Sunderland kept up their chase of the automatic promotion places with a professional victory over lowly Rochdale at the Stadium of Light.
There wasn’t much in the stats, which saw the visitors have more shots than the hosts, but Sunderland were the more clinical and had the game wrapped up by half time.
Dion Sanderson opened the scoring after just seven minutes, and the prolific Charlie Wyke doubled the advantage for Lee Johnson’s side on 35 minutes.
They didn’t need to be at their best in the second half to secure all three points, but Sunderland fans will be happy enough that they came away with all the points in the bag.
The Black Cats are still five points off the top two thanks to Hull winning and Peterborough losing, but they’ve brought Posh back into the mix, and with two games in hand on the Tigers, Sunderland are in a strong position.
Sunderland quiz: Was it Aiden McGeady or Charlie Wyke who have done these 15 things?
Sunderland had a makeshift back four once again, with youngster Ollie Younger slotting in at right-back and Luke O’Nien deputising at centre-back once again, but standing out once again was Dion Sanderson.
A starter last season at Championship side Cardiff, Sunderland pulled off a bit of a coup in bringing the 21-year-old in from Wolves, and he was impressive once again as well as adding a goal to his tally.
Sunderland fans have been gushing over the defender and they’ve taken to social media to sing his praises.
dion sanderson just keeps getting better and better WOW
— maia (@maiaoliviia) March 6, 2021
Ah Dion Sanderson is the next Jonny Evans isn’t he?
He is going to break all of our hearts! #SAFC
— Matthew Crichton (@MattyCrichton) March 6, 2021
Dion Sanderson is an absolute Rolls Royce of a player at 21. Kyril should tell Wolves to name their price in the summer. Will end up at the top end of the Premier League that lad.
— Gippa (@Gippa87) March 6, 2021
Might as well name the 'Man of the match award' the 'Dion Sanderson award'. That lad is a special special talent. #safc
— Jordan Ramsey (@RamseySAFC) March 6, 2021
Assuming he doesn’t stay next season, Dion Sanderson might well gain the title of ‘best Sunderland player we’ve never seen play live’. It’ll be a real shame if he does depart, but he could leave on a real high. #SAFC 🔴⚪️
— Philip West (@Philip_RJ89) March 6, 2021
Dion Sanderson is the best centre back in League One. This lad has a big future.
— Ewan (@ewanb1992) March 6, 2021
Dion Sanderson is absolutely class, isn't he? A proper leader, great touch, powerful in the tackle.
Madness to think Parkinson didn't play him.
— Richard James Purdom ✌️ (@Richard_Purdom) March 6, 2021
I’m worried because I’m falling in love with this man, please don’t leave
— Safc_mathew13 (@Mathew13Safc) March 6, 2021