Phil Smith's player ratings: 'Composed second-half showing' from Lee Cattermole as three Sunderland stars get 7s

Sunderland kept up the pressure on their promotion rivals following a 2-1 win over Bristol Rovers - but who stood out for the Black Cats?

Saturday, 15th December 2018, 16:15 pm
Updated Saturday, 15th December 2018, 16:18 pm
Lee Cattermole v Bristol Rovers.

Our Sunderland writer Phil Smith has dished out his player ratings - scroll down and flick through our gallery to see who shone and who struggled.

Uncharacteristically poor in his distribution, with a number of kicks going straight into touch. Came off with an injury in the second half, which will be a massive concern for Sunderland going into the festive period. 5
Ironically quieter than usual on the day he scored his first goal for over a year. A great, composed finish and gave nothing away down his flank. 7
An erratic display. Some great challenges and interventions but some errors that left his side very exposed. 5

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Needed to do more to clear the cross from which Bristol Rovers opened the scoring. Very shaky early on but did settle. 6
A late entry to the XI after an injury to Reece James. Going forward he played his part in some excellent moves. His delivery was impeccable but no doubting that the visitors enjoyed the space he left in behind. 6
Overrun in the opening exchanges but found his feet and a brilliant backheel helped Sunderland get back on level terms. Composed showing in the second half and excellent in the final 20. 7
Gave the ball away more often than you would expect, lacking his usual precision and bite. Nearly scored a stunner with a couple of minutes left. 6
Didnt quite come off for him in the early stages but kept showing for the ball and composure to pick out Maja for the second was excellent. 6
Fantastic energy to link up Sunderlands attacks and offer support to Maja. Less effective when moved out wide. 6
Occasionally guilty of holding into the ball for too long but showed really good drive on the ball, too. 6
Another decisive contribution at the Stadium of Light from the youngster. Quality of his finish was again tremendous, forcing the defender to go to ground before slotting home an inch-perfect effort. 7
Hit the post with one good effort but also guilty of some poor moments on the ball. 5
Little to do but will have been relieved when Payne hit the bar in the dying seconds. 6
A very encouraging cameo. Held it up well, beat players and caused problems. N/A