Six things we learned from Chris Coleman's first win in charge of Sunderland

And breathe. Sunderland have finally won again.

Sunday, 26th November 2017, 12:29 pm
Updated Wednesday, 6th December 2017, 11:48 am
Joel Asoro and Lewis Grabban celebrate. Pictures by Frank Reid.

Late goals from James Vaughan and George Honeyman sent the sold-out Sunderland support into ecstasy at Burton Albion.

Here's what we learned from the game.

Joel Asoro and Lewis Grabban celebrate. Pictures by Frank Reid.

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Three points. Clean sheet. Off the bottom.

As weekends go, Chris Coleman couldn't have asked for a better one. Sunderland deservedly ran out winners at the Pirelli Stadium after a much-improved second half showing.

Sunderland stepped up the tempo with half an hour to go and the pressure, built on a solid defensive foundation, eventually paid off.

Sunderland fans have had to wait since August 13 to celebrate a league win. Finally, it has arrived. This has to prove the turning point.

Chris Coleman watches on.

Case for the defence.

The Sunderland defence has been much-maligned this season but they finally secured their first clean sheet of the campaign at Burton.

What a difference a week makes for Robbin Ruiter, a week ago he was twice picking the ball out of the net against Millwall after costly blunders.

Fast forward and he had a clean sheet to cherish. John O'Shea marshalled the backline well, alongside Tyias Browning who impressed again.

Joel Asoro and Lewis Grabban celebrate. Pictures by Frank Reid.

Return of Paddy McNair and Lee Cattermole proves key.

Sunderland had plenty of midfield legs against Aston Villa in the shape of Lynden Gooch and George Honeyman but they lacked a bit of nous and experience with Darron Gibson the only senior man in the middle.

The return of Cattermole and McNair was welcome against Burton, with McNair enjoying his brightest game since returning from a long-term knee injury.

Sunderland are rightly monitoring his return carefuly so he was withdrawn with 20 minutes to play.

Chris Coleman watches on.

With games spread out and plenty of recovery time between now and the festive period, McNair will have a key role to play.

Joel Asoro makes a big impact.

The Swedish teenager was given his Sunderland debut by David Moyes last season but failed to build on that as the club unsuccessfully battled against relegation.

The arrival of Chris Coleman is another chance for Asoro to stake a claim and he has come off the bench in both games under the new boss.

Injuries have helped elevate Asoro up the pecking order but Asoro has certainly grabbed his chance, providing a brilliant cross for George Honeyman's goal.

Sunderland fans superb.

The Sunderland faithful have had to put up with a lot of rubbish in 2017 but they were finally able to celebrate a win in the away stand at the Pirelli Stadium.

This was the first ever fixture between the two sides and it was one to remember for the Sunderland fans. Wild celebrations for both goals, Chris Coleman fist-pumping at the final whistle.

It had it all.

The fans deserve credit for sticking with the team when they were struggling to break Burton down in the driving sleet and snow. They got their reward late on.

Coleman's subs reap rewards.

David Moyes and Simon Grayson both came under heavy fire for their use of substitutes but Coleman has won praise early into his Sunderland reign for his use of the subs bench.

It paid off superbly against Burton, with all three subs making a big impact.

Neither Callum McManaman or Aiden McGeady enjoyed the best of afternoon's while Paddy McNair played 70 minutes before being taken off as a precaution.

The trio that came on all had a huge impact - Darron Gibson, James Vaughan - who scored the opener - and Joel Asoro, who added pace and creativity down the right, providing the assist for Honeyman.