Rochdale lose out to Sunderland 3 - 0

Rochdale were beaten by an impressive Sunderland squad, who scored three goals in the first half.

Sunderland maintained their push for automatic promotion.

The Black Cats' weekend win over Ipswich had lifted them back into the play-off positions, and Phil Parkinson's side picked up where they had left off four days earlier as they scored three goals in the opening 32 minutes.

Chris Maguire had a hand in all three, with the first coming courtesy of a wonderful whipped cross from the right-hand side. Lynden Gooch broke into the area to meet it, and stretched out a foot to direct a first-time effort past Robert Sanchez.

Five minutes later, and Maguire was delivering another telling cross from the right. Rochdale defender Eoghan O'Connell attempted to hook clear, but only succeeded in shanking the ball over his team-mates and into the corner of the net.

The visitors were unable to cope with Maguire's marauding runs down the right, and when the forward cut the ball back into the area shortly after the half-hour mark, Sunderland claimed a third. Luke O'Nien's initial low effort was saved, but Gooch was hand to slam home the rebound.

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