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Newcastle United 0-3 Sunderland: Player Ratings

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In what has become our customary 3-0 win at Newcastle United, Sunderland put in our best performance yet under Gus Poyet.

Michael Regan

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Vito Mannone - 10

What more can we say about Vito? Since coming into the side he has been impeccable, was his usual assured self, commanded his area well and dealt comfortably with Newcastle's direct approach. Made one brilliant save from Chieck Tiote and made sure to slow the game down when Newcastle were trying to build pressure. Simon who?

Phil Bardsley - 10

Bardsley was absolutely superb today, whether he was up against Shola Ameobi-lite, Hatem Ben-Arfa or late substitute Sylvain Marveaux, he dealt with them all with relative ease. He also showed his improved footballing skills at times when linking up with Adam Johnson in more advanced positions.

John O'Shea - 10

A real captain's performance from O'Shea, marshalled the back line and didn't give Newcastle anything. Picked up what was a bit of a soft yellow card early on for handball but at no point did it look like he would pick up a second yellow. Despite the direct approach of the home side, O'Shea was in complete control.

Wes Brown - 10

Where might we have been right now if we had managed to keep Brown as fit as he is right now? Arguably the best central defender in the Premier League right now, truly a class apart. Barely gave the 'Mackem Destroyer' (ha!) a kick

Marcos Alonso - 10

Best display in a Sunderland shirt from our Spanish left back, more on him below...

Liam Bridcutt - 10

The consensus from the Brighton fans was that Bridcutt was quietly effective, that proved to be spot on today. Despite the player only completing his move yesterday, not playing for a month and making his debut in a derby at St James' Park, Bridcutt showed why Gus Poyet rates him so highly. Protected the central defence brilliantly, always available made himself available for a pass, assured whenever he had the ball or was under pressure from the home side and immediately looked as if he had been a part of the Sunderland team for years.

Adam Johnson - 10

This is the player we were all over the moon to have signed, it may have taken sometime to bring that player out but he is in scintillating form right now! Ran Newcastle's two left backs ragged, threatened from set pieces and worked his socks off. His improved work rate is what got him into the box to follow up Colback's shot for the second and almost scored a goal of the season contender, when he ran into the box, dribbled past what looked like the entire Newcastle team and just when it looked like he had scored, was unlucky to see his effort come back off the foot of the post.

Interesting fact: Adam Johnson scored more goals in January than the entire Newcastle starting eleven had all season.

Ki Sung-Yueng - 10

I'm sure this will have been said in every week's edition of Player Ratings but we really need to make sure we sign this lad. Another stand out performance, I don't know how much Swansea will want for Ki but whatever it is will be a bargain. May have been under par in the win over Stoke but was outstanding today, with Bridcutt's debut allowing him to push forward, no Newcastle player could get near him.

Jack Colback - 10

This must rank as Colback's best performance in a Sunderland shirt by far. Worked as tirelessly as usual but looked far more assured when in possesion and threatening when he surged forward. Created the second goal with one of many intelligent runs forward, only for his deflected effort to be saved by Krul but  Johnson was on hand to tuck the second away. Then scored a much deserved goal after his run was found by Borini and Colback smashed home the third. Very unlucky not to find himself as my man of the match.

Fabio Borini - 10

Borini just gets better and better, as usual his work rate was top notch but looks more and more of a threat in every game. Fair to say the lad can take a penalty too, smashed into the top corner! Made Debuchy look like a non-league defender for most of the game and chased down countless lost causes. Showed his composure late on when he played in Colback for the third goal.

Jozy Altidore - 10

Much maligned this season and usually rightly so but he looked a lot better against Stoke and quite frankly he was brilliant today. Neither of Newcastle's central defenders could handle him, he had a big hand in the second goal when his clever flick set Colback on his way and he couldn't have led the line any better than he did today. He is still not having any luck in front of goal but if he keeps playing this way the goals will come. Superb.

Seb Larsson - 10

Replaced a tiring Johnson with 13 minutes remaining and helped the team stop a desperate effort from Newcastle to get back into the game.

Craig Gardner - 10

Came on for Borini with a minute or so remaining, not sure he even touched the ball. Perfect display - 10.

Man of the Match - Marcos Alonso

This could quite easily have been any of the starting eleven, as every player put in a top class performance and a few players even had their best display in a Sunderland shirt, Alonso, Altidore and Colback, but Alonso's magnificent first half display means he just about edges the other ten starters. We were very fortunate to have a top class loanee in Danny Rose last season and we have one this season who is quickly emulating the popular Spurs player. Alonso was brilliant from the first whistle to the last. Didn't give any Newcastle player who came down his side anything, looked classy when in possession and always gave Borini an option going forward.