Another team that attempted to play football against Sunderland failed to come away with three points, but Barnsley were so close to defeating the Black Cats on their home turf.
On a extremely wet and windy Tuesday night, Sunderland came away 4-2 winners over promotion rivals Barnsley at the Stadium of Light to hold onto second place in the table.
The gaffer made one change to the side that drew 2-2 against Walsall at the Banks’s Stadium with Chris Maguire coming back into the starting eleven in place of Bryan Oviedo, after the King was sidelined for the trip to the West Midlands.
Max Power was available after his debatable red card against the Saddlers was overturned by the Football Association on Monday. So, that meant that the Wigan loanee will be a selection choice for Jack Ross for the games that we thought he would have missed after the weekend.
The match began with a very high tempo as both sides attempted to play their own style of football but they just couldn’t get into their groove until when, in the 19th minute, Aiden McGeady was brought down by Ethan Pinnock in the area. The Irishman disposed the resulting penalty into the bottom left corner sending Adam Davies the wrong way.
Only moments later, Josh Maja scored his 11th league goal of the season when a majestic outside-of-the-foot through ball by Adam Matthews freed up some space for the electric young forward. He switched the ball onto his left foot to get away from Ethan Pinnock and curled the ball past Adam Davies to double Sunderland’s lead.
It was a tremendous third when McGeady touched the ball to Gooch on the edge of the penalty area, and he managed to fire the ball into the top left corner of the Barnsley net.
Barnsley got back into the game when Kieffer Moore’s first shot was denied by Jon McLaughlin and it wasn’t cleared fully by Lynden Gooch, who sliced at the ball, and it fell into the path of Moore, whose shot bobbled into the bottom right corner to give the travelling away fans something to cheer about before half time.
It became very nervous for the locals when Alex Mowatt’s corner from the right was diverted home by Barnsley’s talisman, as he nodded the ball into the top right corner of the net after he was given a free header.
Despite that goal, Sunderland claimed all three points when a spectacular flick from tricks man, Chris Maguire, managed to give George Honeyman possession before he fed Aiden McGeady inside the penalty area. He squared the ball to Luke O’Nien, who was in acres of space, and he stretched to fit the ball into the bottom right corner of the Barnsley net.
Sunderland did take all three points and the match ended Sunderland AFC 4-2 Barnsley FC with two points separating the Black Cats and Luton Town in third place, while four points is the difference between the Lads and Portsmouth with both teams having a game in hand.
Next up, we face another trip to Walsall in the second round of the FA Cup at the Banks’s Stadium. I expect a few switches to this team with the likes of Luke O’Nien, Jerome Sinclair and Bryan Oviedo starting, but not a full squad reshuffle.