The Finn returned to the starting line-up for this game and had a comfortable afternoon as Sunderland struggled to test him with their lack of strike power.
The full back had a busy afternoon dealing with the lively Ahmed El Mohamady, the Egyptian tried to use his pace to beat the full back and it took all of Robinson’s experience to keep him at bay.
The centre half had another dominant game at the heart of the Bolton defence, he coped with the pace and trickery of Sessegnon easily and rarely put a foot wrong. His distribution could have been better but some may argue the lack of movement ahead of him made it hard to pick out easy passes.
The Icelandic full back had an easy afternoon marking Malbranque who struggled to get into the game. The defender marked the Frenchman closely which enabled him to break up any moves Sunderland tried to create down the left. He will have been disappointed that he wasn’t able to contribute more going forward though, there were very few forays into attacking areas for Steinsson.
Worked well alongside Cahill to control the makeshift Sunderland attacking plays, he won most balls in the air easily and played simple passes to the men ahead of him to set Bolton on their way.
The midfield enforcer for Owen Coyle had a good game but failed to really dominate the game against Zenden, Colback and Henderson. His tackling and ability to break up attacks has never been in question but his distribution needs to be improved if he is going to push Bolton forward in the future from midfield. Was replaced by Gardner at half time.
Playing wide left Taylor created good chances for Bolton going forward and was unlucky not to open the scoring with a long range shot that was parried by Mignolet. He was replaced by Rodrigo midway through the second half.
The South Korean provided some of Bolton’s best attacking moves from the right wing but he missed one the home side's best chances in the second half when he volleyed over from five yards. He was replaced by Klasnic midway through the second period.
The on-loan striker returned to the side after missing the Blackburn defeat and he gave Bolton some special up front. It took him a while to get into the game and his two first half chances were easily saved by Mignolet. He had another chance in the second half but this time he was denied by an excellent block from Bardsley.
The Swede was back in a midfield role for this game, but this time in central midfield, and he struggled to make an impact on the match. He linked up well with Davies at times but really struggled to keep tabs on the lively Zenden.
The Bolton captain had another strong game, he was dominant in the air and linked up well with Sturridge. He had very few sights of goal and the ones he did were only half chances which he was unable to turn goalwards.
The Sunderland keeper had a busy afternoon as Bolton attempted to open the scoring but he was able to keep them out for x minutes. He had a bit of luck at times when his poor punches or fumbles weren’t punished.
The defender had Sunderland’s first real chance of the match with a free header five yards out but he headed Henderson’s cross over the bar when it looked easier to score. Defensively he was strong against Lee, using his pace to keep the Korean at bay and his height to battle with Davies when needed.
The on-loan Manchester City defender had a solid afternoon at right full back, he was kept busy by the lively Taylor but he marshalled him well.
The Ghanaian defender had a tough afternoon dealing with Davies and Sturridge but he stuck to his task well. He challenged well in the air and used his pace to keep up with Sturridge.
Returning to the side in place of the injured Michael Turner Ferdinand had a busy afternoon but worked well alongside Mensah, he was particularly good in the air against Davies and won a good percentage of the balls played up to the Bolton captain.
The promising youngster had a solid game in midfield alongside the experienced Zenden, he sat a bit deeper in the midfield and looked to be more of a playmaker, setting Sunderland away on the attacks that they created.
The young midfielder worked hard in the middle of the pitch and looked creative when he got on the ball. He set up a fantastic chance for Bardsley and looked to play balls in for Sessegnon whenever he could but the Bolton defence intercepted well.
Ahmed El Mohamady
The Egyptian performed admirably on the right wing and gave Robinson a busy afternoon. His pace gave him a huge advantage against the full back but he was limited to the number of crosses he could deliver due to the experience of Robinson denying him too much space.
The winger was back in a more recognised position for this game, on the left wing, and he looked much more comfortable but his impact could have been better. He rarely took Steinsson on and often had his back to goal rather than being able to run at the Icelandic international. Was replaced by Muntari with 15 minutes to play.
The Dutchman returned to the starting line-up to captain the Black Cats and made an immediate impact with an excellent performance. He was often the most forward player Sunderland had and he looked to support Sessegnon whenever he could. And he was rewarded in the final seconds of the first half when he calmly rounded Jaaskelainen and put Sunderland ahead.
The midfielder was playing as a makeshift lone striker and he gave a good performance. He looked particularly dangerous running with the ball, his pace and skill were able to create a couple of good opportunities for the Black Cats but they were unable to convert any of them.
- 1 A. Bogdán
- 31 D. Wheater
- 10 M. Petrov
Replaced Muamba at half time and slotted in alongside Elmander in central midfield. He made an immediate impact with an excellent run through midfield but Sturridge was unable to convert the chance created for him.
- 21 T. Cohen
Replaced Taylor and delivered an excellent ball for Klasnic's goal
Replaced Lee and thought he had earned his side a point with a goal three minutes from time.