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Sunderland v Preston North End - Sky Bet Championship - Stadium of Light

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Andy’s Player Ratings: Sunderland 2-0 Preston North End - Pritchard starts the year with a bang!

Alex Pritchard scored a screamer and even a striker scored as we start 2024 with three points!

Photo by Owen Humphreys/PA Images via Getty Images

Anthony Patterson: 7/10

Another good game from Patterson, made some good saves - although nothing that overly stretched him - and always looked assured.

Trai Hume: 6/10

Troubled a few times by Millar and not his best game on the ball but showed good determination to recover when he was beaten.

Dan Ballard: 8/10

Was up against some physical strikers today but was never troubled by them and comfortably came out on top.

Luke O’Nien (C): 8/10

Got us out of trouble a few times when Preston were pressing with quick feet and a pass around the attacker and was solid defensively.

Aji Alese: 7/10

Really comfortable at left back and no signs of rustiness after his long lay-off. Good in the air and Preston struggled to stretch him due to his pace and also made a good block with his shoulder after the break.

Dan Neil: 6/10

A quiet but tidy game from Neil, kept the ball ticking and put a lot of work in defensively.

Pierre Ekwah: 8/10

A big presence in the middle of the park, won the ball often and set up a lot of attacks with his vision.

Jobe Bellingham: 6/10

Worked hard just ahead of Neil and Ekwah but not a lot of forward drive from him, other than one instance when he drove ahead of Clarke and got a cross in.

Alex Pritchard: 8/10

Started the game and year off with a bang with a screamer to put us 1-0 up but as is typical we played much better football with Pritchard on the pitch, had another couple of chances he could have done better with but showed why he should be starting.

Jack Clarke: 7/10

Did absolutely brilliant to put a chance on a plate for Rusyn after a driving run up the left wing but a relatively quiet game, did have one good chance very early on but curled just wide of the post.

Nazariy Rusyn: 7/10

Off the mark with a really well taken goal, showing great movement to get ahead of the defender and tuck in Clarke’s ball. Also played well in general despite no other service, ran the channels and defended from the front.


Substitutes

Timothee Pembele: 6/10

Gave the ball away cheaply at one point but recovered well.

Abdoullah Ba: 5/10

A bit careless on the ball when attacking, looks low on confidence.

Jenson Seelt: 6/10

Put a good tackle in when Millar was in a dangerous position and came away with the ball.

Eliezer Mayenda: 6/10

Not much chance to shine as we saw the game out.


Man of the Match: Alex Pritchard

Some good performances today but the man of the match has to be Pritchard, scored an absolute screamer but was always dangerous on the ball and could even have had one or two more. Buzzed around between the middle of the pitch and the right and showed why he is still a most creative outlet.

Sunderland v Preston North End - Sky Bet Championship - Stadium of Light Photo by Owen Humphreys/PA Images via Getty Images

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