In 10 Premier League matches as manager facing the Black Cats, Benitez has overseen nine victories and a single defeat, to Darren Bent’s unforgettable “beachball” winner when Sunderland beat Liverpool in October 2009.
Sunderland have only managed to score two further goals against a Benitez side, both coming during his brief reign at Chelsea – going down 3-1 at home and 2-1 away, when a Cesar Azpilicueta own goal gave Paolo Di Canio the first strike of his Sunderland reign.
While at Liverpool, Benitez won seven games out of eight against Sunderland.
The Reds won 1-0 (home) and 2-0 (away) in 2005/06, 3-0 and 2-0 in 2007/08, 2-0 and 1-0 in 2008/09 and triumphed 3-0 at Anfield in 2009/10, avenging the earlier “beachball” defeat.
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In all, Benitez teams have scored 19 goals in 10 matches against the Wearsiders, conceding three times.
Benitez also had a good record in derbies as manager of Liverpool in his reign from 2004-2010, with eight wins against Everton in 12 Premier League meetings, with two draws and two defeats. Liverpool scored 15 goals in those games, conceding just nine.