Opinion: Talking points from Saturday's win

Sunderland made it four straight home wins in all competitions as they defeated Southend United 1-0 at the Stadium of Light yesterday.

That victory keeps the Lads right in the thick of the promotion race and kept up their impressive form at the Stadium of Light.

Here are five things we learned from the game:

O’Nien sponsored by diving headers

Luke O’Nien scored his second diving header of the season to put Sunderland ahead against the Shrimpers. 

It is well known to fans that O’Nien is proficient in the air, and he continued his love affair with the headed ball with a stunning diving effort. 

At this stage, you must wonder whether O’Nien is sponsored by diving headers.

Defensively strong

Sunderland kept their second clean sheet in a row at the Stadium of Light, as they proved again that they are one of the best units in the league.

It was also Jon McLaughlin’s first shut out of the season which is no more than he has deserved this campaign.

But it wasn’t just the defensive play, both Denver Hume and Conor McLaughlin were superb throughout as they helped support the team going forward and were both unlucky to not have grabbed themselves a goal.

Sol’ hard start

Sol Campbell has had a difficult start to life in his new role as Southend boss, and he has now seen his side lose their first two under his tenure.

It must be said though that he has had two tough fixtures as both Ipswich Town and Sunderland are expected to be competing at the top end of the table come the end of the season.

High press success

It was clear from the opening periods of the game that Phil Parkinson had set his team out to press Southend at every opportunity.

The tactic worked, as the Black Cats were relentless in their pursuit of the ball in all areas of the pitch.

That meant that the away side struggled to build any real attacks and were thwarted at virtually every opportunity when they tried to play the ball around the pitch.

Nearly one-third done

Yes, quite unbelievably, the season is nearly 33% complete as Sunderland have played 15 of their 46 fixtures.

Seven wins, four draws and four defeats so far this season for the Black Cats and they are currently seventh in the table but with a game in hand on the four of the six sides above them.

 
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