Sky Bet Championship
Stadium of Light - 12.30pm

Sunderland 5

  • Clarke 1'
  • Ekwah 7', 45'
  • Dack 48'
  • Rigg 90'+5

Southampton 0


IBO Reporter:Spot51

|If you'd offered me 10 points from 12 during August I'd have bitten your hand off. Apart from the comedy 4-4 with Norwich, Saints have been ruthlessly efficient on the pitch while chaos reigned off it. We all expected comings and goings this summer but why does it always feel so traumatic FFS?

Lavia and JWP were always going to leave and I wish them luck, despite questioning why they went where they went. Theo, Mo and Willy walked at the end of their contracts and we have shed a further 10 (as of Thursday) of whom I was only sad to see Tino and Tella leave. Incoming we have loaned 3, signed 2 free agents and paid a fee for Shea Charles who, TBF, looks decent. The deadline day signing of Stewart was a relief. He was due to play a closed-doors friendly during the international break so will hopefully be able to boost our firepower sometime soon.

Sunderland are 18th on 4 points after losing their first 2 games.

Team News

|Sunderland have a lot of young players who have yet to be bowed by cruel experience. They set up 4-2-3-1 with Jude Bellingham's younger brother up top and pacy wide-men on both flanks. They included 3 new signings in their squad.

Saints brought Che up north, then left him on the bench. We gave full debuts to Holgate in the back line and Downes in midfield alongside Stu and the returning Will Smallbone. A front line of Mara, AA and Edozie looked somewhat lightweight. We wore the decent black and grey 3rd kit.

We had another senior ref in David Coote.

The black and yellow third kit will be making it’s Championship debut this weekend, with grey shorts and black and yellow socks.

Embed from Getty Images

A really bad day at the office and yes Sékou Mara, that's exactly how we felt

Match Report

|Well, who saw this shitshow coming? Not me for sure.

We looked decent for the first 25 seconds, Mara winning the ball and feeding Adam whose shot rebounded off a defender. Our corner was cleared and they broke upfield. Hume had time and space to hit a diagonal cross over our back-tracking defenders (i.e. Edozie) but no one got near their left winger, Clarke, who had a simple close-range header. 1-0 after 54 seconds. FFS!!

We had a few minutes of midfield sparring before, on 7m, Ba fed Ekwah who cut in from the right and hit a speculative shot from distance. I don't think it was on target till Downes stuck out a lazy leg and turned it just inside the post. 2-0 FFS.

With an unexpected lead to defend Sunderland could curb their enthusiasm and drop into a defensive barricade. Three guys sat in front of the back line with both wingers doubling up to help their full-backs and Jobe left to harass our guys as they aimlessly played around in midfield. Despite racking up our possession stat, this was wholly unproductive, yet, when they won the ball back, as on 13m, they invariably put the ball into our box or got a shot away. On this occasion thankfully, Ba's effort was too high for our defence to turn it in.

We eventually got a chance when Dack brought down KWP. Manning took a direct free kick but Patterson got down to save it by his post. On 19 m, Stu was fouled a couple of times, with one quick free kick rolled into the box where Manning went down in a crumpled heap. Replays showed his legs had been taken from under him but our "Prem quality" missed it. Where the feck is VAR when you want it?

Sunderland persisted with their "have a go if you think you're hard enough" approach till the 10m possession stat showed 91% Saints. Yet we had created sod all. We had at least got shots away. Smallbone hit the side netting then Edozie cut in from his wing but could not reprise his opener against QPR and screwed his shot wide. The commentators determined that "the next goal is key".

Clarke was a menace down their left and, even when our full-back was close, he gave him a torrid time. On 28m Clarke won a corner from KWP's challenge. We struggled to clear the ball but eventually, they put the ball out for a goal kick. From the half-hour mark, content that we couldn't hurt them, Sunderland came out of their shell and the game became more open.

Sadly for Saints, we were unable to benefit from their more adventurous approach and it was Baz obliged to save when Clarke met Dack's pass and shot on target. Mara was carded for a lazy foul on Dack. Ba then broke into our box and performed a swan dive which was also met with a yellow card.

On 40m Holgate brought down Clarke in shooting range. Dack shot and Baz got down well to save. Sadly, he failed to get the ball away to the side but it was Bednarek who got the rebound out of our box. Sunderland were on top now, We dealt with a corner but when Neil sent Dack into our box we were glad to see the lino's flag go up.

Stu played a dirty trick on O'Nien when the defender fouled him. He quickly hit the ball against the defender's shins and Coote booked him. TBF Usain Bolt could not have got 10 yards back in that time. Sunderland's fans booed loudly. We then won a corner and, deja vu, off they went up our end but this time failed to score. FFS!

My relief was short-lived as Holgate gave them the ball just outside our box and Ekwah took another pot which, again, nestled in the corner. Shite! Thank god for half-time.

Amazingly, Holgate was not hooked for the second half but both Stu and Edozie were. Fraser went wide left, Ché up the middle and "captain for the day" to left midfield. The actors may have changed but the script was unaltered. We immediately gave them the ball and they were at us like Assyrian wolves. Fortunately, it was Cirkin who shot and his wayward effort sailed wide.

His next involvement was more productive as he picked out Dack in the box and Baz brilliantly saved his close-range header. Sunderland kept coming and when Holgate allowed a right-wing cross to roll over his boots Dack was able to tap it home for a few feet out. 4-0 FFS! Can we stop now, please?

The contest was dead and buried but so Saints had 40m to practice uselessly passing the ball to each other - which they did. There was a stoppage as Ballard was hurt when blocking a shot and got kicked by the follow-through. Sunderland were still looking more likely to score. O'Nien hit a speculative effort over following a corner, then Cirkin picked out Clarke, unmarked by the penalty spot but Baz again pulled off a great save to deny the winger.

