Lee Johnson’s side found themselves 3-0 down by half-time as Pompey ran riot at Fratton Park, thumping the Black Cats and knocking them off the top of the table.
Wigan have overtaken Sunderland to lead League One on goal difference, with both teams having won seven, drawn one and lost two of their opening ten matches.
Whilst a number of players struggled throughout the match, one player who let Lee Johnson down badly was winger Aiden O’Brien.
The ex-Millwall man endured a rough afternoon as he failed to impress in general play and in the final third, playing the full 90 minutes of the 4-0 defeat. He was given the joint-lowest SofaScore rating (6.1) for Sunderland, highlighting how disappointing he was in the match.
In terms of his general play, he left plenty to be desired. Per SofaScore, he lost nine of his 17 duels on the pitch and gave possession of the ball away 21 times. He also completed 75% of his passes and made one tackle and one interception.
This suggests that he was sloppy with the ball at his feet as he failed to provide a reliable outlet for Sunderland on the left-hand side. He gave up possession far too often and that helped Portsmouth to build more attacks and continue to build the pressure on Hoffmann’s goal, which contributed to the home side dominating the match and winning comfortably.
O’Brien struggled to make an impact when in the final third. Per SofaScore, he had a 0% success rate from his attempted crosses and only completed one of his four dribble attempts.
This led to him providing zero key passes in the entire match, whilst having two shots – one on and one off-target – at the Pompey goalkeeper. So, he was unable to showcase his quality in-and-around the box, whilst also looking off the pace in general play.
Therefore, the dud let Johnson down as he did not offer anything out of or in possession in the game and that contributed to Sunderland’s ultimate demise.
Although he was not the sole reason for the defeat, with other players also struggling, his performance was worrying and his place in the starting XI could now be under threat at the head coach has two weeks of an international break to ponder changes to his team.