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Last season’s success in the Capital One Cup meant that we’d be competing in the Europa League for the first time in the club’s history. Sure the Europa League doesn’t have the same prestige as the Champion’s League but still boasts some of Europe’s elite and that’s evident by our group opponents and current holders of the cup, Bayern Leverkusen. Elsewhere, we begin our defence of the Capital One Cup with an away tie to Spurs as well as league games against Arsenal, West Bromwich and Norwich City.
Saturday 12th September 2015: Barclays Premier League
Sunderland 0 Arsenal 1
Butland/ Van Aanholt/ Ayham/ O’Shea/ Jonny/ Huddlestone/ Cattermole/ Borini (Wickham)/ Rodwell/ Johnson (Roberts)/ Fletcher (Coman)
Goals: Welbeck 36’
MOTM: Ospina (Arsenal)
Just like the Man United game, we didn’t embarrass ourselves. We had a ton of chances especially on the 88th minute when Cattermole hit the bar from 35 yards. It wasn’t to be but we can walk away with our heads held high.
Thursday 17th September 2015: Europa League Group Stage
Malmo 0 Sunderland 3
Pickford/ Briggs/ Ayham/ Faria/ Bellern/ Zelalem (Bridcutt)/ Alli/ Obita (Wickham)/ Giaccherini/ Roberts (Buckley)/ Coman
Goals: Ayham 80’ Buckley 84’ Coman 89’
MOTM: Pickford (Sunderland)
Since we had a league fixture in two days’ time (sort it out EA) I had to rest my entire first team. I mean we should steamroll over Malmo right? Wrong. Malmo made it hard work for us and defended solidly throughout but once our first goal went in, the floodgates opened. Decent result even though we left it late.
Saturday 19th September 2015: Barclays Premier League
West Bromwich Albion 1 Sunderland 3
Butland/ Van Aanholt/ Ake/ O Shea/ Byram/ Huddlestone/ Cattermole/ Wickham (Coman)/ Rodwell/ Buckley (Johnson)/ Fletcher
Goals: Ideye 20’ Fletcher 53’ Buckley 76’ Johnson 90’
MOTM: Huddlestone (Sunderland)
I couldn’t afford to make it three league defeats in a row. It was all-out attack from the start, they took the lead early on but our game plan paid off in the end. Back to winning ways and we remain in the top five of the Premier League.
Tuesday 22nd September 2015: Capital One Cup
Tottenham Hotspur 2 Sunderland 0
Pantilimon/ Briggs/ Faria/ O’Shea/ Jones/ Bridcutt/ Cattermole/ Wickham/ Zelalem/ Roberts (Buckley)/ Borini (Coman)
Goals: Holtby 21’ Pritchard 50’
MOTM: Dier (Spurs)
What a shite performance! I’m not going to use the excuse that we fielded a weaken side because Spurs did too. They were better than us. Plain and simple. Now that we’re out of the cup, we can focus elsewhere in the League and the FA Cup in January.
Saturday 26th September 2015: Barclays Premier League
Sunderland 1 Norwich City 1
Butland/ Van Aanholt/ Ayham/ O’Shea/ Byram/ Huddlestone/ Cattermole/ Coman/ Rodwell/ Johnson (Buckley)/ Fletcher (Wickham)
Goals: Rodwell 26’ Redmond 45’
MOTM: Rodwell (Sunderland)
Honestly, Norwich should have won here. I don’t know what the manager said at half time (perhaps Deliah Smith gave another “let’s be havin’ ya” speech, huh) but whatever he said, it worked. They played like Champion’s League, we played like Sunday League. Unacceptable.
Player of the Month: Connor Wickham
Although he didn’t score this month, young Connor racked up the assists charts with his pin point crossing. He’s starting to come into his own here at Sunderland; I look forward to his development in the future.
It’s been a good start to our league campaign. The Norwich result was frustrating but when you compare where we were this time last year (10th), 6th place is pleasing on the eye. Let’s not get too ahead of ourselves. It’s only 6 games.