Around the hour mark we started to enjoy more useful possession. From a corner, the ball was cleared to Holgate who hit a swerving shot that almost embarrassed their keeper. He failed to catch it and the ball squirmed past him - and past the post. Holgate also rose to meet the resulting corner but it went high. When it ain't your day…

There was a brief delay for Ché to get running repairs but he was OK to continue. We began to look half-decent for a while. Fraser's cross found Mara but he stuck his header over. Mowbray was clearly worried and stopped the game to make his first substitutions: Semedo for Bellingham and Pritchard for Dack. Russ sent on Shea Charles for Holgate (about an hour too late).

There was an interesting moment when Smallbone played a ball across the box. It was kicked away by a defender but when Fraser collected he was flagged offside. Russ went ballistic. 4-0 down yet he loses it over a dodgy flag. That's our boy!

The Ref then booked Ché for a handball he could not have avoided and Ché immediately fouled Ballard but escaped a second card. On 70m, for the first time in the match, Flynn Downes put his body in the way of a shot (from Semedo) and it went for a corner. No doubt Baz was relieved.

He must've been delighted when Sunderland's next 3 shots were also blocked. Had we suddenly remembered how to defend?

On 72m Aribo replaced Mara who'd had a decent run out if nothing more. We managed to catch Ba offside during their next attack. Dan forced Ballard to concede a corner which Manning landed on Shea's head but it went wide. He looks as though he may be a danger from set pieces and must be a starter from hereon.

On 75m the long-suffering Saints fans who must've travelled up on Friday let rip with OWTSGOI - well done guys. That is the spirit. They pretty much continued till the grisly end. It must've helped our team who kept trying. Fraser put a shot wide, then Joe had another blocked. At the back, another grey shirt got in the way of Pritchard's effort.

The last round of changes saw Alcaraz on for Will and Clarke and Ba replaced by 2 more youngsters, Benette from Costa Rica (19) and Rigg (16). On 84m Charly had a shot blocked by Bennette and they cleared the corner. We were opened up again on 88m when Semedo was played in by Neil and Baz made another great save, They wasted the corner.

With 5 minutes added, the away fans kept singing till the bitter end. Jo and Charly won a corner off Ekwah and, again, Charles won the header but put it over. One day…

Don Goodman on pundit duty made Clarke his MoM and that was hard to argue with. Sunderland, meanwhile, were trying to score again. First, Benette was caught offside then Semedo fired wide from the edge of our box. At the last, they scored a super goal to finish us off.

Benette bamboozled our defence with 3 Cruyff turns before hitting a beautiful cross to the back stick where young Rigg met it. He did what the coaches had told him, and headed it down into the opposite corner. Tony Mowbray was wearing a massive grin. Russ wasn't.

Sunderland were great today. They were strong, fit and bright enough to exploit our frailties. In front of that crowd, they will be a handful for most Championship sides, but they won't score 5 every time.

We were poor today. 68% possession and 13 attempts yet we only worked their keeper twice. Thankfully, a 2-week gap will allow our coaches time to analyse that shit and try to prevent a repeat. Of course, the arrival of Leicester will allow much visiting of the 0-9 debacle but without Baz, this defeat could have reached that magnitude. We have a decent enough squad and coaches who ought to know what they are doing. Time to earn that money, Guys!

Man Of The Match

There were failures all over the park today and in the away dugout. Mowbray knew exactly how and when to harm us and his players stuck to his master plan.

Our shocking defending, overrun midfield and powder puff attack will cut no mustard in this league so a re-set needs to be swiftly applied. Team selection is key and that means Che up front till Stewart is fit and both She Charles and Harwood-Bellis starting.

I was tempted to withhold the IBO MoM this week but eventually decided that Bazunu (perhaps responsible for their 3rd) had at least tried his best. There is a keeper there if those ahead of him do their jobs properly. It is, after all, a TEAM game.



  • 1 Patterson
  • 32 Hume
  • 13 O'Nien - Booked 42'
  • 5 Ballard
  • 3 Cirkin
  • 24 Neil
  • 39 Ekwah
  • 17 Ba - Booked 39' (Rigg 82')
  • 46 Dack (Pritchard 64')
  • 20 Clarke (Bennette 81')
  • 7 Bellingham (Silva Semedo 63')


  • 2 Huggins
  • 9 Silva Semedo
  • 18 Taylor
  • 19 Bennette
  • 21 Pritchard
  • 23 Seelt
  • 25 Triantis
  • 30 Bishop
  • 31 Rigg


  • 31 Bazunu
  • 2 Walker-Peters
  • 35 Bednarek
  • 6 Holgate (Charles 64')
  • 3 Manning
  • 16 Smallbone (Alcaraz 82')
  • 4 Downes
  • 17 S Armstrong (Adams 45' - Booked 69')
  • 18 Mara - Booked 35' (Aribo 72')
  • 9 A Armstrong
  • 23 Edozie (Fraser 45')


  • 1 McCarthy
  • 7 Aribo
  • 10 Adams
  • 14 Bree
  • 21 Harwood-Bellis
  • 22 Alcaraz
  • 24 Charles
  • 26 Fraser
  • 27 Amo-Ameyaw

Match Stats

  • Home/Away
  • Possession: 32%/68%
  • Shots: 18/13
  • Shots on Target: 10/2
  • Corners: 5/8
  • Fouls: 20/10

Officials, etc.

  • Referee: David Coote
  • Assistants: Timothy Wood, Mark Scholes
  • Fourth official: Ollie Yates

  • Attendance: 41,459


Yes, this site uses cookies as well. If you are happy to continue, then you can dismiss this window, by clicking the “Dismiss” button on the right. If you want to know more then click Read more