Black Cats striker Ross Stewart put his side ahead on the stroke of half-time before the Wearsiders managed to see out the second half without conceding a goal, ultimately giving them their second league win of the campaign and their first clean sheet.
Despite the positive result, one Sunderland man who didn’t excel today in terms of his individual performance is Elliot Embleton.
In 90 minutes on the pitch, the midfielder had 40 touches of the ball, fewer than goalkeeper Anthony Patterson. With those touches, the 23-year-old completed just 16 of his 23 passes, in addition to failing to accurately land any of the five crosses or five long balls that he tried to execute.
He even failed to complete the one dribble that he attempted, while only having one attempt at goal (which was off target) in what was a frustrating afternoon for Embleton.
Off the ball, the Englishman lost three of his five duels and gave away two fouls, which led to him picking up a yellow card. This display ultimately earned the player an underwhelming overall match rating of 6.4/10, making him the second-lowest rated Sunderland man on the day according to SofaScore.
According to Roker Report, Embleton “struggled” in the first half of the game, but at least improved after the interval, which should be reassuring for Neil.
Taking all this into account, it’s easy to see that the midfielder was a weak link for Sunderland today, and he will surely be happy that his team-mates not only picked up three points but secured a clean sheet as well.
If Embleton continues putting in inconsistent performances, it could start costing his team points and potentially put his place in the team at risk further down the line.
With that in mind, it should be his focus to improve his game and make sure that he retains Neil’s confidence.