Player Ratings from Sunderland 3-2 Chelsea: Just 0.02 Separates Top Two

Sunderland twice came from behind to see off Chelsea in what will go down as one of our finest performances on the Stadium of Light pitch. But who made it happen?

by Michael_Peters Sunday, 08 May 2016 05:24 PM Comments
Sunderland twice came from behind to see off Chelsea in what will go down as one of our finest performances on the Stadium of Light pitch. But who made it happen?

Man of the Match - Jermain Defoe (8.37)
The match-winner's joy was plain to see as he tore off his shirt after his cool finish past Courtois. He has been a key part of our squad this season, and it is a sure bet that without his goals, we would already be relegated. Defoe poses a constant threat up front, as he has proven by having his second-best season of all time in the Premier League, and could be an outside bet to feature in England's Euro 2016 squad.

Defoe was our best passer on Saturday, completing 85% of his passes. He may only have had one real chance all game (save for his offside header against the post), but when that chance arrived, he was calm and clinical to take a touch and fire home. Defoe, even at his advancing age, is possibly the most clinical striker of a ball in the league, and has scored more than twice as many goals this season as a certain Wayne Rooney - are you paying attention, Mr Hodgson?

Second Place: Wahbi Khazri (8.35)
Collectively, you've decided that Khazri's goal of the season contender is only enough to push him into second place. The goal was something special, the Tunisian cocking his right leg and sending a bullet of a shot into the top corner. Who cares if it took a slight deflection on its way in, that is up there with Carlos Edwards against Burnley and Jermain Defoe against the Mags as one of the greatest goals ever scored at the Stadium of Light.

Khazri's overall contribution was also impressive. He put his impressive pace to good use and caused Branislav Ivanovic such a torrid time down the wing that the Serbian defender was eventually hauled off. Khazri has to go down as one of the most inspired January signings in our history, such has been his impact since his arrival on Wearside. If we can keep hold of him, he's sure to become an integral part of the team.

Third Place: Vito Mannone (8.08)
The goalkeeper has been in superb form since coming out of the cold earlier in the season, and is one of the few challengers to Jermain Defoe for player of the season. He was in fine form when it counted on Saturday, making two fantastic one-on-one saves from Diego Costa when we were 2-1 down. His contribution throughout the season deserves to be recognised, as he's kept us in a number of games when we needed him most.

Last Place: Sebastian Larsson (6.91)
You awarded Larsson the wooden spoon for Saturday's performance, which may be seen as a little unfair, considering that he only had 19 minutes to make an impact. Perhaps that's why he ended up with the lowest rating - every other player made a huge contribution to our cause, while Larsson's impact was more understated. He didn't do anything of note in his cameo, but he was very calm and played without pressure to help us get over the line.

The Rest;
Fabio Borini (7.90), Younes Kaboul (7.77), Lee Cattermole (7.44), Yann M'Vila (7.29), Patrick van Aanholt (7.25), Jan Kirchhoff (7.19), DeAndre Yedlin (7.17), John O'Shea (7.05), Duncan Watmore (7.00).