Montpellier 1-1 Sunderland: Injuries leave David Moyes frustrated

The Black Cats lost their 100 per cent record but remain unbeaten in pre-season.

Montpellier 1-1 Sunderland: Injuries leave David Moyes frustrated
Injuries add to the already heache Moyes has. | Photo: Sunderland Echo
Montpellier HSC
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Montpellier HSC: Jourdren, Vanden Bourre (Deplagne 46), Congre, Hilton, Rousillon (Remy 36, (Fito 82)), Skhiri, Sanson (Saihi 46), Boudebouz, Mounie, Camara (Marveaux 82), Ninga.
Sunderland: Mannone, Jones (Larsson 31), Kone, Kaboul (O’Shea 72), T Robson, Kirchhoff (N’Zogbia 25), Cattermole (E Robson 84), Watmore (Gooch 66), Khazri (J Robson 72), Lens (Asoro 66), Borini.
SCORE: 1-0, 43, Borini. 1-1, 68, Camara

Sunderland completed their pre-season tour in France with a 1-1 draw against Ligue 1 side Montpellier HSC in Aix-les-Bains.

The main thing for David Moyes to take from the game though was a big push to get a move on negotiating deals to bring in cover in his squad.

With Jermain Defoe already out with an injury, Patrick van Aanholt benched due to a groin problem and Jack Rodwell missing due to a dead leg; Jan Kirchhoff and Billy Jones also left this game prematurely.

Injury causing problems

Fabio Borini gave Sunderland the lead just before the half-time break against the top flight French side at the Stade Jacques Forestier, but Souleymane Camara leveled midway through the second half.

Wahbi Khazri volleyed miles over the bar after a defender could only head Jones' cross up into the air inside the box early, while Jeremain Lens also missed a golden opportunity from a tight angle.

Geoffrey Jourdren's brilliant save denied Borini after Duncan Watmore lifted the ball over the defence for the Italian too. He worked the space for a short but saw his effort pushed wide of the post.

There was then about a 25-minute period where nothing much happened until the departures of first Kirchhoff and then Jones.

The injuries changed the course of the game as Montpellier saw plenty of the ball in the closing stages of the first-half. Their best chance came when Ryad Boudebouz cut inside in from the left and hit a powerful shot goalwards, Vito Mannone forced to move swiftly to push his effort wide of the post.

Finished with style

Borini finally broke the deadlock a couple of minutes before the break. He raced to gain possession of the ball from Lee Cattermole and broke clear of the Montpellier defence, slotting a low shot beyond Jourdren and into the bottom right corner.

Sunderland were ahead going into the break, but injuries are more important than the scoreline. It is a nightmare for Moyes with both Kirchhoff and Jones coming off after picking up knocks, which ended their game early. Sunderland's search for a right-back has just become more urgent than ever.

There were no changes for Sunderland going into the second-half, but Montpellier took the game to the Black Cats as the Lads struggled to make any progress going forward.

Sunderland were to be caught ball-watching at the back too and conceded an equaliser. Boudebouz helped the ball into the path of Camara, who was just inside the area on the right as he rifled a low volley past Mannone into the bottom left-hand corner, leveling the score.

Borini successful aimed for the net | photo: Sky sports
Borini successfully finds the net. | Photo: Sky Sports

Settled for a draw

Borini had a chance to restore Sunderland's lead as he stretched to reach the ball inside the box, but Jourdren just got enough of a block on the ball to allow one of his defenders to get back and clear the ball in front of goal.

Sunderland’s 100 per cent record has come to an end then, but with four wins, a draw, and two clean sheets, the Black Cats remain unbeaten going into their final pre-season game against Borussia Dortmund.

However, the injury concerns will be the main priority for Moyes now ahead of the new season.