The midfielder scored a screamer in the first half to help Chris Hughton's side secure a much-needed three points and aid them in their bid to beat the dropNorwich City gave their Premier League survival hopes a boost as they battled to a 2-0 win over 10-man Sunderland on Saturday.
Defeat at Southampton last time out had seen the pressure on home boss Chris Hughton increase, but City were ruthless during a one-sided first half at Carrow Road that set them on the way to victory.
|VIEW FROM CARROW ROAD
|By Theo Squires
As Norwich City took one giant stride towards Premier League safety, Sunderland had their eyes opened to the enormity of their problems as the Canaries claimed a comfortable 2-0 victory.
Chris Hughton’s side dominated proceedings from start to finish and could have scored a lot more had it not been for Vito Mannone. The Black Cats, in truth, just did not turn up, leaving Guy Poyet praying that their performance is a one-off as opposed to a sign of things to come.
Wes Brown gifted Norwich their opening goal as Robert Snodgrass stroked home Johan Elmander’s cutback to give the Canaries a deserved lead, before Alex Tettey scored a strong contender for goal of the season with a stunning 30-yard volley.
Poyet responded by taking off Ki and Jack Colback, with Seb Larsson and Lee Cattermole coming on in their place, but even though they prevented Norwich from adding to the scoreline, by then the damage had long since been done.
Knowing the win was as good as secured, Norwich strolled to victory and, having seen other results go their way this afternoon, will be delighted with their day’s work. Sunderland, meanwhile, have it all to do if they are to survive.
Robert Snodgrass broke the deadlock in the 20th minute with a well-placed finish, before Alex Tettey doubled the lead with a superb 30-yard volley.
The visitors improved after the break and Wes Brown went close with 50 minutes gone, but any chance of a late comeback ended with Marcos Alonso's stoppage-time sending off for a second booking.
Victory sees Norwich put seven points between themselves and the relegation zone, while Sunderland stay in deep trouble in the bottom three.
Hughton spoke in the build-up of his pride at becoming Norwich's longest-serving Premier League manager, although he was keen to stress that his focus remains on helping to ensure their top-flight status for another year.
They made an encouraging start in that bid, the hosts unlucky not to earn a penalty in the seventh minute when Sebastien Bassong appeared to be brought down by Brown.
After 20 excellent minutes, Norwich took the lead through Snodgrass, as the Scotland winger arrived late into the penalty area and coolly slotted past Vito Mannone following Johan Elmander's cut-back.
Norwich nearly made it 2-0 six minutes later, but Ricky van Wolfswinkel failed to tap in Wes Hoolahan's low cross.
Their second eventually arrived in the 33rd minute, and it came in spectacular fashion.
Hoolahan saw his initial cross headed away by John O'Shea, but Tettey latched on to the loose ball before sending a stunning volley into the top corner from 30 yards.
Both goalkeepers played key roles early in the second period, as Mannone tipped a Van Wolfswinkel header over the crossbar, before John Ruddy denied Brown at the other end from point-blank range.
Sunderland showed renewed focus in the second half and had much more of the ball, but Norwich still looked more threatening on the counter-attack, with Snodgrass almost getting his second of the match before Brown made a crucial block.
Norwich seemed set to regain control going into the final 20 minutes and Hoolahan tested Mannone once more after a clever interchange with Gary Hooper, but the Italian goalkeeper saved down to his left.
Things got worse for Sunderland before the end too, as Alonso was shown a second yellow card for a cynical foul on Snodgrass in stoppage time, compounding a miserable day for the visitors.