SUNDERLAND (3-4-2-1):

3 Steele: Suffered yet another night to forget as he was beaten far too easily for Villa’s first and third goals

5 Browning: Won a number of early headers against Hogan, but was forced off before half-time after appearing to injure his groin

4 O’Shea: Seemed to be struggling with injury throughout, and couldn’t get close enough to Villa’s attackers

3 Kone: Another error-strewn performance that saw him concede possession for the first goal and fail to get near to Chester for the second

5 Love: Started reasonably brightly down the right-hand side, but became increasingly ragged as Villa took control

4 Cattermole: Was completely over-run by Villa’s midfielders and repeatedly conceded possession as the opposition pressed

5 EJARIA: If nothing else, at least he wanted the ball and tried to make things happen – could do with being further up the field though

4 Oviedo: Was out of position on a number of occasions and played a hand in the third goal as he helped deflect the ball past Steele

4 McGeady: Made a couple of breaks at the start of the second half, but continues to deliver next to nothing in terms of end product

4 McManaman: Forced Johnstone into a second-half save with a rising drive, but is far too easy to mark out of the game

3 Fletcher: A wretched display that was epitomised by the first-half piece of poor control that wasted Sunderland’s best chance of the night


3 Jones (for Browning, 30): All over the shop after coming on in the first half, with his defensive limitations all too apparent

5 Asoro (for O’Shea, 46): Tried to add some pace and invention in the second half, but remains extremely raw

4 Maja (for Fletcher,63): Wasn’t able to change the course of the game in the final half-hour, but probably deserves to start at the weekend

(not used): Camp (gk), Honeyman, Williams, LuaLua.

ASTON VILLA (4-4-2):

Johnstone 7; Elmohamady 7, Chester 8, Terry 7, Taylor 6; Snodgrass 7, Whelan 6 (Jedinak 60, 7), HOURIHANE 8, Adomah 7; Hogan 8 (Grealish 67, 6), Grabban 8 (Bjarnason 76).

Subs (not used): Bunn (gk), Davis, Lansbury, Onomah.

Man Of The Match: CONOR HOURIHANE – The Aston Villa midfielder ran the game, and was head and shoulders above anyone in a Sunderland shirt.