New manager Rafael Benitez will take an excellent record against Sunderland into his first home match in charge of Newcastle United next Sunday.
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.
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.