Sunderland's beach ball goal deflates Reds
Sunderland scored a freakish winning goal Saturday against Liverpool in the Premier League, in which a shot deflected into the net off a beach ball. The game at the Stadium of Light was only five minutes old when Darren Bent fired a shot toward goal. Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina appeared to have it covered, but the match ball hit a large red beach ball and deflected past him into the net. What made it worse for Liverpool, which lost 1-0 to slip further out of title contention, was that the ball had been thrown on to the field by one of its fans. Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez, whose team lost for the fourth time this season to slip to eighth place, put it down to misfortune. "We didn't play well but we had bad luck," he said. "I didn't see (the deflection off the beach ball). I was surprised because the linesman was there and afterwards they were explaining to me, but you cannot change things. The main thing was for us to improve the performance of the team."