Halfway through the season, the Black Cats are 13th in the table.
After a shaky start to the season, Sunderland looks to have regained the form that we know they can produce and have won three out of their last four games.
Sunderland 1-0 Wigan
After a run of five straight draws in their first five Premier League games, Sunderland finally got a win. Steven Fletcher tapped in the winner from McClean’s cross shortly after Wigan’s Jordi Gomez was sent off. The red card was later rescinded.
Fulham 1-3 Sunderland
Sunderland hadn’t won in the league for almost two months but came desperately close to winning at Goodison Park if it hadn’t been for two late goals from the Toffees. However, Sunderland followed that game up with a convincing 3-1 away to Fulham. Brede Hangeland was sent off in the first half for Fulham for a bad tackle on Lee Cattermole. In the second half Fletcher and Cuellar scored either side of a Petric equaliser for the Cottagers but Sessegnon made sure of a win in the Capital with a delicious 25 yard strike near the end.
Sunderland 3-0 Reading
This was a match that was supposed to be Sunderland’s first home game of the season but was called off due to a mid summer battering of rain. Instead, the game was arranged for a cold Tuesday night in December but that didn’t faze the Lads as they ran out comfortable 3-0 winners. James McClean scored with only two minutes on the clock and Steven Fletcher added to that total 25 minutes later with a neat back heel from Danny Rose’s cross. In the dying seconds, Sessegnon found himself through and expertly beat the ‘keeper to round off a win which propelled Sunderland to 16th in the table.
Southampton 0-1 Sunderland
Sunderland needed a gritty performance at St. Mary’s and they produced one, never really letting the Saints have a clear chance at goal and managed to attack at the other end, with Steven Fletcher getting the winner just before half time via Sessegnon’s cross/shot. The 2,000 Sunderland’s fans that made the journey were rewarded with an early Christmas present.
Making sure that it was four visits without a win on Wearside for City was ex-winger Adam Johnson, who broke the deadlock with a shot that caught City ‘keeper Joe Hart unawares and trickled into the net after the England No.1 deflected it in. Sunderland then defended well under extreme pressure from Man City but Sunderland held out to the final whistle and managed to get up to 13th place.
Sunderland 0-1 Middlesbrough
Despite winning in the previous season’s cup Wear-Tees derby, Sunderland succumbed to a Middlesbrough side that on the night were too good for them. Although the Lads played Fletcher and Saha up top, they never looked like getting through the Boro back line and Scott McDonald’s first half strike was enough to topple the Black Cats.
Both of these teams were struggling for points at the bottom of the Premier League and after a bright start it looked like Sunderland would be the team to come out on top. However, the young Villa team’s lighting pace on the counter would catch Sunderland out when Christian Benteke headed into the path of Gabby Agbonlahor who scored a rare goal to give the Villains a rare away win.
Sunderland 2-4 West Brom
Despite the Black Cats being in good form following a 3-1 win at Fulham, they couldn’t break down a high flying West Brom team. Against the run of play, Zoltan Gera opened the scoring with a spectacular 25 yard effort which was followed up with a Shane Long goal. The Irishman pounced on a rare spill by Mignolet to tap into an empty net. Sunderland pulled goals back through Gardner and Sessegnon, but either side of these goals was West Brom strikes through Lukaku (penalty) and Fortune.