Match Analysis: Birmingham 0-3 SAFC

Not really sure what happened there. For about 70 minutes of what was a grim League Cup tie at St. Andrews, Sunderland looked lost for ideas, were unable to string two passes together and showed all the wit and invention of Michael Chopra at a Gamblers Anonymous meeting.

by GMac88 Friday, 12 February 2016 08:44 PM Comments
Not really sure what happened there. For about 70 minutes of what was a grim League Cup tie at St. Andrews, Sunderland looked lost for ideas, were unable to string two passes together and showed all the wit and invention of Michael Chopra at a Gamblers Anonymous meeting.

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And then suddenly everything clicked and it all looked so easy.

There was a sudden urgency leading up Jordi Gomez beautifully swishing his left foot at the ball and into the bottom corner of the Birmingham goal. Though for the majority of the game that preceded it we looked very, very poor indeed.

Still, it seems churlish to complain about the performance in a 3-0 away win. It's great to be through to the next round of the cup and the way we finished them off was really, really encouraging. To see Connor Wickham and Adam Johnson get off the mark for the season was particularly pleasing.

However, our first half (and first half of the second half) performance was concerning. We lacked cohesion and didn't seem too concerned with pressing the game. For all Liam Bridcutt may have some qualities (which I've wrote about here), he was dreadful tonight and regularly slowed our play down. Similarly in the first half Gomez couldn't keep the ball, while Johnson looked completely disinterested.

We improved marginally after the break and as the half wore on you could see our side’s superior fitness give us an edge, whilst the likes of Gomez and Wickham were starting to have a stronger influence. It ended in a very satisfying result which was very harsh on Birmingham, but then who cares when Lee Clark is their manager.
 
So in summary; we were poor but won comfortably, our reserve midfielders mainly struggled and we're in the next round (with a winnable but tough game against Stoke). Hopefully we can perform a little better next time in what will be a much tougher test.

Get those London train tickets booked.
Disclaimer: Don't really, it's a joke.

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