The Lowdown: Vital point?
It is safe to say that the Black Cats were not at their best at the Stadium of Light, but grabbed themselves what could be a vital point in their hopes of securing a play-off place.
Should Sunderland start O'Nien?
A Michael Ihiekwe own goal in the 88th minute spared their blushes after the central defender had given the visitors the lead early in the first half, and that point keeps the Black Cats in the top six… just.
The Latest: O’Nien slammed
Taking to Twitter, West slammed a few of the performances from the Wearside club, including O’Nien’s:
“Too many of our players are having an off-night here. Matete went into his shell after the yellow, O’Nien has been poor, and Broadhead has been neutralised.”
The Verdict: Harsh
The criticism of O’Nien seems harsh as he was one of SAFC’s better players on the night.
Yes, he was guilty of giving possession away no fewer than 15 times in total, and also made two fouls, no dribbles or key passes (SofaScore), but the central midfield player at least put a shift in for his team and improved as the game went on.
O’Nien won 11 individual duels, more than anyone else on the pitch, and also recorded two tackles, one clearance and interception, while he himself was fouled five times, again more than any other player, as SofaScore gave him a respectable 6.9/10 overall rating.
Nonetheless, he looks to have secured his starting place as Alex Neil’s side face Morecambe away from home on the final day.
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