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Real Black Cats finally standing up.

Byline: IAN BAKER at the Kassam Stadium

OXFORD UTD 0 SUNDERLAND 1 Mousinho 3 og PHIL PARKINSON celebrated Sunderland's third win in the space of seven days - and then set his sights on the League One title.

The Wearsiders continued their resurgence as John Mousinho's early own goal gave them the points at Oxford in tricky weather.

Suddenly they are just three points off the top with the real Sunderland finally standing up after several years in the doldrums.

Territorial Black Cats' boss Parkinson said: "We have to be eyeing top spot.

"We need to keep looking above us and churning out results.

"We've had a great week and now have a nice week to recharge the batteries.

"We had to show our characteristics, we were strong and resilient and put our bodies on the line.

"The results of late have been good and the supporters are seeing absolute desire.

"We showed a strong character today - we dug really deep and had to as the conditions were tough.

"It was a real team effort. Chris Maguire's delivery for the goal was good."

The winner came in only the third minute as Jordan Willis jumped for Maguire's corner, with Mousinho nodding into his own net.

But Oxford were arguably the better side after that and the Wearsiders needed a rearguard performance to see it out.

Matty Taylor could not take advantage of a poor back header from Bailey Wright in the first half while Josh Ruffels' volley after the break was well saved by Jon McLaughlin.

James Henry's windaided cross hit the bar before Ruffels headed into the side netting from an Anthony Forde corner.

Sunderland lost Wright to an ankle ligament injury that could end his season prematurely.

That was the only bad point about a battling performance although they may have got lucky with ref Kevin Johnson waving away protests after Luke O'Nien appeared to handle in the area.

OXFORD UTD: Eastwood 6, Forde 7, Dickie 6, Moore 6, Ruffels 7, Henry 6 (Mackie 89), Mousinho 5, Brannagan 7, Agyei 6 (Browne 62, 6), Taylor 7, Sykes 6 (Holland 78).

SUNDERLAND: McLaughlin 7, Willis 7, Wright 6 (Ozturk 84), Flanagan 7, O'Nien 7, Dobson 6, Power 6, Hume 6, Maguire 7 (Lafferty 86), Wyke 6, Gooch 6 (Scowen 59, 6).

MAN OF THE MATCH: Chris Maguire. Impressive on return to former club, especially at setpieces.

REFEREE: Kevin Johnson 6

OXFORD UTD SUNDERLAND 3 .. Shots on Target .1 2 ..Shots off Target 3 8 .Corners ..5 13..Fouls10 1 . Offsides1 75.2.Passing Success %..64.7 468Total Passes312 60..Possession % ..40 49.5 .Territorial Adv % ..50.5 VITAL STATS

CAPTION(S):

CATASTROPHE Mousinho puts the ball in his own net while under pressure from Willis

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Title Annotation:Sport
Author:IAN BAKER at the Kassam Stadium
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Feb 16, 2020
Words:455
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