Sunderland's Ola Toivonen was especially ineffective in Watford defeat

Sunderland Stadium of Light

Sunderland were beaten 1-0 at home to Watford.

Sunderland midfielder Ola Toivonen had an ineffective Saturday afternoon as his side were disappointingly beaten 1-0 by a decent Watford side at the Stadium of Light.

The Black Cats headed into the game boasting an improved run of form, collecting three wins in seven league matches including the 3-0 triumph over North East rivals Newcastle United.

Sam Allardyce will have targeted Watford at home as an opportunity to put another win on the board, yet the hosts were frustrated throughout as they simply couldn’t get going.

Ola Toivonen was tasked with providing creativity in the middle of the park, yet he struggled to link-up with his teammates and over the course of the 90 minutes proved disappointingly ineffective.

  Key PassesTake-onsTacklesInterceptionsDef Duels WonTouchesAccurate PassesMins Played
Ola Toivonen 0 0 1 1 2 41 26 90

As per the table provided by Opta Stats, Toivonen contributed very little in a number of key areas and it was rather surprising to see that he was kept on until the end.

The Sweden international posed little attacking threat, failing to record any shots, key passes or successful take-ons of note as the game often passed him by.

He did manage 41 touches of the ball, yet a lot of the time he was instantly crowded out by a hardworking Watford side who seeked to control the midfield and keep Sunderland at arm’s length.

Odion Ighalo’s early goal gave the Hornets the lead, and despite Sunderland’s second-half domination they couldn’t force a way back with a lack of creativity a key problem.

The defeat leaves the Black Cats in the bottom three, and relying on Tottenham Hotspur to do them a favour when they host Newcastle on Sunday at White Hart Lane.

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