Steven Fletcher, just returned from injury, got things started for Sunderland with a strike off a ball from Adam Johnson, but Michel Vorm barely flinched as the shot went wide of his goal. Sunderland then proceeded to retreat back, not getting in another shot until the second half.
Considering the visitors’ reluctance to attack, it was rather surprising that it took more than thirty minutes for Swansea to threaten Sunderland’s goal. But Jonathan De Guzman’s 30 yard free kick went just wide. Minutes later, Keiren Westwood was forced into a save on a shot from Angel Rangel.
Sunderland came out of the dressing room clearly buoyed by Gus Poyet’s halftime talk. Within seconds, Emanuele Giaccherini had worked his way into the area, sending a lovely ball over to Phil Bardsley. But the Sunderland defender somehow managed to screw his shot horribly wide.
Bardsley’s day soon went from bad to worse. Nathan Dyer floated in a corner for Swansea, and Angel Rangel got his head on it. But it was Bardsley, trying to stop the ball from ending up in the back of Westwood’s net, that got the final touch.
Just a minute later, Swansea had their second — and no controversy over who put this one in either. De Guzman needed just one touch off a ball from Wayne Routledge to send in a screamer from 25 yards out. 2-0, and Sunderland were in deep, deep trouble.
It only got worse for the visitors. Craig Gardner, such a hero last time out against Manchester City, sent Leon Britton flying. A clear penalty, judged referee Craig Pawson, and it was Wilfried Bony that stepped up to the spot, putting the ball into the top left corner. Sorry, Sunderland.
The final blow was struck in the 80th minute. Sunderland’s typically awful defending was showcased as Swansea scored again from a corner. It was Chico this time that got on the end of Dyer’s corner, and his header needed no help from Bardsley.
It was a truly dreadful start for Gus Poyet, and it leaves you wondering: will it even be possible for Sunderland to save themselves this season?
Subs: Tremmel, Tiendalli, Canas, Shelvey,
Goals: Bardsley og 57′, de Guzman 58′, Bony 64′, Chico 80′
Sunderland starting XI: Westwood, Celustka, Bardsley, O’Shea, Roberge, Cattermole, Johnson (Borini 61), Larsson, Gardner, Giaccherini (Colback 61), Fletcher (Altidore 82)
Subs: Dossena, Vaughan, Cuellar, Mannone