Norwich 2 - 1 Sunderland
Norwich beat a lacklustre Sunderland to earn their first home win this season.
The hosts took the lead on 31 minutes with a well-worked goal which ended with Leon Barnett netting from Elliott Bennett's cross.
Nicklas Bendtner had a shot saved soon after, but just after the break Steve Morison doubled the lead when he headed in following Marc Tierney's centre.
Sunderland woke up after the hour but Norwich held on despite Kieran Richardson's long-range goal.
The visitors did have chances to make an earlier breakthrough following Norwich's second goal, but Canaries keeper John Ruddy saved efforts by Bendtner and substitute Connor Wickham.
Both teams had recorded their first Premier League wins of the season prior to this fixture.
“It was a really good performance by Norwich, who definitely deserved to win. It was too little, too late by Sunderland, I wondered where they were for most of this game, they just don't convince”
But Steve Bruce's side took little momentum from their 4-0 victory over Stoke and the display will leave the Black Cats boss scratching his head as they failed to show any sustained pressure until the final third of the game.
Richardson's 86th-minute goal made for a nervous end to the match for Paul Lambert's side, particularly as substitute James Vaughan had to leave the field, meaning that Norwich went down to 10 men, having used all their replacements.
But overall they were worthy winners and the decision to stick with an unchanged team following their win at Bolton was vindicated as they moved to ninth in the Premier League table.
Sunderland did not exactly make the most positive of starts with keeper Simon Mignolet gifting Norwich an early opportunity by rushing from his goal to intercept a pass. Fortunately for him, Wes Hoolahan could not direct his lob on target.
In an opening half where neither side were able to take a firm grip on the game, Sunderland did have the majority of the possession though they were limited to long-range efforts.
Bendtner drew a good save from John Ruddy when he shot left-footed from just inside the area on 26 minutes and the Dane was Sunderland's most promising player.
Yet while his team-mates laboured, there was a danger Norwich could capitalise, although when the opener came it was from an unlikely source.
Once a free-kick was cleared, Bennett played a neat one-two with David Fox on the right and his cross found Barnett unmarked six yards out for the centre-back's first goal of the season.
Last season's top scorer Grant Holt was again omitted from the starting line-up and Lambert would have been cheered when his replacement, Morison, put the Canaries further ahead just after the break.
Russell Martin burst into the Sunderland half and laid the ball off to Tierney, whose cross was met with a thumping header by the Wales striker.
Up to that point Steve Bruce's team had made little impression but they were almost given a lifeline when Bradley Johnson failed to clear a throw-in but Ruddy made a great save to deflect Bendtner's angled shot.
And after being booed by the home fans for his Ipswich connections, Wickham almost made an instant impact but his header was straight at Ruddy from six yards out.
The Norwich keeper could do little about Richardson's well-struck drive but he and his defence were resolute enough to sustain Sunderland's late rally.
And they will be heartened to record back-to-back wins ahead of a tricky trip to Old Trafford to face Manchester United on Saturday.
- 01 Ruddy Booked
- 02 R Martin
- 20 Barnett
- 23 Tierney
- 25 Naughton Booked
- 04 Johnson
- 12 Pilkington (Vaughan - 78' )
- 14 Hoolahan
- 15 Fox
- 17 Bennett (Crofts - 84' )
- 05 Morison (Holt - 78' )
- 13 Rudd
- 24 De Laet
- 07 Crofts
- 11 Surman
- 08 Vaughan
- 09 Holt
- 16 C Martin
- 22 Mignolet
- 05 Brown
- 11 Richardson
- 16 O'Shea Booked
- 19 Bramble
- 07 Larsson (Ji Dong-Won - 68' )
- 08 Gardner
- 15 Vaughan
- 27 Elmohamady
- 28 Sessegnon (Wickham - 68' )
- 52 Bendtner
- 20 Westwood
- 04 Turner
- 06 Cattermole
- 14 Colback
- 23 McClean
- 10 Wickham
- 17 Ji Dong-Won
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The referee brings the game to a close.90:00 +4:44
Short corner taken by Andrew Crofts from the right by-line.90:00 +3:51
Foul by Grant Holt on Wes Brown, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Simon Mignolet.90:00 +3:34 Booking
Booking Kyle Naughton receives a yellow card.90:00 +1:50
Corner taken by Ahmed Elmohamady from the right by-line played to the near post, clearance made by Marc Tierney.90:00 +1:50 Booking
Booking Booking for John Ruddy.88:30 Booking
Booking John O'Shea receives a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.88:18
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Marc Tierney by John O'Shea. John Ruddy restarts play with the free kick.85:25
Assist on the goal came from Dong-Won Ji.85:25 Goal scored
Goal! - Kieran Richardson - Norwich 2 - 1 Sunderland Kieran Richardson finds the back of the net with a goal from long range to the bottom right corner of the goal. Norwich 2-1 Sunderland.84:29
James Vaughan has an effort at goal from outside the penalty area missing to the wide left of the goal.83:47
Grant Holt concedes a free kick for a foul on Titus Bramble. Simon Mignolet takes the direct free kick.83:47 Substitution
Substitution Andrew Crofts comes on in place of Elliott Bennett.80:02
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Connor Wickham by Grant Holt. David Vaughan takes the direct free kick.79:17
Dong-Won Ji challenges James Vaughan unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick crossed by David Fox, Wes Brown manages to make a clearance.77:29 Substitution
Substitution Steve Morison leaves the field to be replaced by Grant Holt.77:29 Substitution
Substitution James Vaughan on for Anthony Pilkington.76:16
David Vaughan takes a shot. John Ruddy makes a save.72:34
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Wesley Hoolahan by Wes Brown. Direct free kick taken by Kyle Naughton.68:23
Connor Wickham takes a shot. Save made by John Ruddy.
