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3 things we clearly learnt about Sunderland after their 1-1 draw v Sheffield Wednesday

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Sunderland picked up a hard-earned 1-1 draw at Hillsborough on Monday evening to secure a 2-1 victory, on aggregate, over Sheffield Wednesday in their League One play-off semi final.

Wycombe Wanderers await at Wembley Stadium with the Black Cats feeling closer than ever to a return to the Championship, at the end of their fourth season in the third tier.

The Black Cats produced an organised and committed defensive display against the Owls, along with creating the better chances going forward, with Bailey Wright and Danny Batth leading by example at the heart of defence.

Patrick Roberts proved the difference maker late on after Lee Gregory had levelled the tie in the 74th minute.

Here, we have taken a look at three things we clearly learnt about Sunderland after their 1-1 draw v Sheffield Wednesday…

Teething problems for Gooch in new role

Overall, Lynden Gooch has slotted in nicely at right back and right wing back when required this season, and he applied himself very well at Hillsborough, but showed naivety at times.

There was a lack of communication, appropriate positioning and awareness that allowed Barry Bannan to send Marvin Johnson in behind to square for Gregory for the equaliser.

On the whole, across the tie, Gooch has still performed well, but it could be an area of the pitch that Gareth Ainsworth looks to exploit in the final.

Patterson in uncharted territory

It was a controversial decision for Alex Neil to drop Ron-Thorben Hoffmann and promote Anthony Patterson to first choice goalkeeper this season, and the 22-year-old looked shaky at times in the second leg.

There was one instance when he mis-controlled a long ball forward from Bailey Peacock-Farrell to the result of a needless corner kick, such that could be much harder to deal with against Wycombe, and was a little clumsy with his handling in other moments.

It is understandable with his lack of experience, but his individual performance did cause some unnecessary anxiety for the supporters and staff.

Midfield ball players the key

Barry Bannan, Massimo Luongo and George Byers have not been taught a lesson in central areas, to which they were in this semi final tie, in the whole second half of the season.

The amount of fouls that Alex Pritchard, Jack Clarke and Patrick Roberts won to slow the game down, while 1-0 ahead on aggregate, was astonishing, and if truth be told the Black Cats could, and maybe should, have been more than one goal in front when Wednesday did score, due to the constant pressure put on the Owls by Roberts and Pritchard in particular.


Passionate Football League obsessive and long-suffering Charlton Athletic supporter.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: 3 things we clearly learnt about Sunderland after their 1-1 draw v Sheffield Wednesday

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