On 17 October 2009, Sunderland defeated Liverpool 1-0 with a little help from a beach ball.
Playing before a crowd of 47,327 at Sunderland's Stadium of Light, striker Darren Bent's 5th-minute shot hit a beach ball that had been thrown onto the pitch (presumably by a Reds supporter, as the ball bore the Liverpool crest). As goalkeeper Pepe Reina followed the beach ball to his right, the football flew past him on the left and into the net. Although the laws of the game suggested that referee Mike Jones should have disallowed the goal in favor of a dropped ball at the site of the deflection, he let the score stand.
Liverpool struggled to mount a comeback, playing without injured skipper Steven Gerrard and forward Fernando Torres. Their attack was reduced to a handful of long-range chances, while Bent came the closest to adding to the scoreline on a couple of opportunties. With seven minutes of added time in the second half, Sunderland keeper Craig Gordon twice denied shots for Dirk Kuyt and David Ngog to preserve the win.