Report: Sunderland AFC 2-0 Preston North End

Sunderland AFC 2-0 Preston North End


Sunderland AFC started 2024 with a victory over Preston North End at the Stadium of Light. 


Alex Pritchard opened the scoring on Wearside with a moment of magic, arrowing a 30-yard strike beyond Freddie Woodman.  


Rarely troubled at the back, Nazariy Rusyn doubled the advantage on the stroke of half time after an incredible run and assist from Jack Clarke. 


The Lads remained untroubled throughout the second period and saw out the win to close out the festive period with seven points from a possible nine. 


Sunderland made three changes following a draw at Rotherham United, as Pritchard and Rusyn came into the starting XI alongside Aji Alese, who made his first appearance of the campaign. 


Michael Beale’s side raced into an early lead on Wearside in style, as Pritchard’s thumping 30-yard strike found the corner. 


Clarke, who saw an effort fly wide in the opening seconds, was comfortably denied by Woodman in the stages that followed, with Mads Frökjaer-Jensen posing the greatest threat for Preston. 


The Lads doubled their lead on 44 minutes through Rusyn, who poked the ball into the net from six yards after Clarke charged up the pitch and hurdled multiple challenges before finding the striker.  


Sunderland remained in control after the restart, with Preston restricted to minimal opportunities in front of goal.


Brad Potts shot straight at Anthony Patterson and Ali McCann saw a later effort blocked by his own team-mate, as the visitors failed to gain a route back into the game. 


Victory on New Year’s Day saw the Black Cats move back into the top six, as attention now turns to next weekend’s Wear-Tyne derby against Newcastle United.


Sunderland AFC: Patterson; Hume, O'Nien, Ballard, Alese (Pembélé 71), Ekwah, Neil, Pritchard (Seelt 84), Clarke, Jobe (Maydena 84), Rusyn (Ba 76).

Subs not used: Bishop, Triantis, Rigg, Aouchiche, Burstow, 


Preston North End: Woodman, Potts, Storey, Lindsay, Hughes, Whiteman, Browne, McCann (Osmajic 68), Frøkjær-Jensen, Millar, Evans (Keane 68).

Subs not used: Cunningham, Ledson, Jakobsen, Woodburn, Cornell, Holmes, Best.

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