Anthony Patterson: 6/10
Barely involved in the game, yet did everything well and is starting to look far more assured in the Sunderland number one shirt.
Carl Winchester: 6/10
Played on the right of a back three and not tested defensively but got forward on occasion and played one great ball over the top to Defoe that the striker couldn’t make the most of.
Bailey Wright: 6/10
Not great on the ball but solid defensively, other than a couple of scares when Chris Long got in behind him.
Dennis Cirkin: 6/10
Doesn’t look out of place on the left of a three, did get caught out once by a Crewe sub but immediately fouled him to stop any danger. Did not provide much going forward but very good defensively.
Lynden Gooch: 5/10
Didn’t provide any attacking threat with the home side seemingly intent on hoofing the ball long.
Corry Evans: 5/10
Had a tame effort comfortably saved by the Crewe goalkeeper as we pressed for a winner but a very quiet performance by Evans as Crewe sat back.
Jay Matete: 6/10
Made one really good driving run into the Crewe box and forced the ‘keeper into a save, kept the side ticking but bypassed for a lot of the match.
Luke O’Nien: 5/10
A hard working display for O’Nien who covered a lot of ground on his first start back but was unable to get involved.
Jack Clarke: 6/10
Was poor until the second half substitutions changed the way we played, which gave him more room to play. Set up Roberts for the second goal and was lively in the last half hour.
Ross Stewart: 6/10
Typically worked hard without ever having much to work with, did get a header on target in the first half and laid a lovely ball off for Neil to hit the winner.
Jermain Defoe: 5/10
Had one half chance with a great ball in behind by Winchester but couldn’t get a shot away, otherwise struggled to get in the game with Crewe comfortably dealing with the aimless long balls punted Defoe’s way.
Dan Neil: 7/10
Changed the game when he came on, looked to get on the front foot immediately and found Stewart with a good through ball, who laid it back for Neil to stroke home the winner.
Leon Dajaku: 6/10
Stretched Crewe with a bit of pace, put in a couple of good crosses that should have saw someone get on the end of and caused the visitor’s problems.
Patrick Roberts: 6/10
Scored a really good goal after a one-two with Clarke, could have had another after skipping away from a defender in the box but could only fire ove.
Man of the Match: Dan Neil
We were extremely poor going forward until Alex Neil’s attacking substitutions and it was his namesake Dan who showed his quality to win it for Sunderland. Scored a lovely goal to make it 1-0 and looked increasing confident from that point on.