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On eighty minutes Todd found Baxter who once again fed the lively Mulhall with a lovely, weighted pass.
Todd and Harvey (who had just been placed on the transfer list prior to the game at his request) played superbly, timing tackles, and finding their team mates with passes out of defence and Cecil Irwin had a stormer raiding forward down his wing to create several good opportunities. After skipping over Ederson's challenge, he teed up Fernandes who put the recycled effort over the bar. United: Onana; Dalot, Evans, Maguire, Lindelof (Reguilon 74); Fernandes, Amrabat (Mount 46), McTominay, Eriksen (Antony 86); Hojlund (Garnacho 74), Rashford (Martial 86).Josie has been listening to Alix’s podcasts and thinks she might be an interesting subject for her series. The season seemed primed to take off from this point, and we followed this result up with a scintillating 4-1 victory at Roker Park over Sheffield United with Baxter and Martin once more to the fore.
At the other end, Haaland was eyeing up a hat-trick just a couple of minutes later, but was denied by Onana who was quick to pounce when the ball was played through and put his body on the line to save the strike. With a tide to turn, United again came out positively and a short corner from Marcus Rashford allowed Fernandes to unleash and effort on goal but Ederson was equal to it. Jim Baxter was involved in a typical piece of “shithousery” when he easily beat John Craggs and the full back came back at him attempting to amputate him at the kneecaps.
The Reds kicked off with a chorus of “there’s only one Bobby Charlton” still ringing around the Theatre of Dreams, following a minute of applause as part of our pre-match commemorations of one of the game's true legends. With Baxter and Herd dominant in midfield, and George “bullet” Mulhall giving Burnopfield teenager John Craggs the run-around on his wing, Sunderland looked like they were going to pick up where they had left off against Stoke in midweek. Sunderland had not won at St James’ since Charlie Flemming had scored a brace in a 2-1 victory in 1955.
I could hardly contain myself and waved my scarf and cheered like there was no tomorrow at the end of the game. A brace by Erling Haaland either side of half-time, followed by a Phil Foden tap-in, created by the Norwegian, settled the derby in the pouring rain. Josie’s life appears to be strange and complicated, and although Alix finds her unsettling, she can’t quite resist the temptation to keep making the podcast.
I vividly remember half-time in this game and chatting to two brothers who were on the fence beside me.