Southampton Vs Sunderland: Player Ratings

Clive Rose

Here's how we rated the performances of all those who donned a Sunderland shirt today.

Keiren Westwood - 8

Again left exposed by his defence on a set piece, but unlike against Fulham, he had other saves to make this week. One or two excellent stops as well as a few well positioned catches from headers mean Westwood can be happy with his performance.

Ondrej Celustka - 7

Put in a solid performance at both right and left back but it remains to be seen whether he can offer anything going forward. His height was certainly useful when coming up against deep crosses aimed toward the ever dangerous Lambert. Defensive positioning in both positions was good.

John O'Shea - 8

Commanding performance on the whole, winning the ball more often than not on the ground, while making several aerial clearances. Still culpable of the odd foul in dangerous areas when players run at him with pace, but given the amount of ball Southampton had, the defence marshaled by our Irish captain, stood firm.

Modibo Diakite - 7

At times shaky in the first half, he grew in stature in the second. Although never comfortable on the ball his presence was felt and he was given a stern test by Lambert. Although the English striker got the better of him in the air a number of times, Diakite's presence was often enough to put him off. Made at least one fantastic last ditch challenge in the box to deny the opposition, too.

Jack Colback - 6

With Giaccherini moved to the right to help combat the threat of Shaw from left back, Southampton focused much of their attacking play down their right. Colback was steady enough before being subbed off, but the number of crosses coming into the box from that side of the pitch was of concern. His inability to deliver quality crosses when overlapping down the left mean he is not a long term solution to the left back problem.

Emanuele Giaccherini - 7

The diminutive Italian showed how positioning can be more important than stature by heading home Seb Larsson's cross to give Sunderland the lead. Other than that, with the team sitting deep, he was mainly involved defensively showing the odd decent touch when he was able to get forward. Like last week, despite Di Canio's fitness work, he faded in the second half before being substituted.

Sebastian Larsson - 8

In the first half Larsson set up Sunderland's goal with an excellent inswinging corner and almost scored directly from another. From open play he was busy defensively, showing just why Di Canio rates him highly. Although he may not be the answer to our lack of midfield creativity, on this showing he has a lot to offer as a player who can sit deep and screen the defence. It often felt like he was doing the work of two men in there and he seemed to labour towards the end of the game as Southampton pressed.

Craig Gardner - 5

Was he even on the pitch in the first half? The Brummie midfielder was a surprise selection in midfield ahead of Cabral who did not appear at all today and frankly Gardner was so anonymous for the most part, we might as well have just used Larsson on his own. He improved when moved to right back, which is evidently his best position.

Adam Johnson - 6

Like Giaccherini spent much of his time working backwards to help out the defence. At times his touch was sloppy and he had less impact than he did last week. A frustrating afternoon for Johnson was lit up by the occasional threatening foray forward.

Stephane Sessegnon - 4

If Gardner was anonymous, then Sessegnon was invisible. For the second weekend in a row he offered pretty much nothing as Jozy Altidore was left isolated. Subbed at half time and rightly so.

Jozy Altidore - 6

I have some sympathy for Altidore who was isolated for much of the game but in contrast to last week, when he did receive the ball he was nowhere near as effective. He did have one clear chance, which was dealt with well by the onrushing Boruc but was otherwise he was quite poor. He will benefit from having someone playing closer to him than Sessegnon does but from the start of games, as he and Ji never really got a proper understanding going.

Ji Dong-Won - 5

A real mixed bag from the Korean striker who came on as a substitute at half time for Sessegnon. While the Beninese international was anonymous, Ji was far more involved. He initially made some excellent positive touches and flicks but was unfortunately also guilty of giving the ball away in some silly areas too. Last week it was Roberge and this week Ji failed to deal with the muscular presence of an opposition player on the end of a set piece, which ultimately cost Sunderland 3 points.

David Vaughan - 5

Came into the midfield when Colback was subbed off and made some positive contributions going forward but once again left his midfield partner with too much work to do defensively. Ultimately looks incapable of playing in a midfield two but in this instance - where Sunderland conceded much of the possession to their hosts - it was not an easy position to step into.

Connor Wickham - 5

Another surprising substitution with Sunderland winning when he came on for Giaccherini when perhaps a midfielder would have seemed the likely option, Wickham battled manfully to help take some of the pressure off Altidore's shoulders up front while also working hard defensively. Not on long enough to make much of an impact but what he did do, he did well enough on the whole.

Man Of The Match - John O'Shea

The Sunderland captain marshaled the defence superbly for the most part, with Lads withstanding 90 minutes of almost continuous pressure until a lapse from a set piece cost us dearly once again. Up until then, the Irish man was the pick of a dogged and resilient back four that were put under huge amounts of pressure from Rickie Lambert whose physical presence was a nuisance throughout.

We'll have more reaction in the coming days, so stick about our Match Stream and generally stick around the site!

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