HOW we rated the players during Sunderland's game with Walsall.


0-1: Gordon (4, flicked in a lovely finish when he was given the space to meet Dobson’s curling free-kick)

1-1: Cattermole (33, chested down at the back post before hammering a volley from a tight angle that hit the woodwork and went in)

2-1: Grigg (71, latched on to Wyke’s touch to go on and side-foot a tidy finish inside Roberts’ left-hand post)

Bookings: Leadbitter (34, foul); Guthrie (38, foul); Cattermole (49, foul); Gordon (56, foul); Gooch (90, foul)

Referee: Alan Young (Westmorland) – put a few names in the box, while managing to keep the game flow that never posed too many issues. 7

Attendance: 34,647

Entertainment: **

Sund Wal

Shots on 6 3

Shots off 8 4

Corners 7 1

Fouls 15 19

Offsides 2 3

SUNDERLAND (4-2-3-1):

6 McLaughlin: Didn’t have too many saves to make but when he was required he was equal to them except for the opening goal;

8 O’NIEN: Got down the line plenty to create a number of chances and also defended when he needed to

5 Flanagan: Back in the team at the expense of Dunne and didn’t look as assured as he has been, although did get better

6 Baldwin: Put his foot in when he needed to in the main even if there were a few moments when he allowed his man too much space

5 Matthews: Given a few tough moments by the tricky Ismail and had more defending to do than O’Nien;

6 Leadbitter: Had a few efforts on goal from distance and was always the man Sunderland relied on to take set-pieces again

6 Cattermole: Another goal to his name from the middle of midfield and at this rate he could hit double figures;

6 Morgan: Had a couple of decent efforts on goal early on but faded as half-time approached and when Sunderland could have done with a bit of magic

6 Power: Might not possess the creativity of some in a No 10 role but still went close to scoring a couple of times

7 McGeady: The likeliest man to unlock the Walsall door even if his brilliance on the ball was only in flashes;

7 Grigg: Just the one effort when he forced Roberts into a good save with his feet but then hit the winner


Gooch (for Cattermole 62): Didn’t have the impact Sunderland would have loved. 5

Hume (for Matthews 67): Had to do plenty of defending when he was introduced. 5

Wyke (for Morgan 71)

(not used): Ruiter (gk), McGeouch, Dunne, Sterling.

WALSALL (4-3-3): ROBERTS 8; Devlin 6, Scarr 6, Guthrie 7, Leahy 6; Kinsella 6, Dobson 7, Edwards 5 (Oteh 88); Ismail 7, Blackett-Taylor 5 (Cook 73); Gordon 7. Subs (not used): Dunn, Fitzwater, Osbourne, Laird, Norman.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Luke O’Nien – he might not have been a full-back before his arrival but he keeps justifying his place in the side in that role with displays like this.