SUNDERLAND reporter Chris Young gives his verdict after the Black Cats missed the chance for a first Premier League victory, following a goalless draw with Swansea.
Mannone 6 - Barely anything to do, with Swansea mustering just one shot on target. Back-to-back clean sheets one positive from the last two games though.
Jones 7 - Continued where he left off in the Capital One Cup, by shining on his first Premier League start for Sunderland. Always looking to get forwards and offers a better balance to the side.
Vergini 7 - Centre-half may be the Argentine’s best position after all. Helped that he wasn’t facing an old-fashioned targetman, but distribution and ability to bring the ball out from the back is an asset.
O’Shea 7 - Proved that he can thrive when regular defensive partner Brown is absent. Marshalled back-line effectively, with Swansea barely getting in-behind.
Van Aanholt 6 - Linked up well with Johnson during the first half and kept the dangerous Nathan Dyer under wraps.
Cattermole 8 - Continues to be Sunderland’s stand-out performer. Continually broke up Swansea’s attempts to move the ball quickly around the penalty area and never let the visitors find any rhythm.
Larsson 6 - Pressed Swansea’s midfield well and provided a delicious cross which Wickham should have converted.
Rodwell 5 - Game passed him by. Reaching the stage now where he needs to start putting his stamp on proceedings. (Gomez 6 - Carried the ball forwards into Swansea territory and a couple of nice interchanges with Alvarez.)
Johnson 7 - Very good first half when he came as close as anyone to scoring, but faded after the break. (Alvarez 8 - On-loan Inter MIlan midfielder demonstrated why Sunderland have brought him to the Stadium of Light. Lifted the crowd and took the game to Swansea’s 10 men.)
BUCKLEY 8 - Proving to be Sunderland’s biggest attacking threat at present. Ever-willing to run at opposition full-back and linked up well with Jones.
Wickham 6 - Held the ball up well and linked the play, albeit his decision-making still lets him down. But had to get header from eight yards on target. (Fletcher 6 - Chance wasn’t as easy as Wickham’s, but still should have grabbed the winner).
SWANSEA: Fabianski 7, Rangel 5, Williams 7, Fernandez 7, Taylor 6, Ki 6, Shelvey 6, Sigurdsson 6 (Richards 6), Dyer 6 (Montero 6), Routledge 6, Gomis 5 (Bony 6).
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