Pete Sixsmith was called upon again by The Observer to sum up a Sunderland game. What a pity they didn’t ask last week …
THE FANS’ PLAYER RATINGS AND VERDICT
Pete Sixsmith, SalutSunderland.com All the beachballs on Scarborough beach would have been needed for us to get anything here. Our inability to beat some of the grittier teams is worrying. City dug in, denied us space and deserved their win. Our midfield never had control and Cattermole was badly missed. Bent should have equalised when we had them on the back foot near the end, but it would have been a point stolen rather than gained. Steve Bruce needs to look at how we approach games like this.
The fan’s player ratings Gordon 8; Bardsley 7, Turner 6, Ferdinand 6, Richardson 6; Malbranque 6 (Campbell 68 6), Cana 6 (Zenden 68 6), Henderson 6 (McCartney 68 7), Reid 7; Jones 6, Bent 6
Paul Rivers, Observer reader It was a deserved win. Sunderland started well, but after the first 10 minutes we pretty much bossed it. Ferguson was the key – he played as sweeper in front of the back four and cleaned everything up. It also made a huge difference playing with two up front; Benitez makes such a nuisance of himself and he linked up very well with Jerome. Steve Bruce got a good reception from the Birmingham fans, while our new owner Carson Yeung must think it’s like this every week!
The fan’s player ratings Hart 5; Carr 7, Ridgewell 8, Johnson 8, Dann 7; McFadden 8 (O’Connor 76 n/a), Ferguson 8, Bowyer 7, Larsson 8 (Carsley 84 n/a); Jerome 7 (McSheffrey 76 n/a), Benítez 9