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Wednesday, February 8, 2012
O'Neill: We deserved it

ESPNsoccernet staff

Martin O'Neill said he felt Sunderland were deserving winners after they beat Middlesbrough 2-1 after extra-time in their FA Cup fourth-round replay.

• Middlesbrough 1-2 Sunderland

Sunderland took a 42nd-minute lead through Jack Colback's fine left-foot strike, but Lukas Jutkiewicz first Boro goal took the tie beyond 90 minutes.

It was left to Stephane Sessegnon to fire the Black Cats into the fifth round on 113 minutes and, though it could easily have ended in a penalty shootout, O'Neill feels the win was fully deserved.

"I thought we were the better all-round football team and I'm delighted that we won the game," O'Neill said. "It's a fantastic effort by the players. I thought they did exceptionally well.

"I thought we were comfortable when we conceded the goal and in a thrilling cup tie we're through."

He added: "In extra time there were very few chances created but we popped up and scored a great goal. At that point we might have resigned ourselves to penalties with just a few minutes to go.

"The important thing at that stage was not to concede and then Stephane popped up to score. It was a great move, the way the ball fell, and he did well to put it in the back of the net."

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