Sunderland left it late, but Patrick Roberts earned the Black Cats all three points on Saturday. Here’s how the Lads rated out of 10…
ANTHONY PATTERSON 6/10: Didn’t have much to do, but dealt with crosses fairly comfortably against a physical Reading side.
TRAI HUME 8/10: Probably the standout player in the first half, defending really well and he was the player who looked most up to the challenge of competing in the air with Andy Carroll.
DAN BALLARD 7/10: Wasn’t really troubled all game as Reading created next to nothing.
DANNY BATTH 7/10: Comfortable throughout the day, just like Ballard and walked through the game.
AJI ALESE 7/10: Another defender who wasn’t tested today. Did okay on the left, pushed high and wide. Thrown forward as Sunderland searched for a winner and gave us another dimension as an auxiliary attacker.
EDOUARD MICHUT 7/10: Could have had an assist on another day after playing a couple of killer balls to the likes of Gelhardt and Clarke. Also should have scored himself, when he blazed a shot over the bar.
DAN NEIL 6/10: Tidy in the middle, but not a stand-out game from Neil. Kept the ball well without being too adventurous.
PATRICK ROBERTS 7/10: Tony Mowbray’s brightest attacker, with a couple of shots from the edge of the box. Ultimately won the game with a determined solo-run.
AMAD DIALLO 6/10: Not at his best against a fairly resolute defence. Looked a bit tired and frustrated and understandably was brought off early.
JACK CLARKE 5/10: Never shied away from the ball but nothing really came off for Clarke.
JOE GELHARDT 5/10: Dragged one half-chance wide and never stopped running and chasing down the defenders, but he was isolated up top and couldn’t compete when the ball was lumped up to him, and generally struggled to get into the game.
ALEX PRITCHARD 6/10: Gave the hosts a bit more control and attacking directness when he came on the pitch.
ISAAC LIHADJI 6/10: Looks an exciting talent. Only had a handful of touches but could be an interesting option off the bench as the season goes on.
LUKE O’NIEN 6/10: Pressed well and offered some more physicality in midfield.
ABDOULLAH BA 6/10: Didn’t see a lot of the ball but came on and gave us more legs in midfield.
JEWISON BENNETTE 6/10: Always looking to run in behind and beat his man, but looked a bit lightweight. Still excites the crowd whenever he touches the ball.