Sunderland manager David Moyes. Nigel French/PA Wire.

Sunderland manager David Moyes. Nigel French/PA Wire.

Sunderland travelled down to Swansea in good spirits, for Saturdays game. However, things did not go to plan as the Black Cats lost the game 3-0. Here are five things they could have learned from the defeat.

1. Sunderland need to buy a striker:

Jermain Defoe can’t go on forever and while Victor Anichebe has helped the ageing Defoe this season, he most certainly is not the answer long term. Fabio Borini is also returning from fitness but is more likely to feature in a wide role.

All of this considered, Sunderland need to sign another striker in case of injury or a dip in form for Defoe. As shown this weekend, if Defoe doesn’t produce, Sunderland will struggle.

2. They may regret not signing Yann M’Vila in the summer:

Yann M’Vila wanted to sign for Sunderland in the summer and the club chose not to sign him, thinking that he would join for free in January. However, M’Vila recently released a statement saying that he would not be joining the club.

This is a huge blow for the Black Cats, who’s lack of midfield quality was again highlighted by their inability to stop Swansea’s Gylfi Sigurdsson.

3. Set-piece takers will be vital:

This season, Sunderland have not found a balance between scoring and conceding goals.

With this considered, their set-pieces will come into play even more. They do have Seb Larsson who has now returned from injury and as a result, they need to make sure that he can make them more of a threat from set pieces – something that is vital to a struggling team.

4. Sunderland must retain possession better:

Swansea were far superior to Sunderland in every aspect this Saturday, including ball retention.

The Welsh side may have got lucky with their opener, which was a debateable penalty, but when you have spells of increased possession in dangerous areas, that is what can happen.

In the future, David Moyes’ side must make sure that they themselves look after the ball better.

5. The centre-backs at the club must improve:

Fernando Llorente dominated the Sunderland back line. He was far too big, brave and physical for them to handle.

At this stage in his career, Llorente is a one dimensional player. Someone whose threat should be easy to work out and stop. However, Sunderland were unable to do so.

Struggling against that sort of player is criminal at Premier League level, Sunderland must find a way to stop these kinds of threats if they are to survive this season.