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Sunderland v Preston North End - Sky Bet Championship

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Last time we played Preston at the SOL it was a disaster - haven’t we come a long way?

As this match report, player ratings, and videos of a half empty stadium full of pink seats and fans booing shows, Sunderland have come a long way since the last time we played Preston at the SoL...

Photo by Jonathan Hobley - Camerasport/CameraSport via Getty Images

This was too good not to share.

It’s not usual for us to re-post old match reports here on RR, but in doing some searching around for information on the last time we faced Preston at the Stadium of Light I came across my report from the game, which I wrote as I froze my balls off standing inside the ground that day.

I’d forgotten all about this game, but this was one of the real low points of the Championship relegation season, and when I think about it now it was probably one of the most important days in our recent history.

We had sunk to the very bottom of the barrel. The owner had given up, the players had given up, the fans had given up - everyone had given up.

We lost, of course, and players were booed onto the pitch.

The ground was half empty, and as you can see in the video below, the seats were as faded as our hopes and dreams.

Why do I repost this, I hear you ask?

Well, because I think it’s nice sitting here now knowing how far we’ve come since that day. I’m able to appreciate our current situation a whole lot more, with the club heading in the right direction and with the fans and players both on the same page as we only look up, and never look down.

Win, lose or draw on Saturday, Preston will know they’re coming to face a very different Sunderland side to the one they last met back in 2018.

Sunderland Announce Three Player Contract Extensions Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Headline: “Sunderland 0-2 Preston: Useless, over-paid, pathetic & not worthy; Player ratings & Match Report”

Absolutely shocking - Sunderland lost 2-0 at the Stadium of Light today, had a man sent off and got Olè’d off the park by f**king Preston. Here’s how it went, and how the Lads rated.”

Sunderland lost again today, a 2-0 home defeat to Preston, with goals from Sean Maguire and Callum Robinson sending the large travelling Lilywhite contingent back to the North West incredibly happy on what was a freezing cold afternoon at the Stadium of Light.

Defeat leaves us bottom of the Championship table, without a hope in hell’s chance of staying up this season.

First Half

Sunderland started the game in an energetic fashion, attempting to press high up the field in order to force Preston into making mistakes.

But, the wet and windy conditions played their part and the home side were lucky not to be behind after a couple of errors of judgement from long balls came to nothing.

The game was fairly end to end, and Sunderland’s first chance came on fifteen minutes after a fantastic through ball by Ovie Ejaria found Joel Asoro, who rounded the Preston keeper but found his effort saved.

Both teams continued to try and force openings as the half wore on, with Asoro in particular proving to be a real nuisance to the Preston defence.

Another good chance fell to Sunderland on the half hour. Some good build up play from Ovie Ejaria and Joel Asoro led to the ball finding Bryan Oviedo inside the box, but his effort across the goalkeeper was easily gathered.

Five minutes before half time saw Preston get their best chance of the game to that point, a free header from a corner that sailed over the bar, with Lee Camp stranded and nowhere near it.

Sunderland immediately responded, and with the ball pinging around the box Preston managed to scramble it clear before anyone could stab it home.

Despite Sunderland’s persistence, they weren’t able to grab a goal before the break, and a thoroughly entertaining (well, by recent standards) half of football ended with the scores level.

Half Time: Sunderland 0-0 Preston

Second Half

Sunderland came out in the second half flying again, but were unable to make their pressure pay, and after the initial five minutes Preston took advantage from a free kick.

With the ball whipped into the back post, Sean Maguire was stood unmarked and nodded it home to give the Lilywhites the lead.

And it was almost two moments later, as with the ball literally at his feet just two yards out Robinson fumbled and wasn’t able to make Sunderland pay for their bad defending.

Another horrendous error compounded Sunderland’s misery on the hour mark, with Jake Clarke-Salter collecting a needless second yellow and subsequent red card, further hampering Chris Coleman’s side heading into the latter third of the game.

Not long after Preston doubled their advantage through Callum Robinson, which caused supporters to stream out of the ground as they had rightly had enough.

After this point I gave up writing the report, because what is the point?

We are an absolute embarrassment of a club. My hands are freezing as I type this but I do it because I love Sunderland. Stood around me are a few thousand others that have braved the cold to watch the worst Sunderland team in history get Olè’d off the park by f*cking Preston, for f*ck sake.

If only the owner and most of these players felt the same.

Full Time: Sunderland 0-2 Preston

Player Ratings

Lee Camp, 5/10: Could have done better for their first goal but did alright otherwise.

Adam Matthews, 2/10: Abysmal all afternoon.

Bryan Oviedo, 6/10: Alright, I suppose. Wasn’t awful like some of the others.

John O’Shea, 1/10: Like a severely lame racehorse, he needs to retire.

Jake Clarke-Salter, 0/10: Idiot. Send him back. Needed to win today and he gets himself sent off again.

Lamine Kone, 5/10: Put effort in but lost the goalscorer on the free kick for their first.

Lee Cattermole, 1/10: Another that week after week offers us nothing. What’s he got to do to lose his place?

Ovie Ejaria, 7/10: Passed it well and stood out a bit in the first half.

George Honeyman, 4/10: Offered little other than his usual energy.

Josh Maja, 2/10: Poor, didn’t look particularly motivated and was shown up by his partner, who looks streets ahead of him.

Joel Asoro, 8/10: Looked like he gave a sh*t. Won’t be here in the summer.

(SUB) Ashley Fletcher, 4/10: Was booed onto the pitch. Hahaha, wow.

(SUB) Kazenga LuaLua, 6/10: Actually showed desire and effort when he came on, and should have started.

(SUB) Paddy McNair, 5/10: Too late before he was introduced.

Man of the Match: Joel Asoro.


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