Phil Smith's player ratings: How Sunderland stars rated in vital Bradford win - including 'superb' Duncan Watmore

Sunderland secured a vital win over Bradford City at the Stadium of Light - but who were their standout performers?

Wednesday, 26th December 2018, 16:28 pm
Updated Tuesday, 8th January 2019, 16:13 pm
Duncan Watmore shone for Sunderland against Bradford

Aiden McGeady's first-half strike handed the Black Cats a well-deserved three points and allowed them to cut the gap between themselves and leaders Portsmouth. There were some standout performances on Wearside, but who caught the eye of our Sunderland reporter Phil Smith? Scroll down and click through the pages to see who shone - and struggled - for the Black Cats against the Bantams in his player ratings:

Seemed very fortunate to get away with a big error as Jack Paynes effort looked to edge over the line. Uncharacteristically uncertain throughout. 5
An excellent display by any standards. That it was in his wrong position made it only more impressive. Got forward but so tenacious in defence. 8
Used the ball well and was excellent defensively. Back to the levels we saw in his first few Sunderland games. Important contribution. 8

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Involved in an off-the-ball confrontation in the second half that could have had worse consequences. Shaky on his return from injury. 6
Almost got an assist with some good crosses and defended well enough, too. 6
Much closer to the performances that so quickly endeared him to supporters. Set the tempo and was good off the ball too. 6
Struggled to get to the pace of the game in the opening exchanges but did improve from there. Helped settle the side in the latter stages. 6
Involved in some really good Sunderland moves but was also often guilty of holding onto the ball for too long or picking the wrong option in possession. 6
Worked hard and improved at the start of the second half but nothing quite came off for him. 5
Scored an excellent goal and probably Sunderlands most threatening forward. Unlucky that some good crosses did not lead to goals. 7
Unlucky not to get on the scoresheet with a couple of really clever efforts. All-round play was very good and showed excellent control. Looked just about back to his best. 7
Superb cameo. Carried the ball brilliantly and drew a handful of crucial fouls. Very encouraging. 7
Showed quickly what Sunderland have been missing. Held it up and won headers. 6
Little chance to make an impact. N/A