WTTGT Writer: David McManus
After coming agonisingly close in previous weeks, Nicklas Bendtner is finally off the mark in a red and white striped shirt.
Despite Sunderland’s collapse only five minutes into the match against West Brom, Bendtner almost single-handedly clawed the Black Cats level with a goal and an assist to his name.
His first you might say had a stroke of fortune about it, but who’s complaining? Not anybody on Wearside, that’s for sure.
A neat move from Sunderland finished with a superbly timed back heel from Sebastian Larsson inside the West Brom box, falling right on queue for Bendtner to drive into the net.
It took a slight deflection on its way in off Albion’s Gareth McAuley, but Bendtner will claim it.
Then, remarkably, just moments later, the Wearsiders were level. I say remarkably because not one person in the stadium expected a comeback after the opening five minutes – let alone after Sunderland’s form so far this season.
And again it was Bendtner who played a huge role in the equaliser.
From the left-hand side the Dane showed excellent composure, before floating a curling cross that Ahmed Elohamedy headed past Ben Foster.
However, it wasn’t just Bendtner’s play in front of goal that caught the eye of the Sunderland crowd.
His hold up play and link up play were yet again quality – quality that Sunderland fans haven’t seen for a long time – arguably since Niall Quinn, another ex-Gooner.
The downside is, of course, that Bendtner will not be allowed to carry his man of the match performance into Sunderland’s next match – away to who else, but the Gunners.
It’s a massive kick in the teeth for Sunderland who will go into the match at the Emirates with only two recognised strikers – neither of which have experience in the Premier League.
Bendtner nets his first goal for Sunderland:
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