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Kevin Phillips issues verdict on Sunderland’s play-off triumph over Sheffield Wednesday



Kevin Phillips believes Sunderland deserved to progress to Wembley in the League One play-offs.

The Black Cats earned a 2-1 aggregate victory over Sheffield Wednesday on Monday evening.

That means Alex Neil’s side will face Wycombe Wanderers for a play in the Championship next season.

The former Sunderland striker believes that his old team had the better of the two legs and have earned the right to play in Wembley.

Wednesday had pulled themselves back into the game with a second half strike from Lee Gregory, which levelled the tie on aggregate.

But a stoppage time goal from Patrick Roberts sealed a draw on the night and a win over both legs.

Speaking on Sky Sports’ coverage of the game, the 48-year old shared his belief that Sunderland were deserved winners of the tie.

“They’ve shown, for me, everything you need to get to a final,” said Phillips, via Chronicle Live.

“They’ve had to defend for their lives at times, putting bodies on the line. They’ve played some good football at times. 

“You have to say, in the two ties, the football hasn’t been brilliant. There’s been a lot of endeavour, a lot of spirit.

“Over the two legs that Sunderland deserve to go to Wembley with the chances they created at the Stadium of Light and the composure they showed in the second half to move the ball around.

“I was disappointed with Sheffield Wednesday, I thought they didn’t come out. It was all back to front, a bit like the first half at the Stadium of Light.”

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The Black Cats finished above Wycombe in the table this season, but were only separated by one point after 46 games.

Sunderland came out on top over the two league meetings between the sides during the regular season.

The first game finished 3-1 in favour of the Stadium of Light club, before a 3-3 draw at Adams Park at the turn of the year.

The two sides will meet in the play-off final on May 21.

The Verdict

Sunderland just edged the tie over the two legs with that late goal from Roberts and it was an even matchup over the two games.

However, Sunderland’s more dominant first leg performance means they probably were the better side.

Nothing could really separate them in the regular season table, but Neil’s side just had the slight edge in those two games.

The opportunity to play Wycombe is now a great chance for both sides to earn promotion in a game that could easily swing either way.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Kevin Phillips issues verdict on Sunderland’s play-off triumph over Sheffield Wednesday

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