Lee Burge: 7/10
Made one brilliant save to deny Stephen Humphrys. Burge and Sunderland were fortunate Rochdale squandered their other decent chances, badly.
Max Power: 6/10
Started the game with real intent, working the ball forwards through the lines. The quality of his passing dipped from there. He was guilty of trying to do too much after Rochdale began to put us under pressure.
Oliver Younger: 5/10
Produced one goal-saving diving header, but looked really uncomfortable outside of that. Younger struggled with his touch and passing.
Dion Sanderson: 8/10
Scored a brilliant opening goal, his passing was supreme, and he was dominant presence in an otherwise unconvincing defence.
Callum McFadzean: 4/10
Started the game well and had his best game in a while going forwards, he still had real problems defensively.
McFadzean was booked early on after getting rolled by Kwadwo Baah. From that moment onwards, he never really looked comfortable and was targeted by the visitors.
Luke O’Nien: 6/10
Probably the Sunderland player most guilty of being too casual and the most sloppy in possession after our early goal.
O’Nien made a couple terrific blocks, but on a whole his concentration levels weren’t up to scratch.
Carl Winchester: 7/10
Arguably the best he’s looked in a Sunderland shirt. His passing was crisp and accurate, he brought the ball forwards with a swagger we’ve not really seen before.
Annoyingly, he had to come off with an injury early in the second-half.
Jordan Jones: 7/10
He’s just a really talented footballer for the level. Some of his dribbling was outstanding and his pinpoint cross to Wyke was laser-focused and fired in with undefendable pace.
Aiden McGeady: 7/10
Won and took the free kick for the opening goal, frustratingly quiet after that. There were large patches of the game where McGeady was a spectator.
Aiden O’Brien: 5/10
Gave away the ball a lot, hard to find any real justification for starting him. His placement as a second striker often left us short in midfield during a tricky first-half.
Charlie Wyke: 7/10
Another game where his finishing was absolutely devastating. His contribution was minimal before that, but it hardly matters when his goal return has become so overwhelming.
(SUB) Josh Scowen: 6/10
Hard to remember too many moments from Scowen good or bad in 40 minutes of action.
(SUB) Chris Maguire: 7/10
Maguire maybe did more defending in 40 minutes than he has done in any other game in Sunderland colours. He did it well and was also probably our most creative passer in the second-half.
(SUB) Jack Diamond: n/a
Got a 20-minute run out.
(SUB) Dan Neil: n/a
Came on in the fourth minute of what felt like, endless injury time.
Man of the Match