Penalty hero Jordi’s cool for Cats

Jordi Gomez converts his second penalty against Southampton. Picture by Kevin Brady
Jordi Gomez converts his second penalty against Southampton. Picture by Kevin Brady
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JORDI GOMEZ was as “cool as a polar bear’s toe nails” in converting the two penalties which secured Sunderland’s crucial victory over Southampton.

That was the quirky view of Gomez’s midfield colleague, Lee Cattermole, after the Spaniard became the first Sunderland player to score a brace of spot-kicks in a single Premier League encounter.

I just try to score them! I’m there to take them and hopefully I can score a few more!

Jordi Gomez

But the ice-cool Gomez was far more modest over his double display of composure at handling the immense pressure from the spot, in a game when Sunderland realistically needed to take maximum points.

Gomez, who has now converted all four of his penalties in a Sunderland shirt, told the Echo: “I just try to score them!

“I’m there to take them and hopefully I can score a few more!

“Obviously, there’s some pressure, but I’m happy to score the two goals.”

Gomez’s opening penalty – after Danny Graham was clattered by a high-boot from Jose Fonte – looked to have given Sunderland the perfect platform, yet they were pegged back within two minutes following a calamitous mix-up between keeper Costel Pantilimon and Sebastian Coates.

But, unlike in their previous home outing against Crystal Palace, Sunderland remained mentally strong after conceding, with Gomez regaining the advantage 10 minutes into the second half.

The former Wigan man knows the importance of that victory, particularly as only one of Sunderland’s remaining four games is on home turf.

“We scored, then conceded a minute later which was disappointing,” added the 29-year-old, who now has six goals in all competitions to his name this season.

“But we kept going and, in the second half, got the second goal and kept the defence tight until the end.

“Obviously, there was some pressure at the end, but the most important thing was we got the win.

“With two home games, we knew we had to win those games.

“Saturday was the first step. We got the three points and we go on to the next one now.

“Everyone is ready for the challenge.”