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Sunderland: Phil Smith raves over Luke O’Nien’s display v Blackburn

Sunderland: Phil Smith raves over Luke O’Nien’s display v Blackburn -Sunderland News

Sunderland journalist Phil Smith has shared his praise for Luke O’Nien following his display in the Wearside club’s 2-1 win over Blackburn Rovers in the Championship on Boxing Day. 

The Lowdown: Sunderland win it late

After putting his team behind with an unfortunate own goal, Ross Stewart scored an equaliser from the penalty spot a few minutes later, and Ellis Simms netted a stoppage time winner for Tony Mowbray’s side.

Another Sunderland player to garner some positive attention on Monday was O’Nien, who made his 22nd league appearance for the club in the current campaign, most of which have come from centre-back despite often being classified as a defensive midfielder.

Indeed, the 28-year-old found himself the recipient of some glowing praise from Sunderland Echo journalist Smith.

The Latest: Smith’s praise for O’Nien

Taking to Twitter following the win over Blackburn, the reporter singled out O’Nien for praise due to his efforts in the match.

He tweeted: “L09 absolutely outstanding today mind. He’s #SAFC starting CB on merit at the moment – so impressive.”

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The Verdict: A solid display

Playing the full 90 minutes against the Lancashire club, O’Nien showcased his defensive talents by making two tackles and two clearances and blocking one shot. He also came out on top in seven of his nine duels, more than any other Sunderland defender won on the day.

Chronicle Live also picked up on the 28-year-old’s performance by saying in their player ratings article that he “hardly put a foot wrong” in the game.

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Mowbray joined in the praise for the player by calling him “amazing” and even tipping him for a potential move to the Premier League at some point in the future.

Taking all of that into account, it’s safe to say that O’Nien put in a solid display against Blackburn and played a big part in seeing Sunderland come away with victory.

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