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Sunderland v Sheffield United - Sky Bet Championship

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Two Up, Two Down: What were the positives & negatives from Sunderland’s performance v Sheff Utd?

What were the biggest positives and biggest negatives from Sunderland’s home defeat at the hands of the FA appointed officials and Sheffield United?

Photo by Martin Swinney/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Anth Gair says…

Me Shoe

The young boy is coming on leaps and bounds. He has a lovely touch, can find a pass, and is finding his feet at this level. Great first goal, taken like a mature professional. He also likes to put a foot in, fights for the cause and does little hearts to the crowd as his celebration. I think he’s class, even if he looks like a 12 year old. Hope he stays for the rumoured £2.5m, an absolute snip.


Couldn’t do much about their goals and was a very big part of why we held Sheff Utd back. Let's be honest, they could have been 2 up before 20 minutes. Deserves all the plaudits coming his way in my opinion. Could probably do with a run of games where he doesn’t have to do much, and keeps a couple of clean sheets. Happy to see the young lad becoming a great player for us - I didn’t expect that at all when he was out on loan in the Conference.

The Officials

When we were promoted from League One, the overwhelming thoughts were “Ah, thank god we’re out of this shit league” and “we’ve got rid of these dreadful referees”. Yeah, we were wrong. This referee was the pinnacle of hypocrisy and probably the worst referee we’ve had this season (and we’ve had some absolutely appalling refs too!). All the officials have definitely cost us at least a point today, and this isn’t even me being a biased, uber shitbag,

Playoffs even further away

Yes, fair enough, we’re a team who only got promoted through the playoffs from League One, we finished 5th... and now we’re still in the top half of the Championship, but still, a little part of me really wanted us to keep the play-off fight alive. I know it’s not over yet and it was never on the cards, but a lad can dream - can’t he?

Sunderland v Sheffield United - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Kelvin Beattie says…

Michut goal

The young Gaul played very well in the first half, despite being overrun at times in the first half. His goal was well-made and well-taken. A hard night in the engine room against a solid outfit. Onwards and upwards for Michut.

Luke again

Luke O’Nien put another tremendous shift in tonight. Defensively sound and productive moving forward. Man of the Match for me. Hopefully his injury is not too serious, we need his experience and his grit.

Officials again!

I hate complaining about the officials, especially when we have been beaten, but oh dear me, these three were poor tonight. There were a number of mystifying “small” decisions, that are just irritating. However, three very big calls on the night that I will need to see back again. The second goal looked clearly offside to me. There was a shout for a penalty in the first half, that looked like a clear handball in the box from where I was sitting in the SW corner and what looked like a clear foul on Batth in their box in the second half, though I did not have as good a view of that incident.

Simulation and mobbing the referee

Following the disgraceful behaviour of Swansea earlier in the season as they succeeded in getting our man sent off, hang your heads in shame Sheffield United! The attempt to get Hume sent off and the play-acting of the fouled Sheffield player were right out of the very worst behaviour manual. It's time the authorities took a firmer hand with this kind of cheating. I hope the camera’s caught him rolling around as if shot one second, then up on his feet and trotting into the box the next, when he realised Hume was staying on.

Sunderland v Sheffield United - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Andrew Smithson says…

1st rate

That’s two games in a row now where we have scored in the first half - Sunderland haven’t always made their pressure tell before the break in matches so this is a nice development. It was a cracking finish too; Edouard Michut deserved his goal and seeing the midfield starting to weigh in more is another plus.

Cannot fault the effort

After going behind we took a few minutes to settle, but from that point onwards the Lads gave it a real go. We created a few chances and whilst nothing fell for us, I couldn’t be too disheartened based on how I saw it. For example, Joe Gelhardt’s hold-up play was encouraging, and we were trying to do the right things across the pitch. Sheffield United are looking a good bet for promotion, but we pushed them hard and gave them a few scares, so there were positives to be had.

Dropping points

Performance-wise I have few gripes, but it is a shame to see us go ahead in home games and not always make the most of it. Hopefully this is an area that will improve over time, although I do accept that injuries are currently a factor in this regard.

Dropping to the floor

I get it, United are trying to go up so will have to do whatever it takes, but the way some of their players were going down under the merest of touches was embarrassing. The officials have to take some of the blame too as they were buying these falls yet then allowing the visitors to wrestle us, but in a tough sport I’d honestly be ashamed to let myself appear so weak. Have a bit of pride and stand up - although I suppose I’m being a bit naive in saying that.

Sunderland v Sheffield United - Sky Bet Championship - Stadium of Light Photo by Owen Humphreys/PA Images via Getty Images


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