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Premier League

  • February 1, 2012
  • • 3:00 PM
  • • Stadium of Light, Sunderland
  • Referee: L. Mason
  • • Attendance: 34476
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Sunderland 3-0 Norwich City: Campbell and Sessegnon strike before Ayala own goal completes comfortable Black Cats victory

Sunderland 3-0 Norwich City: Campbell and Sessegnon strike before Ayala own goal completes comfortable Black Cats victory

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Martin O'Neill's men continue their unlikely assault on a European spot with fourth win in five games.

Sunderland continued its excellent revival under Martin O’Neill with a comfortable 3-0 Premier League victory over Norwich City.

Stunning goals from Fraizer Campbell and Stephane Sessegnon before an own goal from Canaries defender Dani Ayala ensured the Black Cats kept up their outside chances of qualifying for Europe.

The home side made a bright start against the sprightly Canaries as the ever-impressive James McClean provided a perfect cross for Campbell who headed straight at John Ruddy, and then Sessegnon found Sebastian Larsson free inside the area but the winger disappointingly dragged his shot wide.

Norwich went close shortly after as a long free kick was flicked on by Steve Morrison into the path of Grant Holt who had found space in the area but the City skipper volleyed straight at Mignolet on the volley.

Campbell then continued his magnificent comeback to football after two horrific knee injuries with a goal of the season contender in the 21st minute. After getting a lucky ricochet go his way the striker took one touch to get it out of his feet and from 25 yards volleyed the ball into the top corner.

Sunderland doubled the score seven minutes later as Sessegnon finished off a wonderful flowing move. Kyle Naughton’s cross was headed away to the Benin international in his own half before he turned and drifted by Bradley Johnson and then sprayed the ball out to Campbell. The striker then crossed first time onto the head of Sessegnon who couldn’t miss from six yards out.

Such was the home side’s dominance it was something of a surprise that it was only 2-0 up at the break as Norwich struggled to cope with the high tempo nature of Martin O’Neill’s men.

The second half began much in the same way as the first with the home side on the front foot and it took just nine minutes to break through the porous Norwich defense. Excellent link-up play down the right hand side ended with Bardsley racing towards goal before his powerful cut back was diverted into the net by Canaries defender Ayala.

Admirably, or somewhat naively, Norwich continued to try and score, which left it terribly over-exposed at the back at times and Craig Gardner had two good chances to extend the lead further.

Sunderland’s tempo dropped in the closing stages as it seemed content with a fourth win in five games and three points earned leaves it eighth place and within touching distance of an unlikely European spot.

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