And it had all been going so well. While Southampton have been far from shabby up front, scoring more than Arsenal and Liverpool so far this season, Sunderland’s defence had been pretty miserly, with just seven goals shipped before this weekend.
Time to change all that.
Maybe Santiago Vergini was feeling inspired after his fellow Argentinian, Sergio Agüero, scored all four for Manchester City against Spurs in Saturday’s early kick-off. Maybe he was pining for the days of Paolo di Canio, when all was chaos and slapstick. Maybe inside him for all his years in the professional game has been a playground Pelé just itching to break out.
This may not be the greatest own-goal of all time (take a bow, Jamie Pollock), but it might be one of the best finishes.
As the ball is flipped up towards the Sunderland defence, there doesn’t seem to be much danger.
It bobbles through to the edge of the box, but if ever there was an opportunity for a Row Z welly, to unleash your inner Peter Kay from the noughties John Smiths adverts, this was surely it. ‘Ave it, wallop it clear, job done, lovely jubbly’.
Not for the cultured sensibilities of Mr Vergini. Wallop? Yes. Clear… not so much. Running smoothly on to the ball, shaping up for the volley, pow. Pick that out, Vito Mannone.
Oh. We’re shooting the other way? Ah.
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