Embarrassing fan chants, Sunderland's post-match team talk plus Will Grigg's appearance: Moments you may have missed at Rotherham

Sunderland lost by a four-goal margin for the second time this season as they were thrashed 5-1 at Rotherham – a result which left plenty of questions about Lee Johnson’s side.

Sunday, 31st October 2021, 10:00 am

The Black Cats were reduced to 10 men when Aiden McGeady was shown a second yellow card after half-time, yet Rotherham dominated from the off.

Millers strikers Michael Smith and Freddie Ladapo both scored twice, while defender Michael Ihiekwe bagged his second goal in successive league games.

Here are some of the moments you may have missed at the New York Stadium:

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Embarrassing fan chants

With 2,601 away fans, a buoyant home crowd and two teams fighting for promotion, this had the makings of an exciting contest.

While Sunderland started slowly, the travelling Wearsiders were finally given something to shout about when Ross Stewart drew the Black Cats level against the run of play in the 24th minute. The atmosphere was building.

Yet that was as good as it got for the away contingent as Rotherham retook control before half-time, and the scoreline never looked in doubt once McGeady was sent off 11 minutes after the interval.

Dennis Cirkin vs Rotherham.

Rotherham kept their foot to the floor and, in truth, Paul Warne’s side could have scored more as Sunderland hardly laid a glove on them.

The chants of “we want six” and cheers when Rotherham completed a pass will have been embarrassing for Johnson, his players and the away fans.

Sunderland weren’t just beaten, they were outplayed.

It’s just the second time the Black Cats have lost by a four-goal margin since their relegation into League One – the other occasion coming at Portsmouth earlier in October.

The post-match debrief

At every away game this season, Johnson has spoken to the media at the side of the pitch immediately after the match.

The Sunderland boss is usually very prompt and arrives within minutes of the game’s conclusion, yet that wasn’t the case here.

At the New York Stadium, Johnson took around 40 minutes to re-emerge for his post-match media duties, and you can only imagine some of the words that were said in the dressing room.

As always, the Sunderland boss answered the questions honestly, while accepting responsibility for his side’s poor showing.

"I picked the team today so I take total responsibility for the performance,” said Johnson. “At the same time, I want the lads to look after me a bit better because I trust them.”

Throughout the season Johnson and his players have spoken about the close-knit dressing room and positive atmosphere within the squad.

They will certainly need to stay united after this result, but also find solutions after a damaging afternoon.

Will Grigg’s appearance

The Sunderland striker, on loan at Rotherham, was ineligible to play against his parent club, as his replacement Ladapo impressed.

Grigg has become a regular starter since moving to the New York Stadium and has already scored a handful of goals.

The 30-year-old frontman sat near the dugout to watch this match in his Rotherham training gear.

It will be interesting to see if Warne recalls Grigg for his side’s next fixture, away at Charlton on Tuesday, after Smith and Ladapo caused havoc for Sunderland.

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