If you were looking for someone to sum up this afternoon’s performance against Bristol City then you could do worse than giving Premier Passions another watch. “That’s fucking minging that” and “weak as piss” were two well used expressions.
We are routinely told that the current set of players want to be here and are committed to fighting for the shirt, but once again both fighting spirit and good football was in short supply.
Despite this we actually were initially the better team and the surprise inclusion of Darron Gibson actually looked to have provided us with a little bit of a spark in midfield. N’Dong and Oviedo had early efforts comfortably dealt with by Frank Fielding in the Bristol City goal. After 8 minutes the lads had a glorious chance to put themselves in front, unfortunately though the ball dropped to John O’Shea rather than McGeady or Grabban and the Irishman’s shot was deflected over the bar.
Sunderland continued to be the better team throughout the first quarter of the match and we had another good chance to take the lead on twenty minutes but Grabban’s dinked effort ended up going frustratingly wide of the post.
Anyone who has followed us this season knows exactly what I’m going to say next. Bristol City took the lead against the run of play with a soft goal. Sunderland failed to clear from a City corner whilst Jason Steele cowered on his goal line, this allowed Bobby Reid to nod home from close range.
However, we did actually regroup fairly well and finished the half on top. Gibson’s deflected effort was kept out by a superb recovery save from Fielding and the lads can consider themselves unlucky not to have won a penalty as the ball struck Ros Pisano’s hand. But right on the stroke of half time we finally enjoyed a stroke of good fortune as a goal mouth scramble ended with Lewis Grabban stabbing the ball home from close range.
In the second half, energised by our deserved equalizer we really took the game to Bristol City...of course we didn’t. We hardly had a shot in anger and despite having our fair share of the ball we couldn’t break down a functional City side that appeared to be settling for a point.
All too often we got into promising areas only to fluff our lines with the final ball and their keeper was rarely tested. As the game went on, the crowd became more frustrated and Jason Steele had to be at his best to deny O’Dowda from close range. But we didn’t hold out much longer, and Djuric was virtually left unmarked by John O’Shea and the visiting player had the relatively simple task of heading the ball home. We huffed and puffed in the closing stages and Fielding was forced into a reaction save with the last kick of the match, but in truth Bristol City saw the game out with ease.
The result leaves Sunderland second from bottom and just two points above basement boys, Bolton Wanderers who we “entertain” on Tuesday night. What a glorious time to be alive.
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