Sunderland AFC 4-0 Wycombe Wanderers
Sunderland moved back into the top six with an impressive 4-0 win over Wycombe Wanderers at the Stadium of Light on Saturday.
The Chairboys were forced to take a seat early on, as a blistering opening from the red and whites blew away the shell-shocked league leaders.
Free-flowing football repeatably carved open the visitors’ backline and the moves were rounded off in style, with Denver Hume hammering home after Charlie Wyke opened the scoring.
Chris Maguire added a third from the penalty spot, but in truth it could, and probably should, have been more before the break, as Wycombe struggled to climb off the canvas and find their feet.
The visitors managed to come through much of the second 45 unscathed, but when a 25-yard free-kick from Maguire clipped the underside of the crossbar and crossed the line, the scoring was complete.
Phil Parkinson named an unchanged starting XI at a blustery Stadium of Light, with the same side that defeated Lincoln City one week ago lining up against the Chairboys.
Despite failing to win any of their last four games, Wycombe travelled to the north east top of League One and as many people’s top tip for promotion.
David Wheeler mustered a deflected effort early on, but something is building on Wearside and with six minutes played, the opener arrived.
Hume and Lynden Gooch combined and like a knife through butter, they sliced through the Wycombe backline before Wyke linked with the USA international to bag from close range.
The striker almost grabbed a second on 12 minutes, but after back-peddling to connect with a looping cross, his header clipped the outside of the post.
A lucky escape for the visitors, but it was to be their last.
A stunning move involving Wyke, Maguire and Jordan Willis ended in style, as Gooch stepped over the latter’s cross and Hume roared onto the ball and fired it into the corner.
And there was little respite for the Chairboys, as a clumsy challenge from Anthony Stewart sent Gooch tumbling and the referee pointed to the spot.
Maguire stepped up and did the rest, making it 3-0 after just 21 minutes.
Wycombe were lucky it wasn’t five before the half-hour mark, as another free-flowing move saw Wyke almost convert from close range before a thunderous half-volley from Tom Flanagan was pushed to safety.
Willis headed over the top before the break, while Adebayo Akinfenwa was hauled on by the visitors in an attempt to turn the tide.
But the Lads remained in cruise control at the interval.
There was no let-up following the restart, as the search for a fourth continued when Wyke flicked Gooch’s low cross just beyond the post.
Chances continued to fall for the Lads, who remained untroubled at the back, with Gooch testing Allsop before seeing a later effort deflect behind.
The fourth finally arrived on 78 minutes – and it was worth the wait – as Maguire curled a 25-yard free-kick into the net via the underside of the crossbar.
Sunderland head to MK Dons next Saturday looking to extend their unbeaten run to seven.
Sunderland: McLaughlin, Willis, Ozturk, Power, Maguire, Wyke, Gooch (McNulty 85), Flanagan (Lynch 45), O’Nien, Dobson, Hume.
Subs not used: Burge, McLaughlin, Watmore, Grigg, Leadbitter.
Wycombe Wanderers: Allsop, Jacobson, Gape (Pattison 76), Stewart, Wheeler, Bloomfield, Phillips (Akinfenwa 29), Smyth (Parker 76), Thompson, Charles, Samuel.
Subs not used: Kashket, Freeman, Aarons, Ofoborh.