ASAMOAH Gyan believes his ninth goal of the season was proof that he already has a fluid understanding with Sunderland new boy Sulley Muntari.
On-loan Inter Milan midfielder Muntari made an impressive debut at Stoke City on Saturday despite the Black Cats going down to Robert Huth’s stoppage time winner.
Gyan had previously played alongside Muntari both for Ghana and in Italy at Udinese and helped to convince the ex-Portsmouth man to move to the Stadium of Light until the end of the season.
Their familiarity was evident in Sunderland’s second goal as Gyan collected Muntari’s perfectly weighted ball forward, outmuscled Huth and fired low into the net.
Gyan said: “I know Sulley well. I’ve played with him for eight years and even before he came here, I knew exactly what he was capable of doing.
“Every time he’s on the ball, I know what he’s going to do. I just took advantage of that for my goal.
“I first played with him eight years ago in 2003.
“We didn’t know each other as schoolboys, but we started playing together as fairly young players in the national team.”
Despite Gyan and Muntari’s threat going forward, Sunderland were undone by their inability to defend properly from set-pieces at the other end of the pitch.
Gyan admits Sunderland struggled to cope with Stoke’s route one approach despite receiving plenty of warning from boss Steve Bruce.
“The manager showed us a video of their set-pieces. Every manager does,” he said.
“You look at the other team and the way you can handle them.
“We knew they were going to do what they did.
“That is football, that is their type of play.
“We were in control of the game, especially in the second half, but they came back strongly.
“I think we were better than them, but they beat us with their qualities.
“We couldn’t handle what they’d got and we’re disappointed about that.
“They took advantage of the fact we couldn’t handle their style.”