THE OBSERVER (John Wilford)
“Bent and Murphy sink sorry Black Cats”
Charlton shrugged off the loss of Darren Ambrose, sent off early in the second half, to beat a Sunderland side that began brightly but ran out of ideas as the game progressed.
Charlton looked the more assured in attack
Try as they might, Sunderland could not make an impression or take advantage of the extra man.
SUNDAY TELEGRAPH (Les Ward)
“Charlton snuff out Sunderland”
Sunderland under McCarthy are not a team that starts well. Charlton under Alan Curbishley are.
The trio’s pace frightened the life out of a back four whose personnel has not changed since promotion. McCarthy will hope that it was rust rather than a lack of quality which presented the visitors with the chances to have carved out a more telling lead.
Somehow Sunderland fashioned an equaliser, created by a touch of brilliance from Andy Welsh on the left. It was still not enough to provide a springboard for the home side.
SUNDAY TIMES (Peter Mitchell)
“Bent double lifts Charlton”
Darren Bent’s double helped to earn 10-man Charlton a deserved success and provided early indications of where both clubs could be heading this season.
Sunderland, on the other hand, look destined for a season of strife. The lack of creativity in their midfield stood in marked contrast to the dynamism of Danny Murphy and Alexei Smertin in the opposition ranks, while the Black Cats’ failure to carve out a single chance after Darren Ambrose’s dismissal underlined the paucity of the home side’s attack.
Julio Arca went close to restoring parity after a trademark surge down the left flank but, as if to underline Charlton’s superiority, Bent caressed a third past Davis in stoppage time after galloping clear of a stationary Sunderland defence.
“Darren double delight”
Bent opened the scoring on 11 minutes with a clinical finish before hammering the final nail in the Black Cats’ coffin in stoppage time.
The visitors made the perfect start through Bent but wasted a host of chances to kill-off the home side before the interval.
The result ended Charlton’s nine-match winless streak while Sunderland have now suffered 16 straight defeats in the top flight and are without a win since 2003.
“Dazzler Bent is heaven sent”
Charlton had the vision and good sense to look to the Championship when they wanted a forward in the summer. Bent started the repayments yesterday in a display that oozed class and promised much. How Mick McCarthy must rue the decision not to raise his own summer offer from just under £2 million.
Bent’s pace, however, was a problem the Sunderland defence could not sort out and his finishing was equally emphatic.
…a display that served as a timely reminder of the gulf that exists between the top two divisions in England.
There was precious little from McCarthy’s side, save for a Gray header from six yards. Sunderland could not stem the tide.