Sunderland 1-1 Queens Park Rangers
Aiden McGeady saved Sunderland from further humiliation, as he single-handedly rescued a point for the Black Cats at home to Queens Park Rangers.
The 31 year old’s second half equaliser cancelled out Idrissa Sylla’s opener, salvaging a point for Sunderland in another disappointing showing at the Stadium of Light.
Simon Grayson’s Sunderland remain second bottom as the ten month wait for a home win goes on, whilst QPR are still in mid-table, six points above Sunderland.
Sunderland had the first clear chance of the game after a cagey opening, typical of a contest between hosts looking for a first home win and visitors who haven’t won away, this season.
George Honeyman found space from an Aiden Mcgeady set piece but his volley was parried over by Ranger’s stopper, Alex Smithies.
The Black Cats looked marginally more likely to take the lead in a tense first half. Bryan Oviedo missed with a long effort, as the hosts tried to press.
McGeady missed a crucial chance 30 minutes in, released by the lively Duncan Watmore, but the Republic of Ireland international could only fire wide, when through on goal.
Minutes later the Mackems were behind. Sylla headed home, unchallenged, from close range. The R’s frontman was left unmarked and easily finished Luke Freeman’s corner.
Half time: Sunderland 0-1 Queens Park Rangers
QPR should have doubled their lead moments after the re-start. Rangers worked the ball down Sunderland’s left teeing up Jamie Mackie. The 32 year old completely mis-kicked, scuffing his attempted finish, with the goal gaping.
Watmore continued to provide Sunderland’s main threat, getting to the byline and cutting back to substitute Lewis Grabban. The returning striker forced a good save from Smithies at his near post.
The home side looked more and more rattled as the half went on. Steele was forced into a low parry to deny Freeman, who managed to ghost unmarked into the Lad’s box.
From nowhere McGeady bailed out Sunderland. Found just outside QPR’s area by Didier Ndong, the Irishman switched the ball onto his left foot and blasted home with his trademark style.
Steele was forced to save from Freeman again, this time bailing out Ndong, who’s hesitation was capitalised on.
Massimo Luongo was the next to test Steele with a powerful strike, Steele could only parry his strike partially away, but gathered at the second time of asking. Sunderland remained level despite some suspect defending.
McGeady weaved his way into space as Sunderland chased a winner, and after wriggling free of QPR defenders he shot too close to Smithies, who saved at his near post.
Ultimately neither side could find a winner, Sunderland remain in trouble, in the relegation zone - back to back relegations appears to be a very real possibility on Wearside.
Full time: Sunderland 1-1 Queens Park Rangers
Jason Steele, 2/10: Awful in the first half, and not much better in the second. Flapped at every corner and just looked generally unassured.
Adam Matthews, 4/10: QPR targetted his side of the pitch throughout and we were lucky not to have been punished more. Was unfairly picked out by the crowd after a couple of misplaced passes.
John O’Shea, 5/10: Passing was poor and fell asleep a few times when QPR went forward.
Billy Jones, 4/10: Gets a couple of bonus points for being played out of position.
Bryan Oviedo, 6/10: Tried to get forward where possible.
Didier Ndong, 6/10: Typical Ndong performance really - won the ball well but very poor in posession.
Lee Cattermole, 2/10: Absolutely terrible in the build to the corner for Sylla’s first half goal. Generally laboured and looked below par, again.
Aiden McGeady, 8/10: Should have absolutely buried the chance that Watmore put on a plate for him first half, but his goal was sublime. Imagine what he’d be capable of with some quality central midfielders around him?
George Honeyman, 5/10: Worked hard but struggled to contribute offensively. There are probably better options in reserve now.
Duncan Watmore, 6/10: Tried hard to get involved and was generally lively.
James Vaughan, 3/10: Why was he marking their biggest player on corners? Brought off at half time. Thank god we have other options now.
(SUB) Lewis Grabban, 6/10: We looked a bigger threat with him up top.
(SUB) Jonny Williams, 7/10: Thought we looked much better when he came on. Took some reaponsibility and tried to push us forward.
(SUB) Callum McManaman, 5/10: Didn’t really offer a great deal.
Man of the Match: Aiden McGeady. Another moment of magic has saved our bacon again.