Sunderland were drawn 1-1 in a frustrating away game in Shrewsbury Town in League One on Tuesday night.
Lee Johnson’s team went to halftime against Shrewsbury with one 1-0 lead and the hosts down to 10 menus, after Luke O’Nien’s opener and David Davis’ departure. However, a second half equalizer from Daniel Udoh made sure the points were split.
Alex Pritchard caught the eye in the number 10 role when he gave it help for O’Nien’s opener. It was his Other assist in 14 league games this season and I have created three chances in total throughout the match. However, another player stole the show for Sunderland in midfield – Dan Neil.
Was Neil the man of the match?
And that is
The 19-year-old from South Shields made a sublime performance in the middle of the park and drove the game for the Black Cats. While Pritchard managed an assist and showed his creativity in the hole behind the striker, Neil managed to outshine him with his display.
On the ball he was excellent. Per SofaScore, the magician had a total of 91 ball pressure and completed 96% of his passes when he created four chances for his teammates – one more than Pritchard. He also completed an impressive 11 of his 13 attempts for long passes, showing off his passing range along with his ability to set up his teammates.
His control of the match was highlighted in his possession statistics. He completed a high percentage of his passing attempts and enjoyed a large number of touches, and his chance-creating and long passing attempts also showed that he did not play simple, easy passes to increase his numbers.
Defensively, he was also solid. Per SofaScore, he won six of his 11 individual duels and made three tackles during the match, while only dribbling past once. He also made a clearance and committed a foul during the 90 minutes, which proved that he can perform well at both ends of the field – defend his own goal and drive forward to make an impression in the last third.
Therefore, his complete performance ensured that he ran the game for Johnson and that was why he was the real star of the show over Pritchard. Hopefully the youngster will continue to produce performances of this standard for the rest of the season and will be able to lift the club further up the table.