Sunderland produced their best performance of the season last night at the Stadium of Light as the Black Cats beat Tranmere 5-0 in Phil Parkinson’s first home game in charge.
Three first half goals in the space of 15 minutes from Duncan Watmore, Chris Maguire and Lynden Gooch capped a dominant first half display for Sunderland before Will Grigg and Luke O’Nien sealed an emphatic victory late on.
This was a welcomed victory following a difficult spell for Sunderland where they had won just one game in their last five fixtures and scored only four goals.
Parkinson will be delighted with his sides display here and he will hope it provides a turning point for the club.
There have been other moments for the Black Cats which have defined their season so far. Here are two key moments of their League One campaign.
Sacking Jack Ross
Previous manager Jack Ross was sacked by Sunderland earlier in October and Phil Parkinson replaced the Scot before Sunderland’s fixture with Wycombe last week.
Ross had successful spells with Sunderland, but could not get the side out of a poor run of form earlier in the season where the team suffered a heavy loss to Peterborough and were unable to beat two of the league’s strugglers, Bolton and Rotherham.
The Sunderland hierarchy saw Ross as the manager they wanted long term at the club, but the team looked so low on confidence before his sacking and the poor performance in the 2-0 loss away to Lincoln saw the team booed off after the final whistle and Ross was sacked three days later.
Parkinson has come in and last nights result against Tranmere will give the fans hope that their season will turn around and the expectations will at least be making the play offs for Parkinson.
Draw with Bolton
Prior to the loss against Lincoln which saw Ross lose his job was a performance which had Sunderland fans seething with the team.
Sunderland traveled to bottom side Bolton late in September and dominated the match for large spells and created a number of great chances to win the game.
However, Bolton led for most of the second through Jack Hobbs’ goal just after the break and Sunderland subsequently struggled to break down the home side.
The Black Cats eventually got the equaliser through an Aiden McGeady penalty two minutes into stoppage time to earn Sunderland a point, but it was the manner of the performance which put pressure on Ross and summed up the teams inability to take chances which was so typical of the side until their recent 5-0 win over Tranmere.