Telling Sunderland fan chants, Danny Cowley's touchline message and a surprising free-kick call: Moments you may have missed at Portsmouth

Sunderland suffered just their second defeat of the season as they were thumped 4-0 at Portsmouth – but there were a few moments the cameras may not have picked up.

In awful conditions caused by persistent rain and swirling wind, the hosts adapted to the circumstances much better, as first-half goals from Marcus Harness, Lee Brown and John Marquis gave them an unassailable lead.

Marquis added his second of the match after the interval, meaning the Black Cats were knocked off the top of League One following Wigan’s win at Gillingham.

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Here are some of the moments you may have missed from Sunderland’s trip to Fratton Park:

Sunderland fans at Portsmouth.

Fan back the team despite heavy defeat

An away crowd of 2,110 made the long trip to Fratton Park and would have been right to feel short-changed following a dismal display.

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Yet Johnson and his players received a largely warm reception after the full-time whistle, as the travelling supporters responded with chants of 'Sunderland 'Til I Die.'

It was a similar story when Sunderland suffered their only other defeat so far this season - a 1-0 loss at Burton - although the Black Cats did deserve something from that fixture.

Even though they were comfortably second best here, the majority of fans recognise the plans Johnson is trying to implement this season, and the progress that has been made in recent weeks.

This defeat will obviously sting, yet there were always going to be setbacks in what has, overall, been a positive start to the season.

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Sunderland caught out by Portsmouth’s press

In his post-match comments, Danny Cowley said his side had planned for the weekend’s downpour and set up accordingly.

Clearly the Pompey boss wanted his side to press high up the pitch from the off and the challenging conditions aided that approach, with Sunderland continuously trying to pass out from the back.

Cowley was constantly on the edge of his touchline clapping frantically for his side to stay on the front foot, while also applauding his players for their bright start. He was clearly up for it.

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Operating in a 3-4-3 system, Portsmouth wing-backs Mahlon Romeo and Lee Brown spent most of their time in Sunderland’s half as the visitors were regularly pinned back.

On the opposite side of the dugout, Johnson was clearly frustrated and let his feelings known to the officials.

The Sunderland boss said afterwards that he had no issues with the decision to play on, but was annoyed at the explanation about the movement of the ball, as officials deemed it was not being impeded by the standing water.

Sunderland wasteful from free-kicks

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With Aiden McGeady absent through injury, the free-kick responsibilities had to be handed over to one of his team-mates at Fratton Park.

Despite Portsmouth’s dominance in the opening 45 minutes, the Black Cats did have a couple of opportunities when they won free-kicks on the edge of Portsmouth’s penalty area.

Given his pedigree from dead ball situations, Elliot Embleton may have been expected to try his luck, yet it was Luke O’Nien who stepped up instead.

On both occasions, with Embleton also standing over the ball, O’Nien failed to hit the target from free-kicks in promising positions.

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They were the type of opportunities which carried even greater significance given the nature of the match.

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