Lamine Kone, Fabio Borini and goal droughts: Six things we learned from Sunderland's defeat to Leicester City

Lamine Kone. Picture by Frank Reid
Lamine Kone. Picture by Frank Reid
Have your say

Sunderland's season goes from bad to worse after another soul-destroying defeat sees them eight points adrift of safety ahead of tonight's other Premier League fixtures.

The gap to safety could be far higher come kick-off on Sunday when Manchester United head to Wearside.

Lee Cattermole. Picture by Frank Reid.

Lee Cattermole. Picture by Frank Reid.

The latest defeat came at the King Power Stadium with Champions Leicester City claiming their fifth straight league win under Craig Shakespeare.

Here's what we learned from the defeat:

Failure to react cost Sunderland dear. Again.

When the team news dropped there was good news; Jermain Defoe had shaken off a knock, Didier Ndong was restored, Lee Cattermole was back and Sunderland started with two up top.

Didier Ndong. Picture by Frank Reid.

Didier Ndong. Picture by Frank Reid.

So far, so good. Wahbi Khazri was still on the bench but you can't have everything. David Moyes had got his starting line-up and tactics right - for the opening 45 minutes at least.

Sunderland were more than a match and caused Leicester the occasional problem.

Yet, once again it became clear changes needed to be made earlier in the second half with Seb Larsson and Lee Cattermole's influence waning.

The pair had done well but the game was there for the taking.

Shakespeare made a double substitution that effectively sealed the win, while Moyes reacted too late. Hindsight is a wonderful thing but this isn't the first time.

Cattermole has been a huge loss on and off the pitch:

"You don’t become a footballer by shying away from things. Everyone has got to have that drive - or you hope they have."

The words of Cattermole after the 2-0 defeat to Leicester. The 29-year-old has been a huge loss this season; his leadership skills, determination, hunger in the middle of the park.

Cattermole is a winner and drags his teammates along with him. Technically not the best but he makes up for it with sheer will and determination.

His return is a welcome one but it appears too late to save Sunderland this season.

Fabio Borini fails to take his chance:

Moyes dropped Adnan Januzaj to the bench against Leicester City, with Borini favoured to partner Jermain Defoe up front.

He didn't take his chance - one of several chances this season while the likes of Khazri have barely had a look in. Borini's decision making was questionable at times and he wasn't a threat in front of goal.

Januzaj is ineligible to play against his parent club Manchester United on Sunday lunchtime and with Victor Anichebe only just back from injury it looks like Borini will again get the nod.

He has to start repaying that faith from the manager.

Lamine Kone has to cut out the errors:

Marc Albrighton's cross for the opening goal should have been stopped at source. But Islam Slimani was able to beat Kone in the air far too easily once the ball arrived in the box.

It was excellent centre forward play but Kone needed to be stronger despite appeals for a push. Not his first mistake this season.

There will be interest in him this summer but he needs to cut out the errors if he wants a move to a top club.

Hold the back page: Sunderland take decent corners.

It has been a bug-bear all season of fans, Moyes and those players waiting inside the penalty area for a good delivery.

For the majority of the season, Sunderland's set pieces - corners especially - have been absolutely dreadful.

Yet, against Leicester City they were dangerous and Sunderland should have made more of them.

One awful free-kick aside, Larsson produced several dangerous balls into the box from corners.

However, goal-shy Sunderland never looked liked getting on the end of one.

Will Sunderland ever score again?

Six games and almost ten hours without a goal. Will they ever score again? Fit-again Anichebe went close when he came on, the striker hitting the post.

But aside from that, Kasper Schmeichel was rarely tested as the embarrassing goal drought continues.

Sunderland have now failed to score in six consecutive top-flight matches for the first time since October 1981 - a run of eight. Damning.

And one final stat: The Black Cats have 20 points from 30 Premier League games - all 10 previous sides with this tally or fewer have been relegated come the end of the season.