What Lee Johnson told referee Tom Nield at half-time plus Peter Reid's return to Sunderland: Moments you may have missed against Ipswich Town
In a game which didn’t produce many clear-cut chances – there were still plenty of talking points during Sunderland’s 2-0 win over Ipswich.
The Black Cats left it late as Luke O’Nien’s header and Aiden McGeady’s penalty in the final five minutes gave them a significant win over a promotion rival.
Here are some of the moments you may have missed:
Johnson’s word with the officials
Sunderland registered just two shots on target, which both resulted in goals, as Ipswich dominated possession for large spells.
Still, despite seeing more of the ball, the visitors didn’t have too many efforts on target themselves – though Black Cats goalkeeper Thorben Hoffmann was forced to make a fine double save to deny Bersant Celina in the first half.
Sunderland’s brightest moment of the opening 45 minutes came when Nathan Broadhead, who started through the middle then moved to the left, released Ross Stewart through on goal.
The latter checked back inside the penalty area where he tangled legs with Ipswich defender Aristote Nsiala. Despite appeals for a penalty, referee Tom Nield waved play on.
Johnson clearly felt a spot kick should have been given, and told the officials when he re-emerged from the dressing room at half-time.
In footage captured by Sunderland’s ‘Access all areas’ video, Johnson walked past Nield in the Stadium of Light tunnel and calmly said, with a wry smile on his face, ‘hey, wait until you see it.’
It wasn’t the only penalty decision the referee had to make. Clearly the call to award Sunderland a late spot kick for handball against Nsiala was extremely harsh.
Callum Doyle keeps a cool head
There was another minor flashpoint at the end of the first half when Ipswich striker Macauley Bonne went to ground following a collision with Bailey Wright.
While Ipswich boss Paul Cook felt the Sunderland defender should have been punished, Wright was incensed and believed his opponent went down too easily.
The Australian centre-back then received a shove from Sone Aluko before exchanging words with Janoi Donacien.
On both occasions, Wright’s teenage centre-back partner Callum Doyle, 18, helped break up the scuffle and no cards were shown for either side.
This was a much better defensive display from the Black Cats, who had conceded eight goals in their last two league games.
Johnson’s decision to play Wright over Tom Flanagan, which was a surprise before the game, was justified as Sunderland kept just their fifth clean sheet in the league this season.
Peter Reid returns to Sunderland
There was a familiar face at the Stadium of Light as former Sunderland boss Peter Reid returned to Wearside.
The 65-year-old, who managed Sunderland between 1995 and 2002, won two promotions to the Premier League with the Black Cats and oversaw the club’s move from Roker Park.
Reid had previously worked with fellow Liverpudlian Cook at Wigan before joining Ipswich’s coaching team on a consultancy basis in October.
After arriving with the Ipswich squad, Reid appeared in good spirits as he greeted members of staff at the stadium. The result didn’t go his side’s way on this occasion, though.