Opinion: Five things we learned from Oxford defeat

Sunderland saw their Carabao Cup dreams end last night via a penalty shoot-out against Oxford United.

The game finished 1-1, with Rob Hall opening the scoring for the hosts before Marc McNulty levelled late in the match. 

Here are five things we learned from the result:

DRAWS GALORE! 

Sunderland and Oxford have been hard fought opponents over the last two seasons and both sides drew again on Tuesday night by the same scoreline.

That made it four straight one-all draws and five straight draws overall as they drew 0-0 in 1999 at the Manor Ground.

The two teams next meet in February at the Kassam Stadium, so it will be interesting to see whether that game will end up all even! 

PENALTY HEARTBREAK

After losing the Checkatrade Trophy final last season on penalties to Portsmouth, Sunderland lost their second shootout in a row last night.

That made their record since 2008 sit at three wins and three defeats.

Their previous shootout results are: 7-6 defeat to Portsmouth in the Checkatrade Trophy, 4-2 win over Stoke City U21s in the same competition, 2-1 win over Manchester United in the League Cup semi-final, a 3-1 defeat to Aston Villa in the League Cup back in 2008 and a 4-3 victory against Northampton Town in the same competition. 

FIVE FOR SPARKY

Marc McNulty came to Sunderland this past summer with plenty of experience when it came to scoring goals in England and Scotland.

And he has continued that scoring form at the Black Cats, netting five goals in his first 13 games for the club.

That is even more impressive when you consider that McNulty has made plenty of those appearances when coming off the bench.

BAD LUCK

Sometimes luck can benefit you greatly in football.

Other times, it really makes life difficult for your team.

At the moment, Sunderland are really down on their luck having hit the frame of the goal five times during their last two matches.

Last night, it was McNulty and Dobson who were the unlucky parties as they saw efforts hit the bar and post.

Against Shrewsbury it was Chris Maguire, Luke O’Nien and Max Power who hit the frame of the goal.

Surely, it is only a matter of time before luck starts to change into the Lads favour.

THE RED AND WHITE ARMY

1,269 Sunderland fans made the long trip to the Kassam Stadium on Tuesday and proved once again that their support could never be brought into question.

And when you consider that Sunderland were away on Saturday at Shrewsbury, it shows how committed the fanbase are to the team. 

Fortunately, our travelling fans can enjoy a few home games, as the Lads play their next three in all competitions at the Stadium of Light. 

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