The Sunday Post (Newcastle)

Black Cats purr to make Wayne a glum Brum


Birmingham boss Wayne Rooney.

Wayne Rooney’s wait for a first win as Birmingham boss continues after the Blues crashed to a 3-1 defeat to Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.

Rooney’s struggling side conceded an early opener to former Birmingham kid Jobe Bellingham, but Koji Miyoshi levelled towards the end of the first half.

However, Sunderland were the better side for the majority of the contest, and after Dion Sanderson’s own goal restored their lead, Adil Aouchiche made the game safe with a close-range finish 14 minutes from time.

The Black Cats had dominated the early stages with Nazariy Rusyn smashing an 11th-minute shot against the post after turning neatly in the area.

Six minutes later, and the deadlock was broken as Sunderland scored from a set-piece. Jack Clarke swung in a corner, Rusyn helped the ball on with a flicked header, and Bellingham volleyed home from the edge of the six-yard box.

Bellingham left Birmingham to join Sunderland in the summer, and the 18-year-old, who is the younger brother of England and Real Madrid star Jude, almost doubled his tally midway through the first half.

He swivelled smartly after Patrick Roberts’ corner was allowed to pass deep into the area, but scuffed his shot against the post.

Birmingham gradually began to create chances of their own.

Niall Huggins hacked off his own goal-line to prevent Jay Stansfield from bundling home, but the Sunderland defence was breached on the halfhour mark. Pierre Ekwah conceded possession, and after Stansfield crossed from the right, no one tracked the run of Miyoshi, who swept home a clinical first-time finish.

Chances continued to flow in the second half. A brilliant last-ditch tackle from Birmingham defender Emanuel Aiwu prevented Rusyn getting a shot away, but the weight of Sunderland’s pressure told as they regained the lead just before the hour mark.

A short-corner routine ended with Roberts crossing, with full-back Trai Hume looping a header over keeper John Ruddy. Triantis slid in with Aiwu on the goal-line, and after a series of ricochets, the final touch appeared to come off Sanderson.

Sunderland made the game safe with 14 minutes left as Clarke created space to slide over a low cross, with sub Aouchiche breaking ahead of his marker to turn home.

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