THAT was for Sunderland, not for Liverpool.
Those were the thoughts of Fabio Borini after his match-winning penalty at former club Chelsea unexpectedly thrust the Black Cats back into the race to remain in the Premier League.
Borini’s seventh goal of his Sunderland spell moved Gus Poyet’s side within three points of safety, with a game in hand, and with Stadium of Light fixtures to come against fellow strugglers Cardiff, West Brom and Swansea, there is suddenly fresh hope in the survival battle.
But the on-loan Liverpool frontman’s spot-kick also swung the title race firmly in his parent club’s favour, with the Merseysiders now five points clear at the Premier League summit.
Borini’s mobile phone barely stopped vibrating during a lengthy round of post-match interviews at Stamford Bridge on Saturday night, with messages of congratulations from Liverpool fans and team-mates pouring in.
But the Italian says giving Sunderland a chance of beating the drop was far more important to him than putting a major dent in Chelsea’s title aspirations.
“I thought only about Sunderland because this is the shirt that I’m wearing now,” said Borini.
“It’s very important for the club, for us and for me.
“I had lots of tweets from Liverpool fans asking for a favour.
“But it’s more for Sunderland than for them.”
Borini’s showed ice-cool composure from the spot with eight minutes to go after Connor Wickham’s third goal in two games had cancelled out Samuel Eto’o’s opener for Chelsea.
As in last Wednesday’s draw at Manchester City, Sunderland were doggedly determined, despite their precarious predicament at the foot of the table, and came away with their first Premier League victory since the Tyne-Wear derby on February 1.
“It was a very good team performance and we had to do that,” added 23-year-old Borini.
“We showed character, always believed and attacked when we could.
“We could have gone away from Manchester with three points, but we got three at Chelsea when nobody expected us to get anything.
“They are really, really good results.
“These two games have given us belief, like we always had, to stay up.
“It’s a big result, a big confidence boost for us.
“Chelsea were up for the league and we are up for the relegation battle.
“But we showed we have great character and great belief in this target.”