How they rated: Sunderland stars’ merit marks in derby victory

editorial image

SUNDERLAND reporter Chris Young gives his verdict after the Black Cats’ fifth successive derby victory over Newcastle United.

Pantilimon 7 - Only one save to make, but did it comfortably to deny Cabella. Importantly came and claimed a last-second corner.

Jones 8 - First start since January, but was excellent. Got forwards well and repeatedly nicked possession away.

O’Shea 7 - Started the game nervily, but restricted Newcastle to just one clear-cut opportunity.

Vergini 7 - Like O’Shea was a few nerves early on, but grew into the game as it went on.

Van Aanholt 9 - Constant attacking threat during the second half. Took advantage of Newcastle’s non-existent offensive bite.

Cattermole 8 - Utterly dominated the middle of the park. Sunderland won every 50-50 ball in there.

Larsson 8 - Ditto to Cattermole. Represented the greater will to win, pressing and bite in Sunderland’s ranks.

Gomez 8 - His best game in red and white. Won tackles, got up and down the pitch and passed the ball well.

Wickham 8 - Never stopped working and exploited the vulnerability in both full-back slots.

DEFOE 9 - One moment, one very special goal. Contender for the best derby strike in history. (Johnson 6 - Not involved enough to continue his stellar record against Newcastle).

Fletcher 8 - Led the line brilliantly in the first half, but got sloppy after the break and spurned a couple of chances to seal it.