With her old man away in Budapest and relying on Pete Sixsmith’s very gratifying texts from the Stadium of Light, it would have been unfatherly to turn down Nathalie Randall‘s offer to write a piece on the match. She follows the style used by ESPN, where Sixer did the honours for the Hull game. Nathalie probably wants a Liverpool win this coming weekend, but she has a soft spot for her dad’s team, too …
Anichebe Stars As Sunderland Win Again
Sunderland gained back-to-back victories with a hard-fought win at home to Hull City, culminating in a clean sheet after three very well taken goals, sandwiched between a floodlight failure which briefly plunged the Stadium of Light into darkness.
Victor Anichebe proved once again the difference as he ran the Hull defence ragged with his magnificent hold up play which must surely give the likes of Jermain Defoe some respite. Defoe has always notoriously profited from the big man – small man combination (his Peter Crouch partnership an example at both Portsmouth and Tottenham) and with a willing runner in Duncan Watmore, the trio front three give Sunderland fans a glimmer of hope of maintaining their Premier League status.
Hull City dominated play until Defoe’s neat goal just after 30 minutes, his 150th in the Premier League moving him into joint 7th in the All Time list. After Defoe’s opportunist goal the game was more finely balanced, with Jordan Pickford making a couple of outstanding saves at crucial times, before Anichebe popped up twice to score in the 2nd half, the first after good work from Patrick van Aanholt, and the second hammering home after a slick pass from Defoe.
The emergence of Anichebe which has completely changed how Sunderland attack in games, with Watmore and Defoe joining in to prove a force up front, with other important players still to come back from injury.
Sunderland still looked shaky at the back at times. Lamine Kone and Papy Djilobodji gave Robert Snodgrass and Dieumerci Mbokani too much time and space. Mbokani should have done better with one such opportunity early in the match after breezing past Djilobodji. Both defenders did improve in the 2nd half but this was marred by Djilobodji’s late red card for an unnecessary lunge.
Manager Rating out of 10 :
7 – Moyes got his tactics correct, going with 4-3-3 which worked efficiently.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating) :
GK Jordan Pickford : 8 — Made crucial saves and had these gone in, could have ensured the game ended in a very different manner.
DF Billy Jones 7 – Another good game, he looked solid and provided a good attacking option down the right.
DF Papy Djilobodji – 6 Shaky first half, much improved 2nd half display which was then ruined by a costly sending off.
DF Lamine Kone – 6 Like Djilobodji, he improved as the game went on but made some unforced errors and needs to show more leadership at the heart of the defence.
DF Patrick van Aanholt – 7 Much improved on recent performances, with an assist to his name and an essential double goal-line clearance.
MF Duncan Watmore, 7 – Another typically energetic performance, linking up well with Defoe and Anichebe, and was unlucky not to get a penalty when he was impeded by the onrushing David Marshall in the Hull goal.
MF Jason Denayer, 7 – Looked comfortable in a new role holding just in front of the defence.
MF Didier Ndong 6 – A willing runner and seemed to enjoy playing alongside Denayer but there is room for much improvement.
MF Paddy McNair 6 – An understated performance but did what was needed.
FW Jermain Defoe, 8 – Scored his 150th Premier League goal in typical fashion, engineering something out of nothing, and also a tidy assist for Anichebe’s 2nd goal. Looks happier with Anichebe alongside him.
FW Victor Anichebe, 9 – Tormented the Hull City back four with his immense strength, holding up the ball well, and fighting for every ball. He was blowing towards the end but still gave his all. Took both his goals well.
John O’Shea, NR – Played his part after replacing Denayer in keeping Hull at bay for the remaining minutes.
Donald Love, NR – Sent on to further protect the defence after an injury to McNair.