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Leicester City v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship

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Two Up, Two Down: The positives and negatives from Sunderland’s loss to Leicester

A spirited Sunderland performance wasn’t enough to deny the Foxes on Tuesday night, as James Justin’s header eventually sealed the win for Leicester. What did our writers make of the game?

Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Jon Guy says...

A solid performance

We were arguably the better side against a rampant Leicester.

We played really well when we had the ball, and but for a lapse in concentration from a corner, we could’ve gotten something out of the game.

Anthony Patterson was class and kept us in it. On another day, it could’ve been very different.

Dan Neil’s return

The difference with Neil in the team was clear to see.

He’s the heartbeat of the side, setting the tempo and marshalling the midfield.

He looked a real player and I would have him over Harry Winks.

Oh, for a striker!

Tony Mowbray needs to do something to give us a cutting edge, because we can’t keep relying on defenders and midfielders for our goals.

Mason Burstow is struggling, so he needs to try something different. Had we had a better striker, we may have been celebrating a win.

It’s been a problem since the start of last season. We’ve had the close season to sort it out, and we haven’t.

More dodgy refereeing

I think the only people who didn’t think the foul on Neil was worthy of a penalty were the officials, because it was another decision that changed the game.

A goal shortly before half time may have reshaped the approach of both sides after the break. You have to hope that they’ll even out, but I’m not holding my breath.

Leicester City v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Joseph Tulip says...

A close game

I was proud of the way we acquitted ourselves against the runaway league leaders.

Yes, the hosts had their chances and we owed a lot to Anthony Patterson for his vital saves, but we created enough ourselves and would’ve scored with better finishing and if key refereeing decisions had gone our way.

Some excellent individual performances

Patterson was deservedly man of the match for his countless fine saves, but there were other standout performances, too.

Patrick Roberts was back to his best, fearlessly taking on multiple players with committed runs and bringing others into play. Dan Neil showed his importance to the side, covering every blade of grass, making tackles and getting forward whenever possible.

Luke O’Nien and Dan Ballard put their bodies on the line at the back, and although Jack Clarke wasn’t the star performer last night, with much of the play going through Roberts on the right, he was still a threat.

Key decisions going against us

The aforementioned Neil penalty incident is a standout, but I felt a Leicester player could’ve seen red for an incident where the referee booked both he and O’Nien for scrapping.

The replay showed the Leicester man persistently having a go and in my view, he was lucky to stay on the field.

Questionable substitutions

I could talk about us perhaps being naive at times and leaving space at the back, but we were enjoying our best spell in the game when Tony Mowbray made three substitutions in the sixty third minute.

I felt this weakened us and disrupted our momentum, and it took another ten minutes before we were on the front foot again.

Maybe we needed fresh legs but Dennis Cirkin is clearly not match fit and almost cost us with a cynical foul. Abdoullah Ba showed his inexperience in a couple of crucial moments, and this wasn’t the sort of game for bedding in Chris Rigg.

Michael Dunne says...

Anthony Patterson’s performance

Whilst I leave that game feeling that we deserved a draw, the game could’ve been out of sight had we not had such a good goalkeeper between the posts.

Patterson stopped at least one or two clear goal opportunities and he was generally solid from corners.

He has the potential to progress to a much higher level, which can only bode well for us.

Brilliant Ballard!

Dan Ballard is as solid as a rock.

He already looks a cut above and it’s no wonder that Premier League teams were looking at him during the summer.

His partnership with Luke O’Nien looks very solid and if we can just eradicate these silly goals from set pieces, we’ll win more games then we lose.

The striker situation

I don’t want to write anyone off but Mason Burstow has been very poor thus far, and at times it looks like we’re playing with ten men.

He doesn’t hold the ball up very well and he never looks like scoring or even shooting.

Elsewhere, I still can’t understand the Hemir situation. It’s as though he was completely written off after one game, yet Burstow has started four or five games without showing anything.

Additionally, I still can’t understand the club’s process of chasing Nazariy Rusyn all summer, yet he can barely get a look in. Our lack of a potent striker could derail our season aspirations.

Frustration for Patrick Roberts

I love Roberts.

He’s probably my favourite player but his stats are fairly damning so far. Although he’s so good on the ball and he looks like he can create something out of nothing, he’s also yet to score a goal or provide an assist.

We need far more from him, and swiftly.

Leicester City v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

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