What start to 2014. Really loved spending copious coin on a taxi in the torrid weather conditions to watch it, I don’t know about you. So who's fault was it? Not Jozy's or Ji's...
Vito Mannone - 7
Ever dependable, as usual, big fan.
Ondrej Celustka - 4
This lad just adds nothing to any attack except the real possibility of it fizzling out. Seems confused by his role and left his defenders exposed on a few occasions.
Modibo Diakite - 7 (MAN OF THE MATCH)
Thoroughly impressed and slightly surprised. He used his physicality brilliantly and made some very important tackles. My only qualm is he gave away far too many free kicks.
Valentin Roberge - 7
Look completely composed, constantly asking for the ball and starting attacks. Did well. If him and Diakite can keep up with Premier League football they make a well balanced defensive pair.
Phil Bardsley - 5
Much like Celustka in that he failed to make too much of an impact in the attacking area of the pitch. Wasn't great defensively either. Made a crucial goal line clearance though, well, not so crucial given the final result I guess.
Lee Cattermole - 2
A one to forget or a one to concern? He has shown enough in the last month or so to suggest that he is a lot better than this. Rest required perhaps. Awful though, caught in possession outside his box three times and was lucky only one was capitalised on.
Ki Sung-Yeung - 6
Involved in everything as he always is, it's the first time I've seen him boiled down in real frustration though.
Jack Colback - 7
Pick of the midfield for me, looks to be reinvigorated by his time out of the team. Maybe should would have scored if he wasn't plagued by the SAFC 'must take a touch on every occasion' virus.
Emanuele Giaccherini - 7
Our brightest attacking spark once more, a shame there was little movement around him to exploit. Wasteful shooting mind on the three occasions he took a shot. Created a tremendous chance for Fletcher. Might’ve have had a goal if not for a questionable offside decision.
Ji Dong-Won - 6
He was getting stick for just receiving the ball around me. Didn't seem fazed by it, did okay, any attacking organisation we did have seem to disappear when he was taken off. Created chances, but had a glorious one blocked.
Steven Fletcher - 4
Barely involved, missed a great chance - easy to blame those around him but there was no movement or guile to his play.
Fabio Borini - 4
You would be forgiven for not noticing he was there. Probable fitness issues contributing.
Jozy Altidore - 6
Created a few chances after coming on, the ball still seems to bounce of him in unpredictable directions a lot of the time - but much better.
Adam Johnson - eh?
Did he really come on?