Player Ratings : Sunderland
Time to look into the individual performances at a surprisingly simple game despite the lack of optimism going into the game at the Stadium of Light…
Lee Grant : 7
Not a chance with the goal, made a couple of decent saves, clash with Indi when he spilt the ball could’ve ended worse but overall just your average goal keeper performance.
Glen Johnson : 8
Worked well with Shaqiri and a put a few threatening balls in towards Crouch, Larsson didn’t trouble him, solid performance.
Ryan Shawcross : 7
Won every last ball in the air, few good tackles especially in the first half when the rebound was falling straight into Defoe’s path. Him and Indi split in half for the Defoe goal and gave away possession by launching the ball long towards Shaqiri and Allen when the shorter option was better at times.
Bruno Martins Indi : 7
Very similar to Shawcross, should have been doing better to prevent Defoe running straight down the middle of him and his fellow centre half. Nevertheless a very comfortable performance with nothing troubling him too much and looked at home with the ball at his feet.
Eric Pieters : 8
Definitely one of Eric’s better performances of late, coped well with the threat of Van Aanholt and Januzaj, supported Arnie well, still some sloppy balls at times. Also an A* for time-wasting.
Glenn Whelan : 8
Another who’s performance was better, apart from his usual questionable passes at times, was at ease dealing with whatever Sunderland threw at us.
Charlie Adam : 7
Started with his signature stupidly late challenge and lucky to get away with it. Yet one of the better players on the pitch in the first half, lovely ball into Arnie for his first and a perfect ball into Crouch for our third. Came out for the second half, lost the ball multiple times and ended with an even more stupid late challenge in a dangerous area. Unlucky not to score with his free kick but let himself down in the second half.
Joe Allen : 8
Covered every blade of grass again, so good on the ball and off but he is definitely not a number 10 (Don’t sell Bojan), took full advantage of Denayer who was absolutely useless.
Xherdan Shaqiri : 7
Not his best performance, not his worst. Linked up with Arnie well but was reluctant to take on his man at times, nothing more or less than average. Oh and his corners need a lot of work. Although you have to mention that he played a role in our phenomenal second goal and was unlucky not to score from Mannone’s spillage.
Peter Crouch : 8
Caused a meltdown on Stoke Twitter by signing a contract this week but he showed exactly why he was worthy of that contract today. With balls actually going into the box he was winning 99% of them, lovely flick ons, fantastic control when taking the ball down and took his goal very well rising above the goalkeeper with ease, also played a notable part in the second.
Marko Arnautovic : 9
Absolute quality. For the first, his control was excellent and the finish was fantastic. As for the second, an absolutely magical run with a couple of one two’s and another fantastic finish. Best player on the pitch by a mile, ripped poor Donald Love to shreds.
Ibrahim Afellay : 8
Unlucky not to start, controlled the pace of the game when he came on for the final 25 minutes.
Julien N’Goy : 6
Can’t judge him too much for the 5 minutes he played, made some great runs and linked up well. Huge future ahead of him and would love to see him start.
Well that’s it, be sure to let me know if I was harsh or lenient on some players, it is always interesting to see what you lot would’ve said. That’s my Bear Pit virginity taken.
By Glenn Urwin
Trackback from your site.