How Sunderland's players rated in the 3-1 win over Plymouth:

6 Patterson: Good early save to keep Hardie out. Couldn’t deny the clever striker for goal. Almost caught out by audacious Hardie strike from inside own half.

8 Hume: Performance packed with energy and intensity. Joined in with attack at every opportunity, played pass to Clarke in build-up to his goal. Excellent.

7 Ballard: The impressive Hardie kept Sunderland’s backline busy but Ballard was solid. Plymouth only had two shots on target.

7 O’Nien: Like Ballard, had his hands full with Hardie but Plymouth only created one clear cut chance in first half before goal and rarely threatened after break.

7 Hjelde: Another solid showing from January recruit.

9 Neil: Key to the Sunderland turnaround. Set the tempo and the tone after the break. Pulled defender away for Clarke goal and set Bellingham on his way for the third.

7 Ekwah: Tried to drive Sunderland on in first half but Black Cats were stifled. Well taken free-kick dragged Black Cats level.

7 Roberts: Frustrating first half but stuck at it. Was fouled for free-kick that led to equaliser.

6 Ba: Lively but didn’t have same impact as he has from the flank in recent weeks.

8 Clarke: Had Sunderland’s only effort on target in first half. Moment of individual brilliance put the Black Cats in front. As ever, a threat throughout.

7 Rusyn: Applauded off late on after tireless shift. Definitely looks Sunderland’s best bet up-front.


7 Rigg (for Ekwah, 65): Energetic and all-action from the bench.

8 Bellingham (for Ba, 65): Stunning finish for third goal just after coming on.

7 Mundle (for Roberts, 65): Bright. Another exciting option for Beale.

Aouchiche (for Rusyn, 88): N/A

Subs not used: Bishop, Pembele, Hemir, Seelt, Burstow

Plymouth (3-4-3): Hazard 7, Phillips 5 (Pleguezuelo 77), Gibson 6, Galloway 6, Mumba 6 (Sorinola,72) ,Gyabi 6, Forshaw 6 (Randell, 65), Miller 6 (Sousa, 72), Whittaker 7, Devine 6 (Waine, 78), Hardie 8

Man of the Match: Dan Neil. The midfielder was at his very best in the second half. Bossed it.