Johnson (1)
  • 26 December 2014
  • Stadium of Light (44,817)
  • Premier League
Hull City
Ramirez (32)
Chester (51)
Jelavic (90)
  • Report
  • Line Up
  • Statistics
It was more like after the Lord Mayor's show as Sunderland went down to Hull for the third consecutive time in a Premier game within a week of scoring successive victories over Newcastle in the past 15 months.

They also lost in the quarter final of the FA Cup immediately following their impressive display in the Capital Cup Final against Manchester City at Wembley last season. It may be a quirk in the fixtures but it does not disguise the dreadful performance at the Stadium of Light.

It should have been all so different after going ahead with an Adam Johnson goal after just 29 seconds against a team that has not won for ten games. Hull, depleted by injuries and suspensions, were there to be taken. But instead Sunderland sat back and allowed the away team to take control and slowly regain their confidence.

By the 32nd minute, Gaston Ramirez was allowed to fire in an equaliser when he was not closed down. The shot may have bobbled but it was reminiscent of the last goal conceded when West Ham's Stewart Downing was also given freedom to score from outside the box.

There was something distinctively flat about the Black Cats' performance, coming down from the dizzy height of last weekend's epic last-minute win at St James' Park. The team struggled to get forward on the front foot, allowing Steve Bruce of all people to seize the initiative. The writing appeared on the wall when James Chester headed in at the near post from a corner for Hull to take the lead in the 52nd minute.

Sadly Sunderland are set up to play a holding game, which has made them into draw specialists. But the team has neither the pace or the movement to chase a game or play counter-attacking football. It proved too little too late when Poyet finally switched to a 4-4-2 formation. The introduction of Jozy Altidore and Emanuele Giaccherini with still half-an-hour to go did little to revitalise how lethargic the players were.

Winning just one home game against Stoke in the first half of the season raises real issues about Sunderland's survival in the top flight. The truth is that the team did not deserve anything from such a dismal display. There were no positives. At the root of the problem, as I have repeatedly argued is the system Gus sets up to play at the Stadium of Light. Much more must be made of home advantage to get away from yet another looming relegation battle.

Yes it can be argued that Andre Marriner denied Sunderland two penalties for clear handballs. He has never been a referee of any repute for his decision-making. But it would be just papering over the glaring cracks in the negative way the team play at home.
Costel Pantilimon
John O'Shea
Sebastian Coates
Santiago Vergini
Card (19)
Will Buckley (84)
Billy Jones
Card (74)
Lee Cattermole
Sebastian Larsson
Card (16)
Jordi Gomez
Emanuele Giaccherini (62)
Adam Johnson
Goal (1)
Ricky Alvarez
Jozy Altidore (62)
Steven Fletcher
Card (53)

Vito Mannone
Wes Brown
Liam Bridcutt
Jack Rodwell
Emanuele Giaccherini
Jordi Gomez (62)
Will Buckley
Santiago Vergini (84)
Jozy Altidore
Ricky Alvarez (62)
Alan McGregor
Alex Bruce
Curtis Davies
Liam Rosenior
James Chester
Card (45)
Goal (51)
David Meyler
Stephen Quinn
Gaston Ramirez
Goal (32)
Yannick Sagbo (78)
Ahmed Elmohamady
Robbie Brady
Card (73)
Tom Ince (88)
Sone Aluko
Nikica Jelavic (89)

Eldin Jacupovic
Maynor Figueroa
Harry Maguire
Yannick Sagbo
Gaston Ramirez (78)
Tom Ince
Robbie Brady (88)
Nikica Jelavic
Goal (90)
Sone Aluko (89)
Abel Hernandez
Shots (on target)
Shots (off target)
Yellow Cards
Red Cards
blog comments powered by Disqus