Sunderland owner Kyril Louis-Dreyfus meets international striker as ex-target returns with Sheffield United
After shaking hands with Sheffield United boss Paul Heckingbottom and the visitors’ coaching staff, Tony Mowbray wanted some answers from the fourth official.
As has previously been the case this season, the Sunderland head coach was left frustrated that more stoppage-time hadn’t been played, despite seven additional minutes being shown and the ball being out of play for most of that time.
As he expressed in his post-match press conference, Mowbray was also upset that Sheffield United’s winning goal was allowed to stand, when Sander Berge attempted to play the ball following Tommy Doyle’s free-kick which made it 2-1.
Daniel Ballard was the most vocal Sunderland player, immediately raising his arms and appealing to the linesman, before running over to referee Matt Donohue.
Yet, despite a brief delay, the goal was given.
Here are some of the moments you may have missed at the Stadium of Light:
Trai Hume tackle divides opinion
There was also a disagreement in the first half as Sunderland defender Trai Hume was booked for a late tackle on striker Daniel Jebbison.
The tackle led to several visiting players surrounding the referee to try and get the Sunderland man sent off.
At half-time Sky pundit Courtney Sweetman-Kirk said Hume’s challenge had been made with excessive force and should have been a red card, while fellow pundit Jobi McAnuff said the referee gave the defender the benefit of the doubt.
Former Sunderland target in action
Sunderland fans may also remember that Jebbison was once close to signing for the Black Cats at the start of last season.
The 19-year-old attended a pre-season friendly at the Stadium of Light as Sunderland tried to agree a loan deal, but instead signed for Burton.
Since returning to Bramall Lane, Jebbison has made 12 Championship appearances this season.
Kyril Louis-Dreyfus welcomes international forward to Wearside
Sunderland owner Kyril Louis-Dreyfus was joined by an unexpected guest at the Stadium of Light, as Barcelona forward Ousmane Dembele joined him in the directors box.
The French World Cup winner has been sidelined with a hamstring injury in recent months, meaning he has missed Barcelona’s last seven league games.
Dembele’s appearance was picked up by Sky’s TV cameras, with the 22-year-old in conversation with Louis-Dreyfus.
Sheffield United’s kick-off routine
Fans who were late into the stadium almost missed a goal within seconds of the kick-off, as Sheffield United tried to catch Sunderland off guard.
The visitors positioned six players down the right flank before sending the ball into the channel.
James McAtee’s shot was then blocked, before Anel Ahmedhodzic headed wide from the following corner.
Applause for John MacPhail
In the fifth minute both sets of fans paid tribute to former Sunderland and Sheffield United player John MacPhail.
The Scottish former defender, now 67, suffered a tragic life-changing brain injury after falling down the stairs at his home in December 2021, with both clubs hoping to do their part to raise vital funds.
John’s granddaughters were also mascots for the game, while people can donate via the JustGiving page of John’s family.