Sunderland defender Bryan Oviedo highlights key element of defeat to Everton

Sunderland left-back Bryan Oviedo says that the spirit in the squad remains high '“ despite Saturday's defeat at Everton leaving them rooted to the foot of the Premier League table.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 27 February, 2017, 07:00
Oviedo is set to become Sunderland's first-choice left-back

Sunderland left-back Bryan Oviedo admits that Seamus Coleman made for a difficult opponent at Goodison Park.

The Republic of Ireland international laid on the assist for Everton’s opening goal in their 2-0 victory on Saturday, racing to the byline and crossing low for Idrissa Gana Gueye to sweep home from the edge of the area.

Coleman was in superb form throughout the game, continuously raiding in behind Sunderland’s left flank.

He may have had more assists had his touch not failed him on a couple of occasions in the second half.

It made for a busy afternoon for Costa Rican left-back Oviedo, who, for years, played opposite him in the Everton side, and it was one, for the large part, that he managed well.

Coleman found that space for the opener after Oviedo was forced inside to cover his centre-halves.

Oviedo felt the platform built by Everton’s midfield, with youngster Tom Davies superb, and the quality of their distribution was a key part of the game.

He told the Echo: “It’s difficult to play against him (Coleman), especially when Everton play very well on that side.

“Every time they give the ball to him alone, they played very good passes to him. The way Seamus plays really helped them – they had the ball all the time and got it to him.

“I need to be ready for the next game because Man City is a very tough game.”

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Indeed it is, with Oviedo fully aware of the threat he will face from the wide areas again this Sunday.

Manchester City are resurgent and the key to that has been excellent performers from Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling, capable of beating players, scoring and assisting both on the inside or the outside.

Oviedo will need to impress again and won praise from team-mate Jermain Defoe for his attempts to stop Everton’s killer second goal at Goodison.

Moments after Defoe hit the bar with a fine effort for Sunderland, Everton broke from the resulting corner and the left-back almost pulled off an outstanding recovery to prevent Romelu Lukaku from scoring.

Defoe told “Sometimes, when you hit the crossbar, you have that little bit of luck and it will drop down to one of our players and they will pass it in, but this time it just bounced a little bit too high for Fabio.

“And then, from the corner, they broke and then they had that bit of luck, because Bryan did so well when Lukaku was trying to use his strength and lean into him, and when he did get a nick on the ball it has kind of ricocheted in off him.

Attention now turns to Sunday’s home clash with Manchester City (4pm kick-off) and Defoe believes that the Black Cats’ defensive efforts will be key.

He said: “First and foremost, we have to be solid because, while City are a top team, I believe that we can create something and score goals.

“It’s important that when we do create chances, that we take them.”