SUNDAY TELEGRAPH (Louise Taylor)
Pompey’s second win of the season suggested that, unlike Sunderland, Pompey could avoid relegation.
McCarthy’s men frequently appeared baffled by Portsmouth’s 3-3-3-1 formation and began retreating ever deeper as Perrin’s increasingly inventive side began controlling midfield.
Sunderland’s goalkeeper has proved a horribly weak link this season and his comic misunderstanding with the equally blameworthy Stubbs resulted in Taylor stroking the ball into an empty net.
Davis was to blame for Portsmouth’s third. Seeing the keeper well off his line, Taylor unleashed a glorious, 40-yard, left-foot lob which arced over Davis, who was subjected to a barrage of boos.
THE OBSERVER (John Wardle)
Portsmouth, overrun for the opening 45 minutes, were level three minutes after the interval.
Taylor capitalised on hesitation by Alan Stubbs to score in the 59th minute and beat Kelvin Davis with an astonishing effort from more than 40 yards eight minutes later. Sections of the crowd harshly blamed Davis.
THE PEOPLE (Martin Hardy)
NOT even the surprise absence of Laurent Robert could save Kelvin Davis from hogging the headlines for all the wrong reasons.
At half-time, a first Premiership home win in nearly three years looked on. Then Sunderland’s world caved in.
Last Sunday, at rivals Newcastle, it was three goals conceded in 30 minutes. Against Arsenal on Tuesday it was three goals in 17 minutes. And against Pompey, it was four in just 24 minutes.
Stubbs and Davis should be handed an assist for the second goal.
‘People’ ratings: Davis 4 – Nosworthy 5, Stubbs 5, *CALDWELL 7, Hoyte 6 – Lawrence 6 (Stead 62mins, 5), Whitehead 6, Miller 6 (Robinson 50mins, 5), Welsh 5 – Gray 6, Elliott 5.
INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY (Jason Mellor)
Laurent Robert’s clearly stirred team-mates secured only their second Premiership victory of the season.
Taylor took advantage of a mix-up, not for the first time this season, between Davis and Stubbs.
Sunderland prop up the Premiership after perhaps the most crushing defeat during Mick McCarthy’s two-and-a-half-year tenure.
The hosts were heckled off by the few supporters who remained at the death.
SUNDAY SUN (Jeremy Robinson)
Robert – who was regularly missing in action whilst at St James’s Park – apparently did one before yesterday’s game. Sunderland waited for the second half of the match before they collectively went missing themselves, collapsing to their heaviest home defeat since they left Roker Park.
It’s almost three years since Sunderland took maximum points from a home Premiership fixture.
They were deserted by their own fans, who were leaving the ground in their droves long before the final whistle.
Sunderland capitalised on the chaos within Pompey’s ranks and forged in front inside four minutes. Great work from Andy Welsh and Justin Hoyte on the left flank culminated in the Arsenal loan star unleashing a fierce shot from the edge of the box.
With the Wearsiders making all the running, Whitehead went close again a few minutes later when he whalloped a 20-yard volley inches wide.
Yet another breakdown in defensive communication on 59 minutes saw Stubbs and the desperately poor Davis hand Taylor Pompey’s second on a plate.