Three points against Bolton Wanderers was the ideal Christmas present for many Sunderland fans, with a crucial win lifting us to sixth in the Barclays Premier League table for the festive season.
This is a position no-one would have expected us to be in, especially the Sunderland faithful who are becoming increasingly optimistic about the possibility of a European adventure next season.
It’s about time that the pressure for goals was lifted off the shoulders of Darren Bent, and with the addition of Asamoah Gyan and Danny Welbeck, we look like a threatening attacking force.
Welbeck got another good goal that continues his rich vein of scoring, while Gyan was sensational in his touch and always looked creative when going forward. Bent seems somewhat off the pace with regards to finishing, but his vision, passing and overall work rate remains second to none.
What can I say about Craig Gordon’s save that hasn’t already been mentioned? It was world class, simple as that! I am thrilled I was there to witness what is arguably one of the best saves of all time, ranked up there with Gordon Banks 1970 World Cup save from Pele and of course, Jimmy Montgomery’s double save in the FA Cup final in 1973.
Gordon has proved time and time again of his quality and I am not afraid to say he is possibly the best goalkeeper in England, comfortable with shot stopping and increasingly composed with catching and kicking.
My one gripe about the game was the lack of control the referee maintained over the game. A harsh yellow card for Cattermole’s first offence annoyed fans who saw several Bolton players make worse tackles. Other than that, the game was fitting for Christmas, somewhat scrappy, and chance-free in very cold North-East conditions.
Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.