'Bristanbul' - McGeady shines in Sunderland rescue act

2018-02-10 18:47:47

Republic of Ireland winger Aiden McGeady rose from the bench to help Sunderland complete an amazing recovery from 3-0 down at Bristol City on Saturday afternoon.

Two second-half own goals allowed the struggling Black Cats to snatch a point in a thrilling 3-3 draw.

First-half goals from Aden Flint and a Famara Diedhiou double looked to have the home side coasting in the Championship match at Ashton Gate.

But Josh Brownhill and Marlon Pack inadvertently found the back of their own net either side of McGeady's strike to produce a stunning comeback.

Flint capitalised on shocking defending to give City a fifth minute lead. The big centre-back was allowed to control a Pack free-kick inside the box, take a touch towards goal and fire home unchallenged from six yards.

It was 2-0 on 31 minutes as Diedhiou ran clear onto a Bobby Reid through-ball. His first shot was blocked by goalkeeper Lee Camp, but the ball broke for the striker to hammer it into the roof of the net from close range.

Sunderland were wide open and conceded a third six minutes later. A swift City break out of defence ended with Ryan Kent's low cross from the right being slid home by the stretching Diedhiou.

Some visiting fans had seen enough, while others who had made the 600-mile round trip to watch their team chanted: "You're not fit to wear the shirt."

They were given something to cheer 20 minutes from time when Lee Cattermole's header came back off the crossbar and the ball hit Brownhill, who inadvertently knocked it over the line for an own goal.

Substitute McGeady set up an unexpectedly tense finish when he shot low past goalkeeper Frank Fielding from Cattermole's 81st minute free-kick.

And the visiting fans were in dreamland when substitute Kazenga LuaLua's low cross from the byline went in off Pack at the start of stoppage time, with City head coach Lee Johnson apoplectic.

Diedhiou had only just missed out on a first half hat-trick, failing by inches to make contact with a superb low ball across the box from Reid.

Bristanbul. Now, let's make sure this is the start of something. pic.twitter.com/LowFoTYldS

February 10, 2018

Joe Bryan sent a curling shot just over from the edge of the box before the half-time whistle provided some breathing space for Chris Coleman's overrun team.

Sunderland began the second half well and Ashley Fletcher saw a well-placed header from Joel Asoro's cross blocked by City skipper Bailey Wright a couple of yards out, before Ovie Ejario fired narrowly over from distance.

Diedhiou had the ball in the net again three minutes before the hour mark, but was judged to have put it there with his hand, rather than his head, by referee James Linington - who showed a yellow card.

But after McGeady's goal Fielding had to make an outstanding double save to deny first substitute Ethan Robson, then Fletcher - the latter looking certain to score when the keeper parried Robson's deflected shot into his path.

Elsewhere in the Championship, Greg Cunningham was sent off in Preston North End's 1-1 draw away to Brentford.

Bees winger Florian Jozefzoon cancelled out Tom Barkhuizen's opener as North End had to see out the final 16 minutes without Cunningham after the left-back saw red for a second bookable challenge on the Brentford goalscorer.

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