Sunderland fans suffered the all too familiar feeling of defeat again on Saturday afternoon as they flooded out of The Stadium of Light at full-time, after Reading condemned the hosts to their nineteenth consecutive home game without a win.
The result leaves Chris Coleman’s men second-bottom in the league, and staring relegation squarely in the face.
The hosts were reduced to ten men on the stroke of half-time following Callum McManaman’s dismissal, before a Dave Edwards strike and a Mo Barrow double put the visitors firmly in control.
A Lewis Grabban consolation goal was not enough to stop the boos raining down from the stands at the full-time whistle, a sound that has unfortunately become synonymous with home games for the club over the past year.
The only thing to put a smile on the faces of tired home fans was the return of goalkeeper Vito Mannone, who made his first trip back to the north east following his departure to the Royals in the summer.
The Italian took to Twitter to thank Sunderland fans for their warm welcome, with the Black Cats faithful maintaining their love for the player despite leaving the club…
You should never have left Vito…
— charlie (@oneofthe9000) December 2, 2017
Wish you were still here Vito lad. Always be a legend here ????⚪️????⚪️
— SG (@FTM76) December 2, 2017
There will always be a welcome here for you. A lovely genuine person.
— Gerry McGregor (@Gerry_McGregor) December 2, 2017
Great to have you back Vito. Shame we lost ????
— Simon (@KingstonSi) December 2, 2017
Yor well out of this mess and sadly missed
— Chris Edwards (@Edwardschris12) December 3, 2017
Well deserved always welcome back at the sol mate well done today ????
— Sam Taylor (@safcsam) December 2, 2017
Always welcome back, great bloke and a great player, thank you for your time when you were playing for us
— Thomas Harland (@ThomasHarland) December 2, 2017