Journalist Phil Smith has sung the praises of Alex Pritchard after Sunderland were promoted to the Championship on Saturday afternoon.
The lowdown: Sunderland promoted
The Black Cats overcame a resilient Wycombe Wanderers to return to the second tier of English football, having won the League One play-off final 2-0 at Wembley.
Elliot Embleton opened the scoring for Alex Neil’s side before Ross Stewart doubled the advantage just 10 minutes before full-time in London as Sunderland ended a four-year spell in the third tier of English football.
After the match, in a performance full of impressive outings from the Wearsiders, Smith was full of praise for one man’s standout display in particular…
The latest: Pritchard praised
Compiling the player ratings for the Sunderland Echo, the outlet’s chief SAFC writer awarded the 29-year-old a nine out of 10 rating.
Pritchard was hailed for his ‘excellent’ positional awareness and ‘superb work rate’, whilst also providing the assists for both goals at Wembley.
The midfielder completed five of his nine crosses, won six duels and made four key passes and three clearances during an 81-minute outing which earned a match-high 8.10 Sofascore rating.
The verdict: ‘What a moment’
Ultimately, Pritchard’s performance and indeed the day were summed up in Smith’s final line – ‘what a moment’. This day had been a long time coming for Sunderland supporters, and to do it in such style was an ideal way to finally seal promotion.
Is this the year that Sunderland finally get out of League One?
Former England under-21 international Pritchard has been sensational throughout the campaign, with four goals and 14 assists, and he played a fitting role in the win which ensured that Neil’s side will bring Championship football back to the Stadium of Light for 2022/23.
Attention can now turn to Neil’s transfer business both in terms of incomings and outgoings over the coming weeks and months, and the 29-year-old is almost nailed-on to remain an integral part of Sunderland’s Championship plans after his Wembley heroics.
Click here to comment on this articleor
Give us feedback on your Football Transfer Tavern experience