Corner taken by Ahmed Elmohamady, clearance by Marc Tierney.67:01 Substitution
Substitution Sebastian Larsson goes off and Dong-Won Ji comes on.67:01 Substitution
Substitution Connor Wickham is brought on as a substitute for Stephane Sessegnon.65:40
Stephane Sessegnon challenges Leon Barnett unfairly and gives away a free kick. John Ruddy takes the free kick.63:44
Shot by Stephane Sessegnon from outside the box goes over the net.62:56
Elliott Bennett takes a shot. Save by Simon Mignolet.62:34
Corner taken right-footed by Sebastian Larsson.62:12
Nicklas Bendtner takes a shot. Save by John Ruddy.55:48
Kyle Naughton takes a shot. Blocked by Craig Gardner.55:17
Corner taken by David Fox.53:30
Elliott Bennett has an effort at goal from outside the area missing to the wide left of the goal.52:01
Stephane Sessegnon has a shot on goal from outside the area which misses right.47:39
The assist for the goal came from Marc Tierney.47:39 Goal scored
Goal! - Steve Morison - Norwich 2 - 0 Sunderland Steve Morison scores a headed goal from close range. Norwich 2-0 Sunderland.45:01
The second half has started.45:00 +1:11 Half time
Half Time The match has reached half-time.45:00 +0:36
Effort from the edge of the area by Nicklas Bendtner goes wide of the right-hand upright.44:33
Corner taken right-footed by David Fox.44:20
Wesley Hoolahan takes a shot. Titus Bramble gets a block in.39:56
Foul by Wes Brown on Wesley Hoolahan, free kick awarded. David Fox crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from right channel, Wes Brown makes a clearance.38:05
Ahmed Elmohamady is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Indirect free kick taken by John Ruddy.37:37
Corner taken by Sebastian Larsson, Marc Tierney makes a clearance.36:21
Shot by Stephane Sessegnon from outside the box goes over the target.30:10
Assist by Elliott Bennett.30:10 Goal scored
Goal! - Leon Barnett - Norwich 1 - 0 Sunderland Leon Barnett finds the net with a goal from inside the six-yard box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Norwich 1-0 Sunderland.30:01
Kyle Naughton takes a shot. Blocked by Craig Gardner.29:28
Inswinging corner taken right-footed by David Fox played to the near post, clearance by Craig Gardner.25:15
Nicklas Bendtner takes a shot. Save by John Ruddy.21:52
Stephane Sessegnon has an effort at goal from outside the box which goes wide right of the goal.21:03
Craig Gardner takes a shot from deep inside the box clearing the bar.19:41
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Marc Tierney by Stephane Sessegnon. Russell Martin takes the direct free kick.16:02
Foul by Sebastian Larsson on Kyle Naughton, free kick awarded. John Ruddy takes the direct free kick.15:29
David Vaughan takes a shot. Leon Barnett gets a block in.12:51
Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by David Fox, Nicklas Bendtner makes a clearance.6:29
David Fox takes the outswinging corner, clearance by Nicklas Bendtner.5:45
Corner taken right-footed by David Fox, Steve Morison takes a shot. Blocked by Titus Bramble.5:04
Shot from just outside the area by Wesley Hoolahan goes over the bar.4:21
The referee gives a free kick against Steve Morison for handball. Wes Brown takes the indirect free kick.2:55
Steve Morison takes a shot. Simon Mignolet makes a save.0:00
The match has kicked off.
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