Report: Sunderland AFC 1-0 Portsmouth

Sunderland AFC 1-0 Portsmouth


Sunderland defeated Portsmouth on Saturday at the Stadium of Light to return to winning ways in Sky Bet League One.


The visitors started brightly on Wearside but the Lads took command before the break, as their relentless pressing paid off and Elliot Embleton opened the scoring. 


Debutant Danny Batth impressed throughout the game and his marshalling of the backline ensured the Black Cats were relatively untroubled during the second period. 


Victory ensured Sunderland moved back into the top two, with a trip to Bolton Wanderers next up on the red and white agenda. 


Lee Johnson made two changes for the Stadium of Light match-up, as Batth made his debut and Corry Evans returned to the starting XI. 


Alex Pritchard and Bailey Wright both missed out, with Patrick Roberts watching on from the stands after completing his move to Wearside 24 hours prior to kick-off. 


Portsmouth started on the front foot in front of a 32,200-strong crowd, as Marcus Harness and Mahlon Romeo had efforts deflect wide during the opening exchanges.


Gavin Bazuna was forced into action for the first time as the clock struck 20, with the on-loan Manchester City goalkeeper flying to his right to deny Embleton.


The Lads continued to build up a head of steam and Dajaku also went close, seizing possession from Bazuna and curling just wide instead of picking out the on-rushing Stewart. 


Portsmouth failed to learn from their mistakes and they were caught in possession once again before the break, but this time Johnson’s side made them pay.


Dajaku paved the way by shrugging Sean Raggett off the ball and finding Ross Stewart, who slide it through to Embleton to produce a fine finish from 10 yards. 


A midfield battle ensued following the restart and neither ‘keeper was tested early on, with Pompey opting to roll the dice with 20 minutes remaining via a double change.  


There was no way past a resolute Sunderland backline, though, as Embleton continued to impress in the final third and Batth dominated in the air to ensure the points remained on Wearside. 


Sunderland AFC: Hoffmann, Batth, Flanagan, Doyle, Cirkin, Gooch, Evans, Neil, Dajaku (O’Brien 88), Embleton (Winchester 82), Stewart.

Subs not used: Patterson, Xhemajli, Diamond, Hume, Kimpioka. 


Portsmouth: Bazuna, Robertson (Jacobs 78), Walker, Harness, Curtis (Hirst 71), Romeo, Carter, Hackett-Fairchild, Raggett, Morell, Thompson (Williams 71).
Subs not used: Brown, Freeman, Ogilvie, Steward.

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