Sunderland got their first league win of the 2019-20 season on Saturday afternoon as they bested Portsmouth at the Stadium of Light.
The victory was much needed after two draws and supporters left the Stadium of Light with huge smiles after a deserved three points.
Here are five things we learned from the victory:
WILLIS MAKES HIS MARK
Sunderland went a goal down against Portsmouth and everybody in the Stadium and watching on TV was wondering how the team would respond.
Just five minutes after conceding, the Lads were level thanks to a first goal from summer signing Jordan Willis.
Grant Leadbitter fired in an inch-perfect cross that Willis battled with his marker to win, and he nodded it into the bottom right corner of Craig MacGillivray’s goal.
EYES ON: MARQUIS
It was well documented in January that Sunderland enquired about Doncaster Rovers striker John Marquis.
Fast forward to today, and the striker is now plying his trade at Fratton Park for Kenny Jackett’s team.
He started the game and was instrumental in Pompey’s first goal while continuing to be a handful throughout the 90 minutes.
THE KING OPENS ACCOUNT
With Lynden Gooch, Aiden McGeady, Charlie Wyke and Marc McNulty all netting their first goals for Sunderland this season it was time that Chris Maguire got in on the act.
After some great work from McGeady down the left wing, he got past his man and put in a superb cross for his fellow attacking player Maguire to pop into the empty goal.
RESOLUTE AT THE BACK
As Sunderland clung onto their one-goal advantage late into the second half they relied heavily on the calmness of their defence and goalkeeper.
Whether it be Jon McLaughlin claiming crosses or his defenders heading away and blocking shots – the team were strong in their pursuit of a victory.
For a team that is yet to get a clean sheet in four competitive games, the manager must be happy that his side were able to hold onto a vital three point against a promotion rival.
OFF AND RUNNING…
After drawing our first two games of the 2019-20 season, Sunderland desperately needed all three points when Pompey came to the Stadium of Light.
The 2-1 victory was just the tonic for Jack Ross and his team and makes what looked like an average start into quite an impressive one when you consider the opposition we have faced.
With two big games next week, the team can be happy that they have given themselves positive momentum against a team that will be in and around the promotion places come May.