Six things we learned from Sunderland's stunning draw with Bristol City: Atrocious defending and fans show their class

Sunderland fans at Ashton Gate.
Sunderland fans at Ashton Gate.
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Sunderland and Bristol City produced a thrilling 3-3 draw at Ashton Gate, with the Black Cats coming from 3-0 down to rescue a point.

Here's what we learned from the draw.

Lee Cattermole fights for the ball.

Lee Cattermole fights for the ball.

Bags of spirit.

Sunderland’s squad has been on the end of heavy criticism after back-to-back deflating defeats and found themselves again staring into the abyss at Ashton Gate.

Spurred on by the fans, the players showed they have the character and spirit needed to get out of trouble.

Time to start producing it from the first minute. Why wait until 3-0 down. The first half was a shambles, second half a transformation.

Sunderland concede another goal as Famara Diedhiou rounds Lee Camp. Pictures by Frank Reid.

Sunderland concede another goal as Famara Diedhiou rounds Lee Camp. Pictures by Frank Reid.

The bar has been set.

Fans a class above.

Social media had gone into meltdown when the third Bristol City goal went in. The fans at the game had seen enough too, chants of ‘You’re not fit to wear the shirt’ boos at half-time and even the club’s Twitter account referenced some fans who’d understandably left early.

It could easily have turned toxic on the terraces. Crucially, it didn’t.

Sunderland’s supporters stuck with their side after the break and against all odds were rewarded with what could yet prove a precious point

Atrocious defending continues to infuriate.

Sunderland fell behind after just five minutes, Aden Flint lost his marker from a free-kick and had time to take three touches as he scored the opener with not a single SAFC defender anywhere near.

The defence was then cut open for Famara Diedhiou’s brace, a pitiful attempt at an offside trap breached before a tap-in for the third.

The switch to four at the back worked and will surely be in Chris Coleman’s thinking for Brentford.

Joel Asoro a big plus under Coleman.

The Swedish teenager has taken his chance with both hands since Coleman replaced Simon Grayson. He worked tirelessly second half to probe and ask questions of the Robins defence and got his reward with a key role in the equaliser.

Twisting and turning, Asoro created space before pulling the ball back, it took a wicked deflection off Marlon Pack and looped over Frank Fielding.

Cue wild scenes of celebration.

Coleman subs provided much-needed spark.

Surprisingly Coleman opted against making any subs at half-time but he did switch formation, going to a back four. When he did bring on his subs, they made a big impact.

Kazenga LuaLua was powerful and direct, his shot was spilled and Ashley Fletcher should have buried the rebound but for a Fielding wonder save.

Aiden McGeady also added some craft and guile and he finished smartly from Lee Cattermole’s free-kick.

Big point given other results.

For all the euphoria surrounding the comeback, Sunderland are actually worse off than at the start of the weekend after Hull City beat Nottingham Forest away to pull themselves out of the drop zone.

It means Sunderland are now three rather than two points from safety. Barnsley and Burton also both drew.

However, the stunning comeback at Ashton Gate felt like a win and it could yet prove crucial.

Coleman & Co will need to build on that ahead of a huge couple of weeks.