Darren Bent finally did his talking on the pitch with a superb debut goal to hand Sunderland a 1-0 victory over Barclays Premier League rivals Bolton.

The £10million signing from Tottenham dispatched Steed Malbranque's cross with a brilliant far-post header in the fifth minute to give new Black Cats boss Steve Bruce a winning start to his reign.

Having been granted his wish - expressed on Twitter - to move to Wearside, the England international looked well and truly at home in the red and white of Sunderland. Dovetailing effectively with Kenwyne Jones throughout, Bent's pace was a constant threat to the Bolton backline and he was unlucky not to add to his tally.

Debutant Lee Cattermole seemed to cover every blade of grass for the visitors and twice within the space of as many minutes Sunderland could have scored.

In the 20th minute Bent and Malbranque combined to send Kieren Richardson clear through on goal but goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen raced off his line to parry the midfielder's left-foot shot from 14 yards.

Sunderland pressed again moments later when a vicious low cross from Richardson found Bent at the far post and he swivelled before shooting just wide of the far post.

Jones then headed over from 12 yards out and in the 25th minute Bent played a delightful one-two with Malbranque before drawing another fine save from Jaaskelainen.

In the 40th minute, Bent raced onto a lofted pass from Richardson and clipped the ball over Jaaskelainen but just wide of the post as Bolton breathed again.

Sunderland goalkeeper Marton Fulop was finally tested on the stroke of half-time when Matt Taylor's inswinging corner was headed goalwards by Gary Cahill, but his close-range header was repelled.

In the 68th minute Johan Elmander drilled a wicked cross-shot just wide - and Fulop emerged the hero in injury-time when Sean Davis drove goalwards from 14 yards but saw the goalkeeper deny him with a brilliant parried save.

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Topics:
Tottenham Hotspur
Sunderland
Sean Davis
Marton Fulop
Football
Jussi Jaaskelainen
Bolton Wanderers
Lee Cattermole
Matt Taylor
Kenwyne Jones
Premier League
Steve Bruce
Johan Elmander
Steed Malbranque
Gary Cahill
Darren Bent