SUNDERLAND reporter Chris Young gives his verdict on the Black Cats’ opening defeat of the season, at newly-promoted QPR.
Mannone 7 - Couple of routine saves, but off his line sharply to thwart danger when QPR frontmen got in behind the Sunderland defence.
Vergini 7 - Handled the pacy Hoilett well and got forwards more than in previous outings this season. Perhaps should have done better with chance early in second half. (Altidore 6 - Struggled to win anything aerially during late cameo).
O’Shea 7 - Dominant in the air and willing to bring the ball out from the back when QPR were sitting deep in the second half.
Brown 6 - Lost Austin for the crucial goal on the stroke of half-time, when Sunderland needed to see the game through to half-time.
Van Aanholt 7 - Excellent going forwards, went close with a couple of shots and never let Phillips get the better of him defensively.
Cattermole 6 - After losing composure in first half and subsequently being booked, the bite in Sunderland’s game went missing.
Larsson 5 - Lacked precision with final ball in or around QPR penalty area. Caught dallying in possession just before half-time too, which allowed hosts to rank up pressure.
Rodwell 6 - Definite signs that he’s getting there with a couple of neat turns and switches of play. (Giaccherini 6 - Came as close as anyone to an equaliser with a late deflected shot, but didn’t improve Sunderland’s goal threat)
JOHNSON 7 - Pick of Sunderland’s attacking players. QPR couldn’t handle him in opening half-hour as he drifted inside off the right.
Wickham 6 - Started very well in out-muscling Isla, before QPR got tighter to him. Clock is surely ticking before he is used centrally.
Fletcher 6 - Mixed bag. Did well to connect with Johnson’s through-ball to force an excellent save out of Green and was lively early on. But couldn’t relieve the pressure by holding it up when Sunderland were under pressure. (Buckley 6 - Not as lively as on his full debut and too easily outmuscled).
QPR: Green 7, Isla 6, Caulker 7, Ferdinand 7, Hill 6, Barton 6, FER 8, Mutch 6, Hoilett 6 (Traore 6), Phillips 7, Austin 7 (Zamora 7).