West Bromwich Albion Vs Sunderland: Player Ratings

Stu Forster

Here's our take on today's individual performances at the opening day of the season fixture away to West Bromwich Albion. Whether you agree or disagree, please feel free to give us your thoughts!

Vito Mannone - 7

Made some decent saves and provided a strong last line of defence. One particularly athletic stop from former Sunderland midfielder Craig Gardner's 25-yard blockbuster kept the early lead intact prior to the penalty.

Wes Brown - 9

Classy display despite being played at right back. Cool, calm and collected on the ball at all times and put in some important challenges throughout his 80 minutes on the pitch.

John O'Shea - 7

Solid for the most part, while winning most aerial duels and putting his body on the line in order to block several long-range efforts from outside the box.

Valentin Roberge - 4

Decent first half-hour gave way to chaos as Roberge completely lost his head following a penalty appeal that went against him. Got forward well to put a header just wide in the opposition box, but really should've scored. Then, penalised for holding on to Victor Anichebe, who went down far too easily to claim a spot-kick converted by Saido Berahino to level proceedings at 1-1 just before half-time. The Frenchman began to lose focus and took numerous risks on the edge of his own area after the referee's controversial decision.

Patrick van Aanholt - 8

An impressive debut overall thanks to a series of lung-busting runs on the left-hand side, while also putting in sliding tackles and clearing headers galore defensively. Has pace to burn allowing him to get back into position after bursting forwards. Furthermore, his pull-back set up Larsson's late equaliser. However, didn't cover for Roberge when Berahino got clear on 74 minutes to put the Baggies into a brief lead, which stops him from getting a higher mark.

Adam Johnson - 5

Largely anonymous on both wings, with only one move of any note benefitting from his involvement. He must rid himself of the frustrating inconsistency which has blighted his career.

Seb Larsson - 8

Quiet in the first period, but took hold of the game from the middle of the park as the match wore on. Mainly kept things ticking over, but also sprayed numerous cross-field passes from right to left accurately to set off significant attacks. Rounded off a fine second-half display by slotting home a neat equaliser with five minutes remaining.

Lee Cattermole - 8

Scored a fabulous fifth minute opener from 25 yards, which sailed into the top-right corner of the net beyond England keeper Ben Foster. Protected the defence well throughout, putting in lots of tackles and rarely gave away possession. Seemed to be everywhere.

Jack Rodwell - 6

Lack of match fitness meant a rather subdued performance from the club's biggest signing of the summer so far. Looked composed on the ball, but didn't impact the game enough. Will get better given time.

Connor Wickham - 6

Gamely tracked back from a left-wing role in the first-half, but fell asleep at the back on one occasion which could've cost the team dearly. Switched wings with Johnson after the break and got himself more involved in the final third, getting off a number of shots around the penalty area. Can't help but feeling he would've been more effective up-front in place of Fletcher from the start.

Steven Fletcher - 5

Received rough treatment from West Brom in the first 45 and failed to get into the match thereafter. Ball didn't stick with him and he got very little service. Had a header correctly ruled out for offside on the hour.


Subs:

Jordi Gomez - 7

Slide-rule pass set away van Aanholt to then cut the ball back for Larsson to score.

Will Buckley - 6

Jozy Altidore - 6

Man of the Match: Wes Brown - Outstanding

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