Phil Smith's Sunderland AFC player ratings: 'Exceptional' ace hailed as FOUR players earn 8s after Accrington triumph

Sunderland claimed a stunning away victory at Accrington Stanley - but how did their players rate in the triumph?

Wednesday, 3rd April 2019, 10:04 pm
Updated Wednesday, 3rd April 2019, 10:09 pm
Who stood out for Sunderland AFC at Accrington Stanley?

Goals from Aiden McGeady, Will Grigg and Kazaiah Sterling wrapped up a valuable three points as the Black Cats took the opportunity to pile the pressure on second placed Barnsley. There were a number of fine individual performances at the Wham Stadium, but how did our Sunderland AFC writer Phil Smith rate the showings of Jack Ross' side? Scroll down and click through the pages to see who shone - and struggled - for the Black Cats at Accrington:

Good distribution and a big save to deny Sousa early in the second half. Even landed an assist when his long kick found Grigg. 8
Did really well to keep Sean McConville quiet after Accrington changed shape after the break. Couldnt get forward much but did his job in defence. 7

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Looked slightly fortunate to get away with a penalty claim early in the second half but battled well and gave little up. 6
One of his best performances in a while. A wonderful block early in the second half, rarely beaten in the air and few errors in possession. 7
Got away with one poor pass in the second half but that was one blemish in a very classy performance. Robust and played some great balls into dangerous areas. 7
What a return to the side. Typically excellent in possession but what really stood out was his tenacity. No one won more loose balls or made more interceptions. Exceptional. 8
Like McGeouch, snapped into challenges, won headers and never let the opposition settle. 7
No doubting his work rate and was a big part of an effective Sunderland press. Just unfortunate that it never quite fell for him on the ball. 6
A scintillating 45 minute cameo. A stunning goal, nearly added another and covered loads of ground. Job done and replaced by Lewis Morgan with big challenges ahead. 8
Enjoyed having another striker to dovetail with and was full of clever touches. His goal was Grigg at his opportunistic best, good composure and an excellent finish. 7
Will be so frustrated he couldnt find a goal on a night when he did everything else right. Tenacious, held it up well and brought others into play. Very, very good. 8
Carried the ball well and did brilliantly to kill the game off, unselfishly finding Sterling when he raced in on goal. 7
Great composure to score his first senior goal. Looked a real threat on the counter. 7
Came on late and slowed the game down to his sides benefit. 6