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Hull City v Sunderland - Barclays Premier League

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On This Day (2nd November 2013): Sunderland see double red as we lose to Hull City!

It was a day to forget for Sunderland as we had two men sent off, losing away to Hull City. If Gus Poyet wasn’t already aware of Sunderland’s issues, this was the game which taught him the most about his squad...

Photo by Tim Keeton/Getty Images

Less than a month into the job, Gus Poyet was surely beginning to see what a mammoth task he had on his hands as manager of this Sunderland team.

For him, it was evidently one step forward and two steps back so far.

The team pulled out an extraordinary derby day win against Newcastle United the week before when Fabio Borini launched a late rocket into the back of the net.

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Sunderland v Newcastle United - Stadium of Light Photo by Owen Humphreys/PA Images via Getty Images

This should have been the springboard for the team but all their hard work was ultimately undone in a game where we had two men dramatically sent off along with a serious injury to our first-choice goalkeeper - all in the first half!

Steve Bruce’s Hull came into this game in decent form. They had already picked up a few decent wins and draws along with some narrow defeats to the big teams in the league such as Chelsea and Manchester City.

With Bruce coming up against his former team - along with David Meyler and Ahmed Elmohamady, there was an abundance of motivation for the Humberside team to get one over on us.

Our cause certainly wasn’t helped by the calamitous nature of our first half performance. Without much happening at either end, it felt like we were always prone to conceding a goal - which we did mid-way through the first half.

A quiet KC Stadium erupted when Carlos Cuellar headed into his own net while under pressure from Yannick Sagbo following Liam Rosenior’s 25th minute cross.

FBL-ENG-PR-HULL-SUNDERLAND Photo credit should read LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP via Getty Images

On the balance of play, it was somewhat deserving given Hull were the team creating the better opportunities.

Things got worse from here when Westwood was forced off with a neck injury two minutes before half-time while challenging for the ball with former Sunderland and current Tigers defender Paul McShane, and former Arsenal goalkeeper Vito Mannone came on for his Sunderland league debut.

If things couldn’t have become any worse, Lee Cattermole displayed the type of rash, idiotic challenges that were his norm around this time. Around the halfway line, Cattermole inexplicably lunged at former Sunderland player Elmohamady and sent the Egyptian flying in the air.

Without a doubt, it was a red card offence where Elmohamady was lucky to avoid any lasting pain other than having his football boot split in two by the challenge. Around this time, Cattermole’s rashness was becoming a stain on his career and it was particularly untimely having just found himself back in the fold after his exile under Paolo Di Canio.

Moments later, our new full back Andrea Dossena also saw red for his high tackle on Irish midfielder David Meyler. Dossena’s tackle looked bad on second look - almost stamp-like - leaving the referee in no doubt that it was another red.

FBL-ENG-PR-HULL-SUNDERLAND Photo credit should read LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP via Getty Images

This was Sunderland at this time. Ill disciplined, luckless and rather pathetic on the pitch. One would have understood if Poyet packed his bags and washed his hands with a team that appeared to be destined for relegation.

With nine men, Sunderland had to try and survive. Poyet changed the system and kept the team defensively solid in the second half.

Jake Livermore created the best opportunity for the home side when his shot rattled the crossbar. Other than that, Sunderland maintained solidity that would have impressed their manager.

Had it not been for a great intervention from Steve Harper, Sunderland could have left Humberside with an unlikely point had he not stopped Adam Johnson’s opportunity when he was sent through one on one.

A perplexed Poyet expressed his pride in how the team performed under pressure in the second half.

Tactically it was out best 45 minutes so far (second half). We had a couple of chances and on another day that chance for Adam Johnson goes in.

I’m proud of how my players reacted because it was a challenge after losing the goalkeeper and then having two players sent off.

In typical Sunderland fashion, when the chips were down the club would source an unlikely result from somewhere.

The following week, a rejuvenated Phil Bardsley returned to the side to score the winning goal against Manchester City at the Stadium of Light to give the club a glimmer of hope that never seemed to dissipate throughout a miserable yet strangely successful season under Poyet.

Sunderland v Manchester City - Premier League Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

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