West Bromwich Albion Vs Sunderland: Player Ratings

Scott Heavey

After every game we recap and review the performances of each Sunderland player. To find out what we made of today's performers at the Hawthorns then here you go.

Simon Mignolet - 7

Enjoyed a quiet first half despite picking the ball out of the net following Lukaku's spot kick. Showed good hands to pluck a floated freekick out of the air from a crowded penalty area midway through the half. Went on to keep Sunderland in the game in the second half with a string of good saves and was desperately unlucky with West Brom's second goal.

Craig Gardner - 5

Was adjudged to have blocked Ridgewell's cross his his left arm, a debatable decision as how exactly is a footballer supposed to gather momentum to get off the turf and it wasn't as if the Sunderland fullback moved his arm deliberately to block the cross. One off those decisions that annoy when given against you but frustrate when you miss out on a similar decision, as Sunderland seemed to later in the half. Did little of real note in the second half except get further forward than Adam Johnson when he was finally moved back to the right hand side, which doesn't really take much effort.

John O'Shea - 5

Felt aggrieved to have not been awarded a goal having met a near post corner with a downward header early in the first half as Sunderland piled on the pressure. Was forced to endure a constant barrage from Lukaku, along with the rest of the Sunderland defence and will no doubt be licking his wounds in the dressing room.

Titus Bramble - 5

Was booked for a cynical/professional foul in the first half as Shane Long looked to have skipped past the sizable central defender. Rather than go into the second half treading carefully on thin ice the central defender seemed to stomp his way through the opening minutes and was lucky to be on the pitch following a foul on Shane Long. Following that it was standard Bramble, made a fantastic goal saving clearance one minute before failing to punt a routine clearance into the stand the next, electing to opt for a ridiculous back pass, which was never on, and led to West Brom's second goal.

Jack Colback - 5

Fairly quiet game from Jack, did little wrong and offered little going forward until the final moments when his cross to the back post would eventually create a last-gasp chance for the side.

Alfred N'Diaye - 6

Started the game really well and was at the heart of Sunderland's early dominance, especially his early surge and cross from the right wing. Put a fantastic ball into the area from the left wing in the second half, something Adam Johnson seemed unable to manage, which nearly fell perfectly to Danny Graham. Would later disappointingly screw a cross from the right side high into the stand behind the goal when there were a number of options to pick out in the box.

Seb Larsson - 4

Quite why O'Neill persists with Larsson in the middle is beyond me. Looked well out of his depth against West Brom's powerhouse of a midfield. Lost possession a number of times in the second half, one of which led to a good chance for Lukaku, surprise surprise, which Mignolet had to do well to push away. I know Sunderland are desperately missing their captain in the middle of the park but if Larsson is the solution to that problem then I am really, really worried.

Stephane Sessegnon - 7

Sessegnon put in a standard Sess-esq performance in the first half where he looked like he may be able to unlock the West Brom defence but more often than not slowed down proceedings by putting his foot on the ball. The second half however was a different story all together as O'Neill seemed to let him of the leash. If Sunderland were to get anything from the game it looked like Sessegnon would be the source and his persistence finally paid off as he picked up a loose ball in the Baggies box and deftly fired it home.

Adam Johnson - 5

Struggled to get into the game on the left hand side of the pitch. Did manage to skip into the area just before the first half came to a close and his driven effort across goal seemed to strike the arm of McAuley, nothing given by the officials although it would have been hard to spot and in fairness the Baggies' players arm was by his side. Apart from that it was another disappointing performance from a player we, quite rightly, expect a lot more from.

Steven Fletcher - 6

Was unlucky not to open the scoring when his deft, left footed caress of the football following some nice buildup play on the edge of the area with Graham came back of the foot of the post. Other than that it was a frustrating afternoon for the forward as Sunderland failed to create enough for their forwards.

Danny Graham - 6

Starved of service at times during the first half but did show good awareness and a nice touch to set up Steven Fletcher for his early chance which struck the post. Was unfortunate not to connect better with N'Diaye's cross in the second half and was inches away from following up on a David Vaughan shot before Ben Foster rescued his side and gathered the loose ball.

James McClean - 6

Showed more desire and drive on the left hand side during his cameo than Adam Johnson managed all afternoon. His jinking run and cross just after coming on led to Sessegnon's goal. Almostbagged his side a draw as he smashed a late half-chance over the bar. Certainly gave his manager something to think about.

David Vaughan - 5

Did relatively OK following his introduction to the game and managed to force a save out of Foster which almost lead to a goal with Danny Graham unlucky not to latch onto the rebound. Worth a shot in the middle going forward? Can't do any worse than Larsson.

Man of the Match - Stephane Sessegnon

While any Sunderland player was nothing more than a sideshow in today's Romelu Lukaku Show, Stephane Sessegnon seemed the most likely player in a red and white shirt to make something happen, especially in the second half. Deserved his goal for his efforts.

Simon Mignolet came a very close runner-up to this prestigious award with a string of second half saves to keep his side in the game.

Toss a coin and decide yourself.

Over the weekend we'll have more reaction from the game so keep checking back into our Match Stream, HERE.

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