Sunderland 2-1 Rotherham United: Bellingham brace secures three points for the Black Cats

Having failed to win any of their matches thus far in the 2023/24 EFL Championship, the Black Cats would look to kickstart their league campaign with a positive result against Rotherham United at the Stadium of Light.

SUN: Patterson; Cirkin, O’Nien, Ballard, Hume; Ekwah, Neil; Clarke, Bellingham, Roberts; Dack

ROT: Johansson; Bramall, Blackett, Humphreys, Lembikisa; Rathbone, Cafu, Odoffin; Tiéhi, Hugill, Green

Rotherham looked to settle into the action well against Sunderland, forcing Patterson to rise and claim Rathbone’s cross that was seemingly destined for Hugill.

Sunderland’s dismal start to the season worsened in the 20th minute, as Odoffin provided the desired end product for Rotherham after a delightful passage of buildup play. Rathbone registered the assist, further cementing himself as a bright spark within this Rotherham outfit.

But an almost instantaneous reponse was found by the hosts, courtesy of their record signing. Clarke’s cross into the area was poked towards Bellingham by Neil – and the youngster powered home convincingly to restore parity at the Stadium of Light.

Chances simply didn’t stop flowing in Sunderland, and both sides were benefitting. Clarke blazed his effort over the woodwork for the hosts, and another promising Rathbone delivery was blocked well by Ballard.

Bellingham would continue to prove his worth at the Stadium of Light, completing a stunning brace in the 52nd minute. Reacting fastest to a ball into the box, the youngster fired his second of the afternoon past Johansson – seemingly securing Sunderland’s first win of the season.

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It looked as though Bellingham would be celebrating a hat-trick ten minutes later, but for a superb block from Humphreys that would be crucial to retaining Rotherham’s hopes of an equaliser.

Tolaji Bola headed wide for the Millers as the game neared its conclusion, but Sunderland were ultimately able to hold on and claim a much-needed win at the Stadium of Light. Proving to be worth every penny of his club record transfer fee, Jobe Bellingham’s brace handed the Black Cats their first win of the season – and they’ll look for another positive result against Coventry City next time out. Rotherham United will host Leicester City, who have been in fine form thus far.