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Player Ratings: Oxford 0-2 Sunderland - Gooch & O’Nien make everything feel fine!

After a flat first half, Sunderland upped the tempo in the second and deservedly won at Oxford thanks to goals from Luke O’Nien and Lynden Gooch. Here’s how Jimmy Lowson rated each of the Lads out of ten.

Oxford United v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One Photo by Ian Horrocks/Getty Images

Lee Burge: 6/10

Looks totally uncomfortable judging anything around the six-yard box, was fortunate Matt Taylor headed wide after misjudging another long ball badly and vacating his goal. Did save well from James Henry in the first half.

Jordan Willis: 8/10

Showed great resilience and instincts, made one outstanding block on Taylor and battled well all afternoon.

Bailey Wright: 8/10

Held up well in the air, remains the team’s best passer, did much better snuffing out counters than he did against Bristol Rovers including one brilliant second half intervention.

Tom Flanagan: 6/10

Barring one bizarre moment when Flanagan invited the Oxford attack into our area, this was a strong performance from the ex-Burton man in a defensive sense. He played with decent aggression and tenacity, but some of his second half passing on his left foot was uncomfortable to watch.

Luke O’Nien: 7/10

Scored brillianty to put us ahead, started the game slowly, but became a real solid outlet for the team in the second half.

Max Power: 5/10

Looked lost at times trying to play in his new more advanced role, his passing was ineffective and he didn’t offer much resistance out of possession.

Grant Leadbitter: 6/10

One of many Sunderland players who struggled early on. Improved in the second half making two crucial interceptions to protect Sunderland’s lead.

Denver Hume: 6/10

Still a weak link in the Sunderland attack, Hume appeared to be stuck in his own head and hesitant every time he found space on the left. When he did let fly once again his crossing was ineffective. Redeemed himself slightly with some excellent robust sliding tackles.

Chris Maguire: 7/10

Played with decent intent from the off and was unlucky to be penalised in the second minute when he won possession outside the Yellows’ area. Our most creative player and the only attacker who consistently troubled the hosts.

Aiden O’Brien: 5/10

Seems way too content to let matches pass him by. The most memorable thing about O’Brien’s performance, apart from his close range miss, was his inability to head the ball in a straight line.

Danny Graham: 4/10

Not totally his fault, but other than one clever lay off to O’Brien and him falling over trying to protect the ball, I can’t actually remember Graham doing anything in the first half. Graham needs to toughen up to League One physicality, he spent an awful lot of time on the floor looking for fouls rather than competing.

(SUB) Josh Scowen: 6/10

Fluffed a good chance to double Sunderland’s lead and didn’t see much of the ball, as Sunderland desperately fought to protect the three-points.

(SUB) Charlie Wyke: 7/10

Showed decent chemistry with Lynden Gooch on the counter which helped create the space for Sunderland’s second.

(SUB) Lynden Gooch: 7/10

Scored one of the best Sunderland goals in recent memory, showing speed, skill, and excellent composure to take on the Oxford back four and slot past Simon Eastwood.

Man of the Match

Bailey Wright

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