Match Report: Sunderland AFC 0-1 Millwall

Former Sunderland man, Duncan Watmore, scored the winner, as Sunderland’s poor home form continued with a 1-0 defeat to Millwall on Saturday afternoon.

Watmore, a Black Cat of seven years, netted from the Neil Harris’ side’s only shot on target in the 71st minute, as home supporters were left frustrated again with their side’s lack of attacking output.

2X26RXY Millwall’s Duncan Watmore (third right) celebrates with team-mates after scoring their first goal of the game during the Sky Bet Championship match at the Stadium of Light, Sunderland. Picture date: Saturday April 20, 2024.

Mike Dodds made two changes from the side that beat West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns last weekend, as news of Dan Neil’s season-ending ankle injury meant that Jobe Bellingham moved into the centre of midfield with Bradley Dack coming in to lead the line.

Dodds stuck with the back-five that worked so well in their two previous away trips, and the other change came as Aji Alese replaced Trai Hume.

An uneventful opening to the game saw the Black Cats struggling to find any attacking areas, as Milwall’s setup restricted the free-flowing nature of the home side.

However, it was Dodds’ side who found the better openings of the first half, with Chris Rigg doing well to work the goalkeeper after an impressive solo run to evade a few blue bodies, but a low effort was sent straight into the gloves of Matija Sarkic.

The hosts continued to go close as the half progressed, with Dan Ballard and Jobe both having headers angled over the bar.

A half-time switch saw Hume replace Dack in a move that sought to push Sunderland further up the pitch, but they were continuing to be frustrated as Hume’s looping drive rose over the crossbar.

2X26W55 Millwall’s Casper de Norre (left) and Sunderland’s Adil Aouchiche battle for the ball during the Sky Bet Championship match at the Stadium of Light, Sunderland. Picture date: Saturday April 20, 2024.

The Black Cats’ best chance of the game came as two of their substitutes linked up, as Abdoullah Ba’s cut-back found Adil Aouchiche, but his first-time shot was heroically blocked by the face of Ryan Leonard.

But Harris had set his side up to play for the one chance, and when that opportunity arose, they were clinical, and it was the former Sunderland man who netted.

The Lions’ only shot on target was the decisive one, as Ryan Longman’s low cross from the right was poked into the roof of the net by Watmore.

Harris’ side almost doubled their lead minutes from time, as Luke O’Nien diverted another Longman cross goalbound, but an Anthony Patterson save denied the Black Cats’ frustrations growing.

However, seven minutes of additional time wasn’t enough to save the hosts from dropping to a sixth successive home match without a win, as Milwall secured their Championship survival.