Aug 19, 2017 at 5.30pm UK at ​Stadium of Light
Attendance: 31,237
Sunderland
0-2
LeedsLeeds United

Galloway (36'), Kone (69'), Ndong (82')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Saiz (21'), Dallas (76')
Wiedwald (68')

Sunderland boss Simon Grayson: 'The final ball let us down'

Grayson: 'The final ball let us down'
© Getty Images
Simon Grayson insists that Sunderland did not deserve to fall a goal down following a "dominant" start against Leeds United, which they failed to recover from.

Simon Grayson has refused to criticise his Sunderland players after tasting his first competitive defeat since taking charge of the club.

The Black Cats, with one win and two draws from their opening three Championship fixtures, fell to a 2-0 loss at home to Leeds United in Saturday's late kickoff.

Samuel Saiz opened the scoring with a smart finish across goal, before setting up Stuart Dallas for the second at the Stadium of Light.

Sunderland's best opening arrived in the first half when Lewis Grabban's attempt was headed off the line and onto the crossbar by Liam Cooper, which Grayson believes was a game-changing moment.

"For 20 minutes we were dominant. We asked a lot of questions of them," he told BBC Sport. "I don't think Cooper knew too much about it when it hit him on the head and hit the bar - 70 seconds later it's in the back of our next. Those are the fine margins in a football match.

"From then onwards, I don't think you can fault the players' effort or commitment, but it was just that final ball that really matters, when you're trying to get back in to a game."

Sunderland, who had just one attempt on target all evening, return to action on Tuesday with a trip to take on Carlisle United in the EFL Cup.

Simon Grayson the manager of Preston North End looks on prior to the Capital One Cup Second Round match between Preston North End and Watford at Deepdale on August 25, 2015
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