Sunderland are a side who represent a big threat on their day. When they get it right, they are a force.
It’s consistency that the Black Cats struggle with. That is the thing that has left them where they’ve been for the past few seasons – in League One.
However, yesterday the Wearside outfit really hit the straps and were on the ball from the kick-off of the game against Doncaster Rovers at the Stadium of Light.
Sunderland 4 – 1 Doncaster Rovers – Mackem Massacre
As a game, it was effectively over by half-time with Sunderland 3-0 to the good. The Black Cats added another in the second half.
Doncaster could count themselves unlucky in a couple of respects. They were caught cold by a first-half hat-trick from Sunderland striker Charlie Wyke – all provided by Aidan McGeady.
Over the course of the game, they were the most active side in terms of ball progression and chances. The difference was, unlike Lee Johnson’s Sunderland, Darren Moore’s side couldn’t finish theirs off.
The second half saw Wyke add another goal to his hat-trick and it was another goal provided by left-sided trickster McGeady.
Three players who shone for Sunderland vs Doncaster Rovers
With four goals from his five shots, there was no argument that Wyke was going to be one of the three choices of outstanding Sunderland players on the day.
All of Wyke’s goals came from headers, underlining his prowess in the air for the Wearsiders. He won four of his six offensive headed duels against Rovers defenders.
He made 22 accurate passes, completing at an 88% accuracy rate. It was an all-round performance where he thoroughly deserved his perfect 10 rating from WhoScored.
Where Wyke scored, McGeady provided with all the striker’s goals coming from his assists. It was a stand-out performance for left-sided attacker.
Those four assists were part of EIGHT key passes that set up chances for Sunderland players. So productive was McGeady that those key passes were the whole of Sunderland’s key passes on the day.
McGeady had 38 accurate passes (79%) accuracy and 5.4% of the Black Cats play went through him during the game. He completed four-of-eight dribbles and was another fully deserving of his perfect 10 from WhoScored.
Burge went from villain to hero for Sunderland during the Doncaster game.
His villainy was such that he provided Rovers (53′) a way back into the game after conceding an own-goal. It was an avenue back into things that Moore’s side looked to exploit – despite Sunderland hitting their 4th a minute later.
His heroic aspect came out with penalty saves from Jon Taylor and Jason Lokilo – these being two of five saves he made to keep Sunderland in the game.
Details and stats derived from match page on WhoScored.com