David Moyes’ sorry Sunderland side saved up their worst performance of the season for the final home game as his abject side surrendered to Swansea City 0 – 2 at the SOL on Saturday. It was a pathetic, half arsed performance from a spineless set of players who went behind after an early goal from Fernando Llorente following a mistake from Jordan Pickford before a superb strike from Kyle Naughton sealed the points for the visitors before half time. It was an abysmal showing from Sunderland’s players who looked like they wanted to be anywhere else other than at the game.
After putting a dent in Hull’s survival hopes last weekend Sunderland welcomed relegation threatened team to Wearside in Paul Clement’s Swansea City for our final home fixture of the season. The end of this campaign can’t come soon enough for Sunderland and David Moyes who admitted in his press conference there would be no lap of honour at the end of the game after a disastrous season.
After playing well last weekend Sunderland were without George Honeyman who picked up a knock in training after colliding with Lamine Kone whilst Lee Cattermole, Darron Gibson and Bryan Oviedo all remained side-lined. Swansea were without Jefferson Montero and Nathan Dyer but were looking to record back to back wins and move four points clear of danger taking advantage of Hull and Palace not playing till Sunday.
Moyes made one change to the side that beat Hull last Saturday with Larsson replacing the injured Honeyman and we got the game underway and had a decent chance early on when N’Dong found space on the right hand side but he slashed his shot well wide. The visitors took the lead inside ten minutes from a set piece conceded midway in our half which Sigurdsson swung into the box but Jordan Pickford made a right hash of.
The young keeper came charging off his line and collided with Denyaer allowing Llorente to nod into an empty net and leave the centre half crumpled on the floor. Denayer never really looked liked he wanted to continue and was the first to hold up the white flag and limp off the pitch in what will be probably the last time we will see him in a red and white shirt. He was replaced by one of Moyes’ Lieutenants in Darron Gibson which wasn’t well received from the crowd with the midfielder greeted by boos.
Swansea had a few more chances to double their lead but Llorente was muscled out by Kone before Pickford held a dipping Sigurdsson free kick. Sunderland offered nothing in the opening half an hour and made the struggling Swans look like Barcelona with Moyes’ side devoid of passion, energy and fight.
Too many players had their minds elsewhere – their holidays or their next transfer.
Victor Anichebe, who had already indicated on social media that he had packed his bags, was the next to cry after he went down in a heap. He tried to carry on after receiving treatment but after ten minutes he limped off and onto his next signing on fee to be replaced by Wahbi Khazri. Khazri immediately injected a bit of life into Sunderland’s attack and we forced a corner which Defoe fired goal wards but he was denied by Fabianski.
Before half time Sunderland conceded a second when Swansea made inroads down the right hand side and full back Kyle Naughton got the better of Manquillo. The defender unleashed an unstoppable shot into the top corner which practically emptied the stadium while the fans that remained booed or called for Moyes’ head.
Sunderland fared a tiny bit better second half but this was more down to Swansea happy to sit on their two goal lead and deal with our pitiful attack comfortably anytime we got near their goal. Defoe forced a free kick early in the second half which Larsson struck goal wards and vehemently claimed was blocked with an arm but the ref was only forthcoming with a booking for the Swede’s protests.
Our best chance of the game came with twenty minutes to go when Khazri’s curling free kick was palmed into the path of Billy Jones by Fabianski but the defender found the side netting with the goal gaping. There was a bit of a ruck after a challenge from Khazri ten minutes from time which resulted in a booking for the Tunisian and Gibson soon followed him into the book for another late challenge.
The full time whistle signalled a chorus of boos from those who remained in the ground whilst the majority of Sunderland’s players could not get down the tunnel quick enough like their manager. I only saw Larsson applaud the crowd before I left which is probably an indication that he is another who will be on his way.
Swansea’s win probably seals their Premier League status for another year and they couldn’t have wished for an easier game. It was a disgraceful effort from every single player, Moyes might as well have played the under 23 team as at least they would have put up a bit of fight an broke a sweat.
Final Score – Sunderland 0 Swansea 2
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