New Sunderland signing Wahbi Khazri was superb on his first start at the Stadium of Light as his side boosted their survival hopes by defeating Manchester United 2-1.
The former Bordeaux ace opened the scoring for the hosts, scoring directly from a free-kick as his initial cross was missed by everyone and beat David de Gea at the far post.
Anthony Martial dragged United back into it, yet a spirited second-half display culminating in Lamine Kone’s first goal for the club gave Sunderland a much-needed victory in front of their own fans.
It was a real team performance from the hosts, yet one man in particular was a real standout for the Black Cats and went some way to justifying his somewhat hefty transfer fee in January.
|Goals||Shots||Key Passes||Touches||Accurate Passes||Effective Clearances||Ball Recoveries||Mins Played|
As shown by the table provided by Opta, Khazri was a constant thorn in United’s side.
The Tunisia international was heavily involved throughout the 90 minutes, taking up good positions in wide areas and often cutting in to drag the United backline out of position.
Aside from his opening goal, he posted an impressive five shots, five key passes, 41 touches, 12 accurate passes, one effective clearance and one ball recovery as he also contributed defensively.
Bringing in Khazri considering the club’s position could be deemed a big risk by Sunderland, yet the player’s ability on the ball and creative capabilities are arguably just what the club needed.
Performances have been much better of late for the Black Cats, and their victory over Louis van Gaal’s side could be the catalyst to a string of good results between now and the end of the season.