiculously casual fashion. Suddenly, the dream of victory became an imminent reality, and when the final whistle blew, I remember feeling slightly stunned. Had we really ended Mourinho’s proud record? Yes, we had, and from then on, the belief that we could escape relegation yet again grew to an unstoppable level. What a game, what a victory, and what a feeling.
Will Jones says...
Chelsea 1-2 Sunderland AFC.
Mourinho’s first loss at Stamford Bridge, and who else to score the winner but a former player named Fabio Borini. The atmosphere was scintillating. The meaning was monumental, and coming from behind, it just felt like nothing could stop us.
Connor Wickham carried on his amazing run of form with a proper poachers finish from a scrappy corner. The second half saw Chelsea throw everything bar the kitchen sink at us but our rearguard action held firm. We had learnt our lessons from Man City, having conceded late on from a similar position, we shut up shop and did what we needed to do.
The passion from the fans and the desire from the players were incredible. You felt as one, driving forward and showed the enthusiasm and excitement you dream from a manager. Everyone put in a shift that day. Thank you, Gus, for allowing me to believe, and allowing me to believe that miracles can happen.
Jack Howe-gingell says...
It was chilly Tuesday evening at the Stadium of Light as we entered the first leg of our semi-final of the League Cup against Manchester United.
Despite being led by David Moyes, they still boasted a star-studded line up with the likes of De Gea, Vidic, Evra and Carrick all available.
We took the lead thanks to a Ryan Giggs own goal, but Nemanja Vidic equalised with a towering header in the second half. That’s when it happened - a foul by Tom Cleverley and a penalty to Sunderland.
Fabio Borini stood over it, typically confident and smashed it into the back of the net, scenes ensued.
This was the moment I realised that we could actually do it, we could get to a final and even win it. It might have lacked the drama and elation of the second leg, but I couldn’t go so this is my moment.
Sunderland 2 Manchester United 1 - all aboard the Gus Bus.
Gary Engel says...
Poyet arrived at the club when we looked down and out. The turbulent and short-lived Di Canio era had ended with a whimper, and for the second appointment running a newly appointed Sunderland manager would face the mags in only their second match. Although Borini’s pile-drive winner will live long in the memory, the moment I thought the corner had been turned was in the reverse fixture at St James’ Park.
We had played some decent stuff with Poyet’s new philosophy and were on our way to at least one trip to Wembley when we rolled up at St James. Despite our improvement Newcastle were expected to get revenge for our previous victories, especially following the bloody nose and dirty knees we delivered the previous season.
But Gus’ boys were in no mood to give away gifts. Early on, wing-backs Alonso and Bardsley bombed forward helping silence the Geordie crowd as we struck two goals in quick succession. I struggled to remember a more dominant or accomplished Premier League performance.
With the loan players flourishing throughout it appeared we were only lacked a striker who could finish. Later, Colback would make it three in the second half in a match that gave us a new benchmark. If we’d kept that level up there would have been no need for such heroics at the latter end of the season in the _true story_ of Poyet’s Great Escape.