The THREE key moments that shaped Sunderland’s defeat to Peterborough
Sunderland suffered their first defeat of the 2019/20 campaign at Peterborough United - thanks in part to THREE key flashpoints.
The Black Cats were sentenced to a 3-0 defeat at the Weston Homes Stadium, but it could have been a very different story were it not for some make-or-break moments.
Here’s a look at a trio of moments that turned the game around:
THE FIRST-HALF FOUL ON MO EISA
The first half was a fairly cagey affair, far from the open and expansive clash that most fans had expected.
Only a moment of brilliance or an error was going to open the scoring, and it transpired to be the former through Marcus Maddison’s stunning free-kick.
But the Black Cats had every right to feel aggrieved by the foul on striker Mo Eisa that led to the set-piece.
It seemed a fairly innocuous challenge from Grant Leadbitter on the former Sunderland target, and there are certainly question marks over whether it was worthy of a free-kick.
And without that free-kick being awarded, it’s likely that the first-half would have petered out - and the game may well have transpired differently.
MARC McNULTY’s BEST EFFORT DENIED
Despite that Maddison opener, Sunderland could still well have been level at the break.
Some fine work from the returning Marc McNulty - who was among the visitors’ better performers - forced a good stop out of Christy Pym.
A leveller just before half-time would have undoubtedly changed the complexion of the game but, in truth, this was the only time the Posh stopper was forced into a serious save.
It was that inability to fashion any real goalscoring chances that really cost Sunderland - especially after the break.
SECOND HALF DOMINANCE FAILS TO COUNT
While the second half was ultimately a forgettable one, there were some positive signs immediately following the interval.
Sunderland pinned back their hosts and enjoyed a string of set pieces. Again, though, there was a lack of conviction and Pym was not tested.
It was telling that after a Max Power shot was blocked, Posh immediately countered and doubled their lead through Josh Knight.
That difference in clinical finishing from the home side was ultimately a telling factor.