Phil Smith's Sunderland AFC player ratings: 'Inspirational' Lee Cattermole shines despite penalty heartache against Portsmouth

Sunderland suffered a cruel penalty shoot-out defeat against Portsmouth in the Checkatrade Trophy final - but how did their players perform?

By Mark Donnelly
Sunday, 31 March, 2019, 18:01
How did Sunderland's players perform at Wembley?

After Aiden McGeady's free-kick put the Black Cats in front, a spirited Pompey comeback looked to have handed them the trophy. But some more magic from McGeady took the game to penalties, where Sunderland were cruelly undone. Our man Phil Smith has dished out his player ratings from the contest , with praise in particular for Lee Cattermole. Scroll down and click through the pages to see who shone - and struggled - for the Black Cats at Wembley:

Will rue the Gareth Evans penalty that he came so, so close to saving. Despite Pompeys second half dominance, he didnt have too many saves to make and generally commanded his box well. 6
One of his toughest games since switching to right back. Looked very leggy, particularly as the game developed. Substitute Gareth Evans caused him all sorts of problems in the air and on the floor. 5
Excellent in the first half. Won second balls, broke into space and proved a very good foil for McGeady in front of him. Found it much tougher going in the second, with Jamal Lowe growing into the game. 6
Looked composed on the ball to begin with and was given little trouble by a timid Portsmouth attack. That changed in the second half with the Black Cats always vulnerable, though Flanagan rarely erred. 6
Had a good game on the whole but will be gutted with Portsmouths second, which came as he initially misjudged a long pass and then couldnt prevent Lowe getting his chip away. 6
Typified Sunderlands excellent openign to the game. Complete composure in possession, always showing for the ball and creating good angles to keep the Black Cats moving. 7
Very good in the first half and nothing short of inspirational when his side had their backs to the wall in the latter stages of the game. So many crucial blocks and challenges. Didnt deserve his penalty heartbreak. 8

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A constant threat in the first half, drifting infield and finding good openings on the edge of the area. Pompey struggled to pick him up and with a little more composure he could have got on the scoresheet. 7
Started the game with real tenacity and drove his side into dangerous areas. Influence gradually began to wane as he struggled to get close to Sunderlands attacking players in a difficult second half. 6
Cut a frustrated figure for much of the second half but had shown so much quality in the early exchanges. Roared back with a vital moment of composure in the dying seconds to take it to penalties. 8
Fit to start despite having limited training time over the international break. Looked sharp enough and was full of clever touches and turns. Ultimately a frustrating afternoon. 6
Brought some much needed freshness and drive to the final third for Sunderland in the latter stages but just lacking the end product when he got near the box. 6
Scored a fine penalty and got into some good spaces when Sunderland looked to counter. The Black Cats missed the poise of Leadbitter in midfield during the latter stages. 6
A really encouraging cameo in a pressure situation from the youngster. Made some delightful forays into the final third and just needed a bit more composure in the final third. 6
Didnt often come off the better against the exceptional Matt Clarke but added a presence and did well to keep the ball alive for McGeadys last gasp equaliser. 6