DeAndre Debrief: 13.2.16, 1245 GMT, Stadium of Light.

DeAndre Yedlin earns start for Sunderland A.F.C.’s match against Manchester United F.C.

           An injury to Billy Jones forced Sam Allardyce to play the RB he undermined just days before. Beating Manchester United would be a big ask of a struggling Sunderland though they may have taken hope from their recent performance against the other team from Manchester and United’s poor away form.

          Sunderland started the game just they way they needed. A free kick from Wahbi Khazri, which Jermaine Defoe smartly let run between his legs, snuck inside of the far post past a scrambling David De Gea. Yedlin defended well for most of the first half. Anthony Martial found it hard to get past the speedy right back. If Yedlin has shown anything this year it is that beating him one-on-one is a difficult task. Unfortunately for Sunderland Martial was able to equal the score in the 39th. A shot low to his near post was excellently saved by Vito Mannone. An on rushing Martial expertly chipped the ball into the net from a difficult angle. Yedlin was partially responsible for the goal by letting Martial run past him as he watched the original shot. To be fair to be fair to Yedlin, John O’Shea and Lamine Kone were also caught watching the ball and Kone was probably in the best position to cover Martial’s run.

          In the second half Sunderland looked the better team for long stretches. Yedlin defended well enough and got forward well a few times. His notable moments were a decent cross to the back post and a few swashbuckling runs down the middle. These runs are a new feature in Yedlin’s game. When he receives the ball near halfway he cuts inside and dribbles past players to the top of the box. Unfortunately he often runs ahead of all his teammates and hasn’t figured out exactly what to do with the ball once he gets to the top of the box. When he figures that out this could be a key part of Yedlin’s offensive game because defenders have to worry about more than his runs down the sideline.

          As the half wore on Sunderland played more and more like a team trying desperately to get out of the bottom three. A win against Manchester United would be an important step in their bid for safety. In the 82nd minute Sunderland got the goal they needed. Kone headed a corner low towards goal which in the ensuing scramble somehow ended up bouncing of De Gea’s back across the line. The game finished Sunderland 2-1 Manchester United. Though Sunderland did not move up the table the win brought them within one point of safety.

          Overall Yedlin had a decent game. He made a good case for the starting RB spot over a less than impressive Billy Jones but it seems unlikely he will get that chance with Sam Allardyce at the helm.

(Sorry this one was very late, had a crazy week of school.)

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