Sunderland’s unbeaten start to the season came to an end as Marcus Maddison scored twice in a 3-0 win for the Posh which saw the lads reduced to nine men.
The first half was a relatively close affair, but Maddison scored the opening goal to give the home side the lead at the break. The second half was a car crash as Josh Knight and Maddison scored to make it 3-0. Luke O’Nien and Charlie Wyke were both sent off as Sunderland’s afternoon got worse and worse.
The impressive win in midweek gave Jack Ross a real selection headache with lots of the fringe players coming in and impressing on Wednesday night. Ross stuck with the 11 which had been in great form in the league and avoided the temptation to rotate the team. Marc McNulty came back into the starting line-up and provided the team with a big boost.
New signing Joel Lynch was not in the squad as the impressive defensive performances from Tom Flanagan and Jack Baldwin earned a place on the bench - Denver Hume and Chris Maguire were also both out of the squad with injury.
The hosts with have an impressive squad had the well-documented transfer target Marcus Maddison as their creative spark in midfield. The Posh sat in 10th place heading into the game looking to jump into the playoff reckoning.
Sunderland’s first effort on goal was an Aiden McGeady strike from the edge of the area, the winger cut inside looking to bend it into the far corner, but his effort flew over the bar.
Peterborough had the best chance in the opening ten minutes as Mohamed Eisa’s effort from long range was well stopped by Jon McLaughlin. With the likes of Eisa, Maddison and Ivan Toney in attack Peterborough were a force to be reckoned with.
Just under 20 minutes into the game and Sunderland put together the best move of the match so far. Following some great work from McGeady and Charlie Wyke, the former clipped it to McNulty in a great position, but it struck his arm and the referee blew his whistle.
Both sides had good spells in the game without making a breakthrough and it was closely fought contest with two good League One sides battling it out.
From a free-kick Peterborough took the lead, Marcus Maddison’s strike left McLaughlin rooted to the spot as the midfielder smashed it in. The boyhood Sunderland fan who has been in great form this season seemed destined to score and did brilliantly.
Sunderland’s best chance of the half fell to McNulty the forward brushed past Niall Mason and tried to bend it in the far corner but couldn’t beat Christy Pym who parried it behind.
The lads had started the second half the better, but the hosts scored a second on the break the ball found its way to Josh Knight on the right who drilled it into the far corner past McLaughlin who had no chance.
A worrying stat this season was that Sunderland were still yet to keep a clean sheet and if this season is to be a success that simply must change.
Sunderland looked to be in as Leadbitter slipped a through ball to McNulty – out of nowhere came Mark Beevers who threw himself in front of the shot to prevent a goal.
An hour into the game and Boro could have easily been three up as Maddison’s cross was superbly teased in, although no man in a blue shirt could finish.
Moments later, Maddison did make it three as he made a run into the box and hit it through the legs of Ozturk and left the keeper with little chance. It was simply far too easy for the hosts to break through the defence.
Not sure there are many more things to sum Sunderland up than going away to a Premier League team and scoring three to then conceding three a few days later.
Just when you think it couldn’t get any worse Sunderland were reduced to ten men. Luke O’Nien was shown his marching orders for an off the ball incident with Toney which seemed to be harsh.
It was getting embarrassing for Sunderland as Wyke was sent off for a late tackle and received a second yellow - stupidity from the striker. The Sunderland players had lost their heads and simply needed to see out the game and prevent a rout.
Ivan Toney almost made it four as his header went just wide of the post. The hosts were so comfortable and were just going through the motions in the last ten minutes.
With the match coming to an end it was one of those days where there are simply no positives – huge work ahead for Ross and his staff.
Full Time: Peterborough 3-0 Sunderland
ALS Man of the Match: Grant Leadbitter