Dan Neil acknowledges that despite having a numerical advantage, Sunderland has seldom been able to establish their dominance
Swansea City, in South Wales, left Sunderland frustrated this past weekend as the home team remained resilient to any attacking strength Tony Mowbray’s team threw at them in order to hold out for a goalless draw.
How did Sunderland perform overall against Swansea City?
The Black Cats, who had overcome adversity to triumph over Norwich City at the Stadium of Light before making the arduous journey south-west, entered this match looking for back-to-back wins for the first time in a month.
It’s hardly surprising that Mowbray’s team made their intentions apparent right away given the flair that players like Jack Clarke, Jobe Bellingham, and Patrick Roberts possessed.
But despite all of the tidy and fluid football to which many fans throughout the Championship have become accustomed, there was one element lacking from this match: the finished product.
Nazariy Rusyn, the striker from Ukraine, was the first to become frustrated after he lost his balance and missed the goal. Later, the aforementioned Clarke and Roberts had more opportunities, and Carl Rushworth was in excellent form.
Charlie Patino, an Arsenal loanee, was sent off following two fouls committed by Pierre Ekwah. Swansea was then awarded a penalty, which came completely against the flow of play.
To the relief of everyone who believes in red and white, Anthony Patterson rejected Jamal Lowe.
In the second half, Sunderland would have more of their twenty-five attempts on goal, with Luke O’Nien in particular needing Rushworth to make a fantastic reaction save.
Only three of those attempts, though, were successful, which accounts for the final score that would have left many perplexed.
What was said following Swansea City and Sunderland’s goalless draw?
Even though his team faced a determined opposition, Mowbray acknowledged that the game might have been out of reach before kickoff.
“Everyone is irritated. In the first half an hour, 11 on 11, I believe we were playing at our best. It was supposed to be three up. It’s annoying to have to play against ten men.” He informed BBC.
“The only thing that disappoints me is that we failed to put the ball in the net. There was complete dominance in the performance, but you still needed to score.” Mowbray went on.
Sunderland has faced ten men three times this season; the first two meetings ended in victories over Watford and Queens Park Rangers. For this reason, Dan Neil’s remarks made after the game on ChronicleLive may come as a surprise
“It was very frustrating,”
“I feel like there have been a lot of times when I’ve played for Sunderland and teams have gone down to ten men and we just struggle to break them down. I felt the first 30 minutes [before the sending-off] were really good, in and out of possession I thought we dominated.” Neil went on.
While Swansea may not have had the most consistent of starts overall, the Swansea.com Stadium in recent years has been a tough nut to crack for many opponents, and this was highlighted by the midfielder.
“We came away taking the positives, yet we’re not taking many positives from this because we wanted the three points. It just shows how far this team has come because when we come to places like this we expect to take three points.” Neil added.
How does this outcome affect Sunderland?
Whilst failing to capitalise on a man advantage for any side will feel like a disappointment, it is still a respectable point for Mowbray’s men away from home as they still firmly sit among the play-off picture after the first 15 games.
Championship Table (As it stands November 6th)
|Preston North End
The Black Cats will play Wayne Rooney’s Birmingham City team again the following Saturday.