Sunderland Vs Manchester United: Player Ratings

Laurence Griffiths

Take one quarter anger, two cups of pithiness and apply liberally to our comments section...

Vito Mannone - 6

Oddly against Manchester United, Sunderland's goalkeeper had an eerily quiet game. That said, he mopped up when he was needed - though questions will be asked as to whether he should have came and claimed the ball that resulted in the visitors' equaliser.

Phil Bardsley- 8

Given the troublesome task of negating the Adnan Januzaj threat and coped very well indeed. Got himself in the thick of it to force the opening goal, and contributed some timely clearances when backs were against the wall late on. He continues down the path of redemption.

John O'Shea - 7

Would be a higher mark had he not lost Vidic for their goal. O'Shea was a picture of calm all night, sweeping up danger almost effortlessly and picking out a useful pass time and again. His perfect lofted ball to Ki late on, over the head of a helpless opponent, showed just how much confidence the new manager has inspired in a man who was flagging badly earlier this term.

Wes Brown - 8

Another colossal performance. Just take him to Brazil Roy, you know it makes sense.

Marcos Alonso- 7

A brilliant debut. Offered attacking threat early on and marshalled Valencia with great discipline throughout. Very promising.

Lee Cattermole - 7

The odd hairy moment here and there, but the much-maligned former captain bounced back from his Aston Villa nightmare well here. Pitched in manfully in the 'Stop Januzaj' challenge, and was at the frontline of the late defensive effort.

Ki Sung-Yeung - 8

Just what we've come to expect really - pinpoint passing, calmness under pressure and boundless confidence on the ball. A true class act.

Seb Larsson - 8

I sigh heavily every time I spot a blonde-locked Swede in the centre of Sunderland's midfield, but Larsson was superb tonight. United, lacking any real central creativity, rely heavily on Michael Carrick, and Larsson's tireless pressing of the Englishman was key in the outcome of this game.

Emanuele Giaccherini - 6

Probing but profligate. Didn't do much wrong, per se, but struggled to create and seemed to run down too many blind alleys.

Fabio Borini - 8

Tireless once more and offers plenty in both an attacking and defensive sense. His penalty was supremely confident and well deserved -

Steven Fletcher - 6

Never an easy task against the likes of Nemanja Vidic, but Fletcher worked the United defence hard and - almost literally - ran himself into the ground.

Adam Johnson - 9

Game changer. This is the Adam Johnson we all believed we'd signed a year and a half ago. Is he better as an impact sub? Perhaps. More on him below.

Jozy Altidore - 6

Not heavily involved given that the latter stages were tied up with defending, but he offered an imposing presence against a tiring backline. Contributed a vital late headed clearance.

Man Of The Match: Adam Johnson

He was only on for 34 minutes, but Adam Johnson played a huge part in helping Sunderland halfway to Wembley. The shirking, almost scared individual that we have become so mournfully used to was beautifully absent; in his stead was a man with the confidence and drive to really go at the opposing defence. Arguments about how much contact there was aside, his mazy run deserved an end result and the penalty was his just reward. Coming on just after the equaliser, Johnson gave the crowd - and team - a lift when it looked like the game was about to ebb away from the Wearsiders. A real match-winning cameo (and another highly effective Gus Poyet substitute).

We'll have more analysis tomorrow in our stream. Check it out, HERE!

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