Opinion: Talking points from Tuesday's draw

Sunderland drew with Rotherham United 1-1 at the Stadium of Light last night and continued their unbeaten home start to the season.

The Lads took the lead early on through Marc McNulty but were pegged back in the second half through a terrific strike by Jake Hastie.

Here are five talking points that we noticed during the game...

A CENTURY OF GAMES

Sunderland played their 100th fixture at League One level this evening, not including play-off games.

In that time, they have lost just three home games – impressive considering Tuesday was their 50th home game at this level.

Two of those defeats came during the 1987-88 season against Chester City and Bristol City.

Last season, we were defeated by Coventry in a crazy 5-4 game.

BRINGING THE SPARK

Marc ‘Sparky’ McNulty was fast out the blocks against Rotherham as he netted in just 34 seconds!

That, by our count, makes it one of the quickest goals scored at the Stadium of Light.

As for the strike itself, well it was exactly what you would expect from McNulty who bagged his third goal in red and white. 

He coolly took the ball past the 'keeper before slotting into the empty net – the perfect way to get your first goal at the Stadium of Light.

THE PENALTY WOE

If McNulty is happy to have recorded one of the quickest Stadium of Light goals, then Aiden McGeady is likely to be irritated that he became the first player to have missed two penalties for Sunderland at the Stadium of Light since Darren Bent.

The striker was denied twice by Heurelo Gomes in a game which saw Sunderland defeat Tottenham Hotspur 3-1.

Kevin Phillips is another player to have missed two penalties for the Black Cats at the Stadium of Light as he was denied by Chelsea in 2001 and then again against Everton at the start of the 2002-03 season.

The last time McGeady missed a spot kick before tonight was towards the end of the 2017-18 campaign against Norwich City.

HELL FOR LEATHER

Both sides were going at it hammer and tongs throughout the match last night, and that was evidenced with the particularly high foul count (31 all together, 21 committed by Rotherham).

It wasn’t necessarily the fouls themselves that showed how feisty the game was, but the amount of fully fledged slide tackles that both sides put in.

This was a frantic match-up played at a high tempo which resulted in plenty of beautiful sliding challenges. 

LESSONS TO BE LEARNED

Sunderland could feel rather hard done by to not have picked up three points after dominating the first half and then missing some great chances in the second. 

The visitors would probably argue that they had earned a bit of luck throughout the game and they will no doubt be the happier of the two sides having achieved an away point at a promotion rival.

A draw leaves Sunderland in the play-off places and still within touching distance of the top. 

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