Sunderland 1 Blackburn 5: Highlights after Sammie Szmodics goals in big win for visitors

How it played out as Sunderland were thumped 5-1 by Blackburn at the Stadium of Light.
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Sunderland were thumped 5-1 by Blackburn at the Stadium of Light in the Championship.

Mike Dodds’ side fell two goals down in the first half after a brace from Sammie Szmodics. The visitors then quickly put the game beyond doubt as Ryan Hedges and Tyhys Dolen got on the scoresheet within nine minutes of the restart.

Chris Rigg did pull a goal back for the hosts, before Blackburn substitute Andrew Moran made it 5-1 nine minutes from time. Here’s how the game played out:

Sunderland vs Blackburn

LIVE: Sunderland 1 (Rigg, 77) Blackburn 5 (Szmodics, 29, 36) (Hedges, 47) (Dolan, 54) (Moran, 81)

Sunderland XI: Patterson, Hume, O’Nien, Ballard, Styles, Neil, Ekwah, Roberts (Clarke, 55), Aouchiche (Dack, 55), Mundle (Rigg, 55), Bellingham

Subs: Bishop, Hjelde, Pembele, Ba, Clarke, Rigg, Dack, Hemir, Burstow

Blackburn XI: Pears, Brittain, Hyam. S. Wharton, Pickering (Chrisene, 19) , Tronstad, Rankin-Costello (Carter, 74), Hedges (Markanday, 74), Szmodics, Gallagher (Moran, 67), Dolan

Subs: Wahlstedt, Carter, Buckley, McFadzean, Moran, Buckley, Markanday, Telovic, Chrisene

Hello and welcome to our live coverage of Sunderland's Championship match against Blackburn at the Stadium of Light.

The Black Cats will be looking to record a second successive victory after beating Cardiff on Friday, with Adil Aouchiche and Jobe Bellingham getting the goals.

We'll have all the build-up ahead of today's match, as well as in-game analysis and post-match reaction.

Stick around and refresh the page for live updates.

We'll start with the Sunderland team news.

Top scorer Jack Clarke (below) remains sidelined with an ankle injury but is expected to return before the end of the season. Forward Nazariy Rusyn is also unavailable with a calf issue, after missing the goalless draw against QPR last time out.

Patrick Roberts returned to the bench against Cardiff on Friday, along with Aji Alese. Club captain Corry Evans wasn't named in the squad at Cardiff but has returned to training following an ACL injury.

Jenson Seelt (knee), Niall Huggins (knee), Dennis Cirkin (hamstring) remain sidelined.

Dodds looking for back-to-back wins

Here's what Dodds said after Sunderland's win over Cardiff on Friday.

"There were two messages to the group. It’s not been an easy period for myself or anyone because of the results," Dodds said. "But what they have given me is they’ve completely bought into the processes and every single day they’ve turned up and bought into what we’re trying to do, and I thank them for that and have reiterated how important that is going forward.

"The second bit was being a little bit tough with them in terms of making sure we get a positive result on Monday because the reality is come Monday night if the result isn’t positive, everyone has forgotten about this." 

How Blackburn are shaping up

Blackburn haven't won in their last nine league games and are just three points above the relegation zone heading into today's match.

John Eustace's side were beaten 1-0 by Ipswich on Friday and have struggled for goals in recent weeks.

Sammie Szmodics is the side's top scorer with 21 goals in the league this season, with Rovers very reliant on the 28-year-old.

Eustace on Sunderland match

Here's what Rovers boss Eustace said when asked about Sunderland and today's match:

"It's a fantastic football club, 45,000 fans cheering the football team on.

"It will be a difficult game but every game we have played is a difficult match. They have fantastic fans, good support.

"It's a real good arena to play our football. A challenge we're looking forward to. We are doing the right things and we're looking to get three points.

"We will be ready, prepared and we'll see where it takes us."

Here are our predicted line-ups for today's match:

Predicted Sunderland XI: Patterson, Hume, O'Nien, Ballard, Hjelde, Neil, Ekwah, Mundle, Aouchiche, Ba, Bellingham

Predicted Blackburn XI: Pears, Brittain, Hyam, Wharton, Pickering, Tronstad, Rankin-Costello, Hedges, Szmodics, Dolan, Gallagher

Back at the Stadium of Light

Dodds in his pre-match programme notes

“Over the last few weeks, Bradley Dack, Corry Evans, Aji Alese and Patrick Roberts have been putting in the work at the Academy of Light to return to full fitness.” 

“They’ve had valuable minutes in the under-21s and it’s great to have them back - I’m especially delighted for Corry. It’s been a tough 13 or so months for him and he’s worked extremely hard to get back to full fitness.”

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