Sunderland manager Martin O’Neill was left to coo over the performance of match-winner Adam Johnson as his side beat Manchester City 1-0 at the Stadium of Light.
The England winger, who signed for the Black Cats from the Premier League champions in the summer, thrashed home his side’s goal after 53 minutes when he cut inside and beat Joe Hart at his near post from 20-yards.
And Johnson’s manager was delighted with his performance against his old club.
“Today I thought he was excellent,” purred O’Neill. “It was good for him to score against his former team. He looked surprised that he’d scored the goal. He wasn’t sure whether it had gone in.
“For one so slim he’s actually got a fantastic shot on him and I think if he could get into those type of positions a wee bit more often but he’s striving to do that.
“I think we all accept that he hasn’t settled as quickly in the side as Steven Fletcher but there are signs there that he’s really coming in to the sort of form that we know he’s capable of."