Phil Smith's Sunderland AFC player ratings: Who shone and struggled in key AFC Wimbledon win?

Sunderland registered a first league win in over a month at AFC Wimbledon – but how did their players perform?

Saturday, 16th January 2021, 3:24 pm
Who caught the eye for Sunderland at AFC Wimbledon?

Charlie Wyke’s well-taken hat-trick sealed the win for the Black Cats as they claimed three points via a 3-0 win at Plough Lane.

But who caught the eye in the win, and who still has work to do?

Scroll down and click through the pages as our chief football writer, Phil Smith, offers his take on the performances of those in a Sunderland shirt:

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Nearly got his side in on goal with some excellent distribution in the first half, though there were one or two poor moments on that front in the second. Didn’t have a huge amount to do through the contest but when called upon he was tidy enough. 6
Didn’t get too many chances to get on the overlap and cross into the box, but did his defensive work with little fuss. Another assured performance at right-back. 6
A confident performance alongside Willis. Dealt with the usually threatening Joe Pigott very well and made some strong challenges. 7
A commanding performance at the back, underlining how much he has been missed and how much better the balance of the defence is with him in. In a low-quality contest, he was by some distance the best performer aside from Wyke's finishing. 8
Part of a defence that kept a well-earned clean sheet. Didn’t offer a great deal going forward but was steady enough throughout. 5
Didn’t have a great deal of opportunity to show off his passing range, but delivered a fine corner to settle the contest when Wyke converted. 6
Finished the game strongly after a very difficult first half in which he was guilty of giving the ball away far too often. Played a superb through ball to allow Wyke to land his hat-trick in stoppage time. 5
Showed some good quality in the build-up to the first goal, an excellent pass opening up the box for O’Brien and Wyke. Pressed well and showed some really good touches. Was fading from the game a little in the second when replaced by Winchester to reinforce the midfield. 6
FInished the first half well and was involved in a couple of dangerous moves, but otherwise was never really able to get into the contest. There were one or two good challenges to help his team but was quiet for the most part. 5
A good run and a very composed cross for the opener, building on his encouraging performance in midweek. Plenty of running thereafter but little sight of goal. 6
Three outstanding finishes secure the three points for his time, and Johnson will have been thrilled with how he attacked the front post with regularity. Battled tenaciously for his team, too. 9
Neat and tidy in possession, helping his side absorb the pressure and see the game out. Looked assured. 6
Will be frustrated he didn’t land a goal but offered a good outlet for his side at a time in the game when they were far from fluid. Very lively. 6
Got stuck in and tracked back well, with little chance to make much of an impact in possession. N/A