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Sunderland Vs Aston Villa: Player Ratings

Following today's 0-1 defeat at home by Aston Villa it's time to run through those who set foot on the pitch in red and white and review and rate each one. Hopefully this doesn't get too ugly...

Stu Forster

Simon Mignolet - 6

There was nothing he could really have done about the only goal of the game. Made a few stops which kept the score reasonable and gave us a fighting chance, but his crazy overhead kick almost cost us. Overall, an average day for him.

Phil Bardsley - 5

On the positive side for Bardsley he got in some decent crosses. On the negative side his defending was at times atrocious, and was once again lacking in awareness at the back post to allow Benteke to set up their goal. Sloppy play, but he can turn it around. Today wasn't his day.

John O'Shea - 5

For the umpteenth week in a row, John O'Shea looked a shadow of his former self. It was going to be key today that he kept Benteke quiet and he failed to control him, even if he did keep him off the scoresheet. Really needs to improve, and improve quickly or his place could be in jeopardy.

Carlos Cuellar - 5

Cuellar didn't enjoy a great game against his former side. He kept things neat when in possession, and was a yard away from actually stopping Agbonlahor's goal, but his tremendously over hit back pass to Mignolet was a sign of a generally bad day for him. Much like O'Shea, needs to recapture his early season form, and fast.

Jack Colback - 5

A baffling selection at left-back for my money. I do like him as a player, but there really is no place for him in defence. He got forward, he passed it around alright, but did he offer anything Danny Rose couldn't? You'd think Rose would be able to offer much more at the position on both fronts.

Seb Larsson - 5

A few poor freekicks and generally never got into the game. This wasn't helped mind you by the constant reshuffling of the team which saw the Swede lineup in four different positions for us. A victim of his own versatility today in that he simply never got going.

Lee Cattermole - 8

A positive to take from the game at last in that the captain was head and shoulders above any other Sunderland player today. He intercepted well, played the ball superbly to set up numerous attacks and some how, perhaps a little sadly, was one of our biggest goal threats.

Craig Gardner - 5

Might the clamour for him to play in midfield have ended already? I do hope so, and at risk of sounding like a dick, I did tell you so. Anonymous in midfield today until his number was called and replaced by James McClean.

Adam Johnson - 6

Johnson's mark could have been so much higher. At times when he got the ball there was a genuine buzz that something could happen. However this just slipped away the more he did receive it as his one-footedness became a huge issue. Constnatly shuffling back onto his favoured foot cost us chances today, no two-ways about it. An improvement on recent weeks overall though.

Stephane Sessegnon - 6

It's not really saying much, but this was arguably his best performance of the season. Looked energetic and hungry, but eventually this fizzled out and he was rightly substituted.

Steven Fletcher - 6

Another afternoon where he was forced to feed on scraps, and around 90% of those were in the air. Shocking that we pumped so many balls up to him when he was looking very comfortable on the deck in some of our better passing moves.

James McClean - 6

Didn't have a great impact coming on as sub. A few decent crosses, but drifted in and out of things.

Louis Saha - 5

Missed a glorious chance for an equalising goal, and away from that generally looked exactly like what he is, a 34-year old nomadic striker who was out of contract for a long period. Off the pace.

Fraizer Campbell - 5

Only on for ten minutes and as per usual contributed nothing. What he brings that Connor Wickham or Ji Dong-Won is beyond me. Fluffed chances and overall was a waste of space.

Man Of The Match: Lee Cattermole

Couldn't have been anyone else on our side today. Once again he rose to the occasion but despite the encouragement others didn't seem to want to join him at the top table. He takes the spoils yet again in this feature for a very hardworking and impressive performance. Ironically, he deserved a goal.

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