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Player Ratings: Sunderland 8-1 Villa U21s - Lads thrash Brummie bairns as Graham nets on debut

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Danny Graham scored on his Sunderland debut as the Lads thrashed Villa U21s 8-1 in the EFL Trophy. Here’s how Jimmy Lowson rated the Lads out of ten after tonight’s performance.

Sunderland v Aston Villa U21: EFL Trophy Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Remi Matthews: 5/10

Let the Villa penalty roll under him and Matthews never really got the opportunity to redeem himself, as he was untested outside of being beaten by a daisy cutter.

Brandon Taylor: 5/10

Was unlucky to concede an extremely soft penalty, but was guilty of being overeager in his defending a few times, dived in regularly and looked slow moving back towards his own goal.

Morgan Feeney: 8/10

Scored an impressive debut goal and was a real attacking weapon from corners all evening. He was also the team’s most alert central defender reading play well, whilst also producing last ditch heroics when needed.

Arbenit Xhemajli: 7/10

Looks smooth in possession, he was effective in deterring Villa’s young attackers away from the Sunderland goal, being assertive and aggressive in his defending when possible.

Jack Diamond: 8/10

Took his chance in the first team brilliantly. Fired in some dangerous crosses early on, before showcasing brilliant dribbling ability. Carried himself with an all-round confidence befitting of a senior player.

Grant Leadbitter: 7/10

Had some of the game’s most eye-catching passes, it was his interception that started the move for Sunderland’s game-ending fourth goal.

Max Power: 7/10

Led the team well and showed a great desire to press. Added to the rout with a second half rocket.

Lynden Gooch: 6/10

Still looks desperately short of confidence. Gooch did seem to grow into the game and it was his peach of a cross that created the side’s fourth goal.

Josh Scowen: 8/10

His excellent set pieces led to Sunderland’s first three goals, all from corners. One of many who poured on the pressure late and created great chances as Villa folded.

Dan Neil: 6/10

Struggled to find space and didn’t get to grips with the pace of the match.

Charlie Wyke: 8/10

Bagged a double and dominated a young Villa team aerially all night.

(SUB) Danny Graham: 8/10

Deserved an assist for his teasing header across goal, that Aiden O’Brien inadvertently headed backwards. Cooly slotted a late goal too.

(SUB) Aiden O’Brien: 7/10

Fluffed another amazing chance for his first Sunderland goal, thankfully O’Brien redeemed himself with an excellent first goal for the Black Cats. Smashing into the corner after an excellent turn.

(SUB) George Dobson: 7/10

Rubbed salt in the wounds getting forward to add Sunderland’s seventh goal of the night.

Man of the Match

Charlie Wyke