Sunderland produced a clinical display to breeze past Peterborough in the FA Cup third round as their resurgence under Martin O'Neill continued.

Black Cats winger James McClean hit the bar and Posh goalkeeper Joe Lewis made several saves in a goalless first-half.

Sebastian Larsson broke the deadlock soon after the break as his curling free-kick sneaked in at the far post.

The impressive McClean made it 2-0 with a header from Larsson's corner and Sunderland easily saw out the victory.

Last season, Sunderland lost to League One Notts County in one of the shocks of the third round, but there was a little chance of an upset at London Road as the Premier League outfit delivered a textbook demonstration of how to dispatch lesser-ranked opposition.

The Wearsiders, who have won four and drawn one of their six games since O'Neill replaced Steve Bruce, wore down their opponents by dominating possession and picked them off with two second-half goals.

O'Neill sung the 22-year-old McClean's praises in the build-up to the match and the Northern Irish manager's fellow countryman delivered a performance brimming with purpose and menace on the left wing.

Sunderland made a bright start with Larsson blazing across the face of goal before Craig Gardner dispossessed George Boyd and stung the palms of Lewis from long range.

Peterborough responded with a spell of concerted pressure in which Tommy Rowe had two shots in quick succession. The first struck his own player and the second whistled past the far post.

Then a barn-storming run from Paul Taylor took him right to the edge of the Sunderland box, but his shot flew wide.

At the other end, McClean drilled a left-footed shot against the bar from 20 yards, and Lewis had to be alert to keep out Gardner's header with his chest after it fizzed off the surface.

DID YOU KNOW?

  • Sunderland have not progressed beyond the fourth round since reaching the semi-finals in 2004

Peterborough had to weather a 10-minute spell with 10 men after a clash of heads between Gabriel Zakuani and Ryan Bennett resulted in the latter requiring lengthy treatment in the dressing-room before emerging with his head bandaged.

Two minutes into the second half, Sunderland took the lead as Larsson's free-kick from the left flew through a crowd of players and crept in at the far post.

Larsson missed a chance to make it 2-0 when he shot straight at Lewis, but the Swede atoned with the assist for the second goal.

His corner was whipped in to the near post where McClean rose above Zakuani to head firmly into the net.

There was still half an hour on the clock but Peterborough had the look of a beaten side about them and O'Neill could afford to use all three of his substitutions.

If anything, Sunderland looked the more likely side to score again, with Larsson finding space on the right and providing a superb swinging cross that just eluded the outstretched boot of substitute Ji Dong-won.

Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill: "I thought that in the first half we allowed Peterborough to play in their own half and when they ventured into ours we closed down.

"In the second half we closed down closer to their goal and became more effective.

"That's James McClean's third game now and he's just been magnificent. His ability, his willingness to work back and his all-round game you would think he had played 103 games not three games."

Sunderland goalscorer Seb Larsson on his side's recent revival: "Football is a funny game. We seem to be doing things well at the moment and we're getting a bit of luck when we need it. We want to carry on doing it."

Lineup, Bookings (2) & Substitutions (6)

Peterborough

  • 01 Lewis
  • 04 Bennett Booked
  • 05 Zakuani
  • 06 Wootton (Kearns - 52' )
  • 27 Alcock
  • 14 Rowe (Little - 64' )
  • 16 Tunnicliffe
  • 08 Tomlin
  • 10 Boyd
  • 12 Sinclair (Newell - 71' )
  • 26 Taylor

Substitutes

  • 28 Jones
  • 02 Little
  • 20 Thompson
  • 17 Newell
  • 21 Kearns
  • 31 Gordon-Hutton
  • 34 Lawler

Sunderland

  • 22 Mignolet
  • 02 Bardsley
  • 11 Richardson
  • 12 Kilgallon
  • 16 O'Shea
  • 06 Cattermole Booked
  • 07 Larsson
  • 08 Gardner (Elmohamady - 85' )
  • 15 Vaughan (Meyler - 70' )
  • 23 McClean
  • 28 Sessegnon (Ji Dong-Won - 77' )

Substitutes

  • 20 Westwood
  • 04 Turner
  • 18 Meyler
  • 27 Elmohamady
  • 10 Wickham
  • 17 Ji Dong-Won
  • 31 Noble
Ref: Atkinson
Att: 8,954

Match Stats

Shots

9 17

On target

3 9

Corners

3 6

Fouls

8 6

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +2:58 Full time

Full Time The game is over, as the referee blows his whistle.

90:00 +2:40

Dong-Won Ji is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Indirect free kick taken by Joe Lewis.

90:00 +2:12

James McClean is ruled offside. Joe Lewis takes the free kick.

90:00 +0:35

A cross is delivered by Ahmed Elmohamady, Craig Alcock gets a block in.

89:39

Direct free kick taken by Kieran Richardson.

89:39 Booking

Booking Ryan Bennett shown a yellow card.

89:34

Foul by Ryan Bennett on Dong-Won Ji, free kick awarded.

89:09

The ball is delivered by Phillip Bardsley, Ryan Bennett makes a clearance.

88:06

Shot by Paul Taylor from outside the box goes over the target.

87:45

Paul Taylor takes the free kick.

87:45 Booking

Booking The referee cautions Lee Cattermole for unsporting behaviour.

87:16

Free kick awarded for a foul by Lee Cattermole on Mark Little.

85:24

Kieran Richardson crosses the ball, Ryan Bennett makes a clearance.

84:06 Substitution

Substitution Ahmed Elmohamady on for Craig Gardner.

84:06

Sebastian Larsson produces a cross.

82:15

Sebastian Larsson crosses the ball, clearance by Mark Little.

80:11

The ball is crossed by Sebastian Larsson, clearance made by Gabriel Zakuani.

79:08

The ball is delivered by Phillip Bardsley, Craig Alcock gets a block in.

78:20

The assistant referee signals for offside against Dong-Won Ji. Indirect free kick taken by Joe Lewis.

76:56 Substitution