Nottingham Forest 0-1 Sunderland: Player ratings as superb defending lifts visitors out of the bottom three

McGeady celebrates his winning goal
McGeady celebrates his winning goal
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Sunderland moved out of the bottom three with a massive victory of Nottingham Forest.

Here's how the Black Cats rated...

ROBBIN RUITER

Excellent early save and commanded his penalty box very well. A solid display. 7

DONALD LOVE

One of his best defensive performances for the club, resolute throughout and dealing with the lively Traore well in the second half. 7

TYIAS BROWNING

Joked in the week about bailing his ageing centre-backs out but it was the case today. Very good covering work and immense late on. 8

JOHN O'SHEA

Sunderland's defence looked uncertain to the high ball and they were fortunate that Daryl Murphy could not take one of his numerous opportunities. 6

ADAM MATTHEWS

Crossing from the left flank was excellent and Sunderland's best attacking outlet. Pushed back in the latter stages but performed well. A delightful assist for McGeady. 7

MARC WILSON

Was fortunate that Ruiter bailed him out following a bad early misjudgment of a long ball. Not convincing but did improve as game developed, making one brilliant late block. 6

DARRON GIBSON

Arguably Chris Coleman's most valuable player at the moment. Excellent positional sense, countless interceptions and tidy passing. 7

GEORGE HONEYMAN

Simply outstanding endeavour, harrying all through the game and often buying side time with forays forward. 7

AIDEN McGEADY (Oviedo, 83)

Still searching for his best form but delivered the game's moment of true quality, starting a move in the centre circle and powering a header home soon after. 7

CALLUM McMANAMAN (Gooch, 68)

Struggled to make any real impact on the game from an inside-right position. 5

JOSH MAJA (Vaughan, 64)

Showed some really good touches in the first half but replaced early in the second with Sunderland badly needing a more physical presence to lead the line. 5

Subs

JAMES VAUGHAN

Tenacious and physical exactly when his side needed it.

LYNDEN GOOCH

Good ball carrying helped relieve the pressure on his team.

BRYAN OVIEDO

Brought good composure and experience to hold the ball in the late stages.

Unused: Steele, Jones, Oviedo, Gooch, Asoro, Embleton

Nottingham Forest XI: Smith; Lichaj, Mancienne, Worrall, Bouchalakis (Traore, 45), Osborn, Vaughan, Dowell, McKay (Walker, 61), Murphy (Cummings, 67), Brereton

Unused subs: Henderson, Cash, Clough, Carayol

Bookings: Traore, 83

Attendance: 26,380