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Premier League

  • 24 March 2012
  • • 15:00
  • • Stadium of Light, Sunderland
  • Referee: M. Jones
  • • Attendance: 37128
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Sunderland 3-1 QPR: Bendtner, McClean & Sessegnon seal victory as Cisse is sent off against former club

Sunderland 3-1 QPR: Bendtner, McClean & Sessegnon seal victory as Cisse is sent off against former club

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Hoops' away woes continue as they are unable to build on their superb win over Liverpool, with Martin O'Neill's side cruising to another victory over the west Londoners

Sunderland cruised to a 3-1 win over ten-man QPR on Saturday afternoon to stretch their unbeaten run over the visitors to 10 games.

Denmark international Nicklas Bendtner met James McClean’s cross shortly before half-time to head the Black Cats ahead, before Djibril Cisse was sent off for QPR after making a dangerous two-footed challenge early in the second half.

The excellent McClean then got his name on the scoresheet with a deflected effort before Stephane Sessegnon finished low, with Taye Taiwo grabbing a consolation for QPR with a superb free-kick.

The result compounds QPR’s poor away form, with Mark Hughes’ side picking up only two points out of the last 27 available on the road.

Sunderland welcomed back defender Sotirios Kyrgiakos and midfielder Jack Colback, while top scorer Sessegnon returned from suspension, but captain Lee Cattermole was still banned.

Mark Hughes dropped Joey Barton to the bench for QPR, with Jamie Mackie earning a start after scoring the winner in Wednesday’s stunning victory against Liverpool. Taiwo also came in at left-back for the injured Armand Traore.

It was a cagey opening at the Stadium of Light, with Sessegnon caught offside early on after Nicklas Bendtner and Craig Gardner linked up well.

Samba Diakite earned the first booking of the afternoon on 10 minutes when he hauled down Colback.

McClean, who signed a new contract at the Stadium of Light this week, then made his first impact of the game with a darting run, but Anton Ferdinand and Taiwo were able to clear their lines.

Colback then had two good chances in succession in the 15th minute, first scuffing a low shot wide before being found by Bendtner and drilling a left-footed strike into the side-netting. QPR’s first chance fell to Mackie on moments later when he met a Luke Young cross, but his header was deflected over Simon Mignolet’s crossbar.

Young was then booked on 21 minutes for a poor challenge on McClean, but Sunderland quickly surrendered possession and Cisse had a long-range shot blocked by Ferdinand.

John O’Shea limped off five minutes later with a calf injury, and Martin O’Neill brought on Fraizer Campbell to replace him, meaning a shift in formation for the hosts.

Michael Turner then gave away a free-kick for a shove on Mackie right on the edge of the Sunderland penalty area, but Taarabt’s free-kick was blocked by the wall. Seconds later Kyrgiakos and Bobby Zamora picked up a booking each after a minor scuffle in the box.

The hosts then broke the deadlock on 40 minutes. McClean found himself in space on the left, and his deep cross was met by Bendtner, who rose high to nod low to Paddy Kenny’s left and put Sunderland in front.

Cisse, who rarely featured in the first-half, had a chance to equalise immediately with a header after a fine ball in from Taiwo, but Turner and Kyrgiakos were able to bundle the ball behind as the Black Cats went in ahead at the break.

QPR had an early chance in the second half with a free-kick from distance. Taarabt’s shot was blocked but they retained possession and Nedum Onuoha was found in the box, but could only poke the ball over.

David Vaughan then linked up with Colback on the edge of the box, but his attempt didn’t trouble Kenny, flying comfortably over the bar.

Hughes didn’t wait long to change things for QPR, bringing on Akos Buzsaky for Diakite after 51 minutes, possibly with the midfielder’s early yellow card in mind.

Shaun Derry then conceded a free-kick near the edge of his own area, and Gardner rattled the crossbar with a fine curling effort.

QPR’s afternoon got worse as Cisse received a straight red for a two-footed challenge on Campbell, the Frenchman's second red card since moving to Loftus Road which will result in a four-match ban.

Sunderland immediately made the numerical advantage count, Sessegnon making a good run and flashing a shot over the bar. Rs boss Hughes reacted shortly afterwards by bringing on Shaun Wright-Phillips for Taarabt in an effort to salvage the game.

The pressure finally told as a high ball wasn’t dealt with properly by QPR, and McClean was there to collect the ball, scoring with a deflected effort which wrong-footed Kenny after his initial shot was blocked.

Sunderland then moved further ahead on 76 minutes when McClean linked up well with Vaughan on the left, whose precise low cross found Sessegnon, giving him easiest of finishes to make it three.

The visitors, however, grabbed a lifeline moments later when Taiwo struck a superb 25-yard free-kick into the top corner, giving Mignolet no chance.

McClean then nearly set up another for Bendtner with an excellent cross, but the masked striker couldn’t direct his header on target.

Another chance fell to Sessegnon as he worked to find space on the edge of the box, but QPR survived the onslaught as the hosts saw out the closing stages.

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