Sunderland get that must needed win against a poor Pompey side.
The game started slowly and Portsmouth were arguably the better side in the opening half an hour.
Sunderland slowly started to grow into the game as they started to press quicker and higher up the pitch.
Black Cats’ winger, Leon Dajaku, Lead the pressing many times this afternoon, and thanks to that, Sunderland were able to create a few chances as half time approached.
Dajaku did well to wriggle passed the Portsmouth full back, Reeco Hackett-Fairchild, to put in a brilliant ball, but unfortunately no one was able to get on the end of it.
Apart from the goal, neither ‘keeper made a standout save and there wasn’t really much to shout about.
However, in the second half Sunderland did improve, created a few more chances and defended better as Portsmouth couldn’t break The Black Cats’ down!
Overall, it was a very tight game with very few chances for either team, but Sunderland took their chance and defended well throughout to hang onto the victory.
The first half was very sloppy and worrying.
We were slow to create, we struggled to keep hold of the ball and we were making silly mistakes.
Leon Dajaku was a machine today! He never stopped closing down and keeping pressure on the Pompey defence which was vital to us growing into the game.
The second half was much better and new lad Danny Batth really showed the quality he has to bring, and proved that the difference he made was just what we needed to shore up the defence.
Unfortunately, Wigan won today which has denied us the top spot this afternoon, but a win is a win and we have just got to keep going to keep the pressure on the teams around us with their games in hand.
On a brighter note, we are in the top 2! We got our much needed victory and I believe we deserved it.
We looked comfortable for the majority of the second half and soaked up everything Pompey through at us.
Hoffman – 7/10
He didn’t have much to do, however he commanded his box well and dealt with everything that was threw at him.
Gooch – 6/10
Was dangerous at times going forward but was still caught out of position at times but there was often one of the centre halves able to come out and cover him in a 5 at the back formation.
Flanagan – 6/10
Typical Flanagan performance. Defended well at times but often bullied by a physical forward, made a few dodgy touches but overall, he did ok and he did well at the end to keep Pompey out.
Batth – 8/10
A good, old fashioned performance from the big centre back. Won most Ariel battle, strong in his tackle. A brilliant debut performance.
Callum Doyle – 7/10
He looked comfortable throughout and never really did a thing wrong. It is crazy to think how good this lad is for his age!
Cirkin – 7/10
In the first half. Cirkin was a bit dodgey on the ball as he let Pompey get on top of him at times. However, in the second half he improved immensely, was good on the ball, was strong defensively, much better.
Evans – 6/10
Did better as the game went on, too many misplaced passes but did well defensively, sitting just infront of the back 5.
Didn’t do much throughout, a few nice touches, but also a few bad touches and he was relatively quiet. A brilliant finish from the lad which turned out to be the winning goal.
Neil – 7/10
Similar to Embleton, not too much to shout about, however I think he was involved in the game alot more than than his midfield partner, and did well at times in the second half.
Dajaku (MOTM) – 8/10
His pressing was amazing today, the lad never stopped! When he had the ball, he was willing to take on their defence and try to create. The best playyer on the pitch tonight!
Stewart – 7/10
The big man didn’t score today but he lead the line well, winning plenty in the air and causing many problems, linking up with Dajaku in the second half.
O’brien – 7/10
Didn’t have much time to make an impact but did well to defend from the front and did brilliantly to keep the ball and wind down the clock at times.
Winchester – N/A
Didn’t have enough time to do much.