Sunderland 3 Aston Villa 1: Jermain Defoe's brace the difference but who scooped man of the match?

Fabio Borini celebrates Sunderland's win
Fabio Borini celebrates Sunderland's win
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Sunderland ended a run of five-straight defeats with the 3-1 win over Aston Villa.

A second-half brace from Jermain Defoe sealing a crucial victory.

Richard Mennear gives his player ratings below:

Sunderland (4-2-3-1):

Vito Mannone: 7. Made an excellent save to deny a smart Jordan Veretout volley. Could do little about the Villa equaliser.

Billy Jones: 6. Lucky not to have been booked first half. Worked hard defensively second half to ensure victory though.

Wes Brown: 6. Looked to be injured before kick-off but was fine to carry on. Made some important blocks. Too many long balls though. Booked.

John O'Shea (C): 6. Good to have O'Shea's organisational skills back in the side. Defended well when he had to.

Patrick van Aanholt: 7. He scored the opening goal, took a big deflection but if you don't shoot you don't score. Made some key interceptions but few too many stray passes.

Lee Cattermole: 6. Struggled to cope with Leandro Bacuna initially but grew into game. Second game in four days tough ask after period out injured.

Yann M'Vila: 6. Played the ball about nicely when he managed to get involved. Sunderland needed to see a bit more from him though.

Fabio Borini: 6. One of the few players full of confidence, worked hard down the left. Made a smart run to free space for Van Aanholt to shoot and score.

Adam Johnson: 6. Played behind Jermain Defoe, worked hard but final ball wasn't the best. Needed to see a touch more guile from Johnson. Assisted Defoe's winner.

Duncan Watmore: 6. Worked hard down the right-hand side but little came off. Struggled with his crossing. Tenancious winning the ball back when it looked lost though.

Jermain Defoe: 8. MOM. He struggled first half to get a kick, Sunderland's defence and midfield insisted on playing long ball to him. Stayed patient and scored the winner. Great strike. Made the difference.


Danny Graham (for Watmore, 56): 6. Put in one inviting cross but Defoe couldn't quite get there.

Ola Toivonen (for Borini, 80): 7. Could have been booked for heavy challenge on Gil. Provided assist for late third.

Sebastian Coates (for Johnson, 88): 6. Helped see the game out.

Subs Not Used: Pantilimon, Yedlin, Lens, Fletcher.

Booked: Brown (foul, 26), Borini (foul, 33), Cattermole (94)

Goals: Van Aanholt (30), Defoe (72, 92)

Aston Villa (4-2-3-1)

Brad Guzan: 6

Alan Hutton: 5

Micah Richards (C): 5

Joleon Lescott: 6

Leandro Bacuna: 6

Idrissa Gana-Gueye: 5

Jordan Vertout: 5

Charles Gil: 6

Aly Cissokho: 5

Jack Grealish: 4

Rudy Gestede: 4


Adama Traore (for Grealish, 56): 5

Libor Kozak (for Hutton, 75): 5

Scott Sinclar (for Traore, 88): 5

Subs Not Used: Bunn, Okore, Clark, Richardson.

Booked: Hutton (foul, 43), Traore (foul,69), Gil (dissent, 86)

Goals: Gil (63)

Attendance: 41,535

Referee: Craig Pawson (South Yorkshire) Overall a steady game, could have sent Villa sub Traore off though...6/10