Blogs & Opinion


Ray Wilkins:

Most Popular Posts:

Opinion Archive:

Cardiff 2-2 Sunderland: Ray Wilkins says home side retreated too far

Ray Wilkins - Ray Wilkins Posted 28th December 2013 view comments

Ray Wilkins said Cardiff's retreat into "the suicide zone" allowed Sunderland to snatch an unlikely point on Saturday.

Goals from Jordon Mutch and Fraizer Campbell had put the home side in total control in their first game since the sacking of Malky Mackay, but they were undone by a late strike from Steven Fletcher and an equaliser from Jack Colback deep into stoppage time.

Colback: late strike rescued point for Sunderland

Colback: late strike rescued point for Sunderland

Wilkins said that Sunderland's fightback was thrilling for spectators and showed the spirit of Premier League football at its best, but felt Cardiff dropped too deep as they tried to protect their two-goal lead and will be frustrated to have thrown away what appeared to be a certain victory.

"Cardiff will be very saddened by the way they have let them back in the game because they were in total command," he told Saturday Night Football.

This is why this is the best game on the planet and the best league on the planet as well - because this can happen in the Premier League.

Ray Wilkins
Quotes of the week

"This is why this is the best game on the planet and the best league on the planet as well - because this can happen in the Premier League. In other leagues in the world it doesn't happen, but we have excitement right the way through to the end.

"Fair credit to Sunderland, they had to roll their sleeves up late on in the game and get themselves back into it.

"Cardiff had so much of the game, but the mentality of players is very funny. All of a sudden they started dropping back, but it's not a safety zone, it's a suicide zone when you keep going back there because you allow the opposition to come onto you.

"If only they had played as they did in the first half - but it takes a bit of confidence and guts to get on the ball when things aren't quite going your way."

Sunderland missed the chance to climb out of the relegation zone and remain bottom of the table, but Wilkins says their manager Gus Poyet will be happy with the draw.

He said Sunderland deserved nothing for their general play, but paid tribute to their fighting spirit.

"Gus Poyet got out of jail this afternoon," Wilkins added.

"They did put in a massive effort and if you deserve a point for massive effort then, yes, they deserve a point but I thought in the first half they were totally outplayed and even for large periods of the second half as well.

"It was the last knockings of the match where they really came into it and started to put Cardiff under a bit of pressure. I think Gus will realise deep down that he was quite fortunate today."

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Latest News RSS feeds

Sociedad draw on Moyes debut

Real Sociedad earned a 0-0 draw against Deportivo La Coruna in David Moyes’ first match in charge of the team.

Premier League round-up

Manchester United climbed into the top four in the Premier League with a 2-1 victory at Arsenal.

United punish wasteful Arsenal

Manchester United hit Arsenal on the break at the Emirates to earn a 2-1 win - their first away victory of the season.

Souness: Arsenal so vulnerable

Man Utd exploited Arsenal’s vulnerability to counter-attacks to score a crucial win, says Graeme Souness.

Messi sets goalscoring record

Lionel Messi has set a new La Liga goalscoring record after netting a hat-trick in Barcelona’s 5-1 win over Sevilla.

Features

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard's form at 34 sees him making fewer goals, tackles, interceptions and runs

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard's form at 34 sees him making fewer goals, tackles, interceptions and runs

Last November, Steven Gerrard spent this international week captaining England to a Wembley defeat against Germany. A year earlier there was the 4-2 reverse in Sweden as Zlatan Ibrahimovic had his wicked way with Ryan Shawcross and the rest. Maybe Gerrard wasn’t missing it too much.

Premier League: Liverpool still struggling to learn the lessons from their 3-3 draw with Crystal Palace in May

Premier League: Liverpool still struggling to learn the lessons from their 3-3 draw with Crystal Palace in May

If Liverpool’s limp attempts to claw their way back onto level terms against Chelsea saw them sleepwalking to second spot, the implosion at Selhurst Park was the moment they woke from the dream.

Hull v Tottenham: Three Tigers players fired up to face former side Spurs on Super Sunday

Hull v Tottenham: Three Tigers players fired up to face former side Spurs on Super Sunday

Tottenham will come up against three familiar faces – and three men with a point to prove – when they head to Hull on Super Sunday.