Player ratings - Sunderland 2 Southampton 1

Danny Graham
Danny Graham

SUNDERLAND reporter Chris Young gives his verdict on the players after the Black Cats’ crucial victory over Southampton.

Pantilimon 6 - Calamitous lack of communication with Coates gifted Southampton an equaliser. But made amends with a crucial block in stoppage time to prevent a last-gasp leveller.

Jones 6 - As against Stoke, got forwards regularly, but got caught out on a few occasions during the first half where he was forced to commit fouls.

Coates 6 - Kept Pelle effectively subdued, but has to take some blame for Southampton’s equaliser and was fortunate to get away with an awful pass to Djuricic early in the second half.

O’Shea 7 - Put his head in where it hurts, but paid the price by coming off early, ending his record of playing in every minute of every game this season. (Vergini 5 - Looked a bundle of nerves and almost gifted Southampton a last-gasp equaliser with his failure to clear his lines.)

Van Aanholt 6 - Dangerous as an attacking threat, but positionally all over the place and fortunate that Southampton didn’t exploit it more.

Cattermole 8 - A leader’s display of commitment in the middle of the park, with an excellent tackle and through-ball in the build-up to the second penalty.

Larsson 7 - Showed what a miss he was during the previous two games by doing the ugly stuff in the middle of the park. (Rodwell 6 - Injected some fresh energy and came close to sealing it with a shot against the outside of the post).

Gomez 8 - Two immense displays of composure from the penalty spot, but his performances overall continue to be much-improved under Advocaat.

Wickham 7 - Had a glorious chance to regain the lead just before half-time, but gave Clyne a difficult afternoon with his regular charging runs inside.

Defoe 6 - Won the decisive penalty which saw Ward-Prowse sent off, but he was fortunate after an awful first touch to Graham’s pull-back. Was far from the only occasion when his control let him down. (Johnson 6 - Helped to relieve the pressure in the dying stages).

GRAHAM 9 - Only thing missing for him was a goal, but was committed, hungry and bullied the Southampton back four. Rightly saluted by supporters at the final whistle.

SOUTHAMPTON: K Davis 6, Clyne 6, Yoshida 5, Fonte 6, Bertrand 7, Alderweireld 6, Wanyama 6 (S Davis 7), Ward-Prowse 5, Long 5 (Djuricic 6), Mane 7 (Elia 6), Pelle 6