Amad Diallo scored a screamer to help Sunderland produce one of the narrow football scores of the weekend in the. Although Sunderland had the game’s first real opportunity when Diallo brilliantly held up the ball to find Ellis Simms in space, Birmingham had the better of the chances in both halves. However, John Ruddy was unable to stop Simms’ driven effort.
The top scorer in the Championship, Scott Hogan, missed two excellent opportunities either side of the goal in the first half. He would later rue those errors when Diallo doubled the advantage for the visitors with a spectacular strike at the conclusion of a quick burst. Lukas Jutkiewicz came off the bench as Birmingham threw everything at their visitors, and his goal gave them hope with 12 minutes remaining. However, Sunderland held on despite an onslaught of late pressure from the hosts to earn their third victory in four games, moving them into the top half of the Championship table.
Despite being pushed to the ground by rookie starter Jobe Bellingham, Diallo managed to fend off several challenges and regain his footing to feed Simms inside the box. The striker took care of the rest, blasting a shot past Ruddy against the flow of play to score the opening goal. Three minutes into the second half, Diallo put an end to any Sunderland concerns that more of the same would occur. Starting deep inside his own half, he latched onto Jack Clarke’s lovely pass before eluding Trusty’s challenge and curling a beautiful shot in off the far post, giving Ruddy no chance.
Birmingham fought valiantly and had several half-chances before replacement Jutkiewicz pounced when Bailey Wright couldn’t clear a low cross from Emmanuel Longelo and buried it from 12 yards out into the bottom corner. From that point on, the hosts gave Sunderland everything they had and almost missed tying the score with seconds remaining.
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