It’s still a long way back to the Premier League for Sunderland, the club whose fall from the top flight to the third tier of English soccer was chronicled in the Netflix documentary Sunderland ’Til I Die.
The Black Cats entered Saturday in seventh place in League One, and with a new club chairman, Kyril Louis-Dreyfus, who, yes, is cousins with Julia Louis-Dreyfus. The first game of Louis-Dreyfus’ chairmanship came at Burton Albion, and the new boss traveled to the West Midlands to see his club.
Perhaps wanting to make a good impression on the new leadership, Sunderland dug into its bag of tricks quickly, scoring the opening goal just six minutes into the game. Aiden McGeady lined up for a free kick, but calmly slid the ball across to Grant Leadbitter, who had feigned disinterest in the play. Even the referee was caught off guard by the ball going past him instead of toward the net, and Leadbitter collected the pass at the top of the box, firing home for his sixth goal of the season and a quick 1-0 lead.
American Lynden Gooch doubled Sunderland’s lead with an impressive goal of his own in the 32nd minute. No trickery, but banged in right off the crossbar.
Could this really be the beginning of a new era for Sunderland?
They still have a lot of work ahead to reach the first division.