Charlton overcame Sunderland in a tight affair with a last-gasp 2-1 victory in the League One playoff final at Wembley to seal promotion to the Championship on Sunday afternoon.
Mouhamadou-Naby Sarr and Dillon Phillips combined calamitously to hand Sunderland the opener with a stunning error, as the defender's simple back-pass was completely misjudged by the goalkeeper, leaving the ball to trickle over the line to give the Black Cats a fifth-minute lead.
Despite making the worst possible start, Charlton responded positively and pressed forward with purpose in search of an equaliser. The Addicks were rewarded as Lyle Taylor whipped an inviting ball into the box which was fired home at the far post for the equaliser by Ben Purrington.
The second half was much less open than the first 45 minutes as the tension grew at Wembley, but Charlton cranked up the pressure in the late stages of the game and were rewarded as they found the winner in the final minute of stoppage time. A ricochet in the box saw the ball fall at the feet of Patrick Bauer, and he made no mistake in firing the ball home to seal the victory.
Key Talking Point
Lee Bowyer fielded a defensive setup for Sunday's showdown and the result was a slow start to the game for which they were heavily punished.
A back three was clearly designed to offer greater cover and protection at the back, but the shape did not have the desired effect as Charlton's backline looked nervy and desperately short of composure from the outset, with Mouhamadou-Naby Sarr's own goal a consequence.
Get the ball to Lyle Taylor more. He's quality. The best player on the pitch.— The Arrow (@GreenArrow100) May 26, 2019
Lyle Taylor in particular looked lively in attack, though, and the Addicks showed great spirit to press forward with a positive response to their disastrous start and deservedly fought their way back into the game, putting a slow and unconvincing start firmly behind them.
Charlton continued to push in the second half and were much the better side after finding the equaliser, and Lee Bowyer's side were duly rewarded as they completed the turnaround late on.
Starting XI: Phillips (4); Bielik (6), Bauer (7), Sarr (4); Dijksteel (7), Cullen (6), Pratley (7), Aribo (6), Purrington (7); Taylor (8*), Parker (6)
Substitutes: Pearce (6), Williams (7)
STAR MAN - Charlton required a big source of inspiration to claw their way back into the game following a nightmare start to the game which left them shell-shocked early on, and Lyle Taylor was the real catalyst for improvement in the Addicks' ranks.
How much would Charlton want for Lyle Taylor?— N (@NatJPeters) May 26, 2019
Lyle Taylor’s Work rate is very underrated— Anthony Howes (@Ahowes62Howes) May 26, 2019
The forward was full of energy and purpose in attack from the outset and his energy proved infectious in galvanising his side to fight back from a goal down and haul themselves level in the tie, with a decisive run and cross into the box from Taylor setting up his side's equaliser.
Key Talking Point
Whilst Charlton's setup was consequentially negative, Sunderland's shape was anything but, and their positive approach was rewarded with a fast start which enabled them to take the initiative in the game.
Premier League veterans Lee Cattermole and Grant Leadbitter provided an effective combination of drive and grit in the middle of the park, whilst a fluid front three offered plenty for Charlton's shaky backline to think about early on.
Charlton are the side looking more likely to score here. Sunderland have been pretty average since their opening 15 minute spell of domination.— A LOVE SUPREME (@ALS_Fanzine) May 26, 2019
The Addicks could be accused of requiring a wake-up call to get them going in the game, but Jack Ross' side were equally guilty of resting on their laurels and allowing Charlton a way back into the game, as their intensity levels dropped after having taken the lead early on.
Sunderland looked flat and devoid of creative inspiration for much of the game after conceding the equaliser, and a lack of intensity ultimately cost the Black Cats against a Charlton side which was full of resilience, energy and desire.
Starting XI: McLaughlin (6); O'Nien (5), Ozturk (6), Flanagan (7), Oviedo (5); Cattermole (6), Power (N/A), Leadbitter (7); Honeyman (6), Wyke (6), Maguire (6)
Substitutes: Morgan (5), Grigg (5), McGeady (6)
STAR MAN - Sunderland's backline was given a stern test by the energetic Lyle Taylor, but the Black Cats generally dealt well with Charlton's attacking threat, with Tom Flanagan in particular turning in a resolute defensive display for Jack Ross' side.
The centre back imposed his physical frame to good effect to marshal the defence for his side, also showing good pace to track Taylor's runs down the right-hand channel of the Addicks' attack. Having started the game on the front foot, Flanagan was key to ensuring that Sunderland at least stood their ground after the tide turned in Charlton's favour.