Sunderland are masters of letting fans down – they crumble under pressure of expectation

Manolo Gabbiadini's first goal shouldn't have counted
Manolo Gabbiadini's first goal shouldn't have counted
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How can any team get such a morale-boosting win like Sunderland did at Crystal Palace then throw it all away just seven days later, losing to Southampton by exactly the same scoreline?

Step forward Sunderland, the masters of letting the fans down.

Just when they build everybody’s hopes up, another winnable home game slips away with nothing gained.

The way other results went, even an ugly goalless draw wouldn’t have been a bad result as we would be two places higher but Sunderland’s recent defensive improvement was blown away by a mid-table Southampton team.

The only excuse Sunderland can offer is actually a big one; the first goal should never have stood, going in off Manolo Gabbiadini’s arm and from there Sunderland never recovered.

If it had been the third or fourth goal, I wouldn’t even mention it but the first goal is always the most important and killed off Sunderland’s early confidence and belief, which rapidly went downhill resulting in a second half where Sunderland never looked like getting back in the game.

In fact, the only surprise was it took Southampton until late on before adding more goals, and by then most Sunderland fans were long gone heading for home frustrated and angry - yet again.

Ironically, Sunderland did get the ball in the Southampton net when Wahbi Khazri handled and was rightly yellow carded by the referee.

It was just a pity he wasn’t as eagle-eyed for us in the first half.

Whenever Sunderland have played a top team, like Chelsea, Liverpool or Tottenham lately at home they are expected to lose so the pressure is off and they have given a good account of themselves.

But when they play winnable games against teams like Stoke and Southampton, they have crumbled under the pressure of expectation and lost badly.

After two consecutive clean sheets, with Lamine Kone immense, Sunderland seemed to have got it right at the back, but on Saturday Kone looked out of sorts and if Sunderland’s best defender is not on his game, the rest of the back line suffers.

So it is back to the drawing board for David Moyes as in the space of just one week, his team have gone from one extreme to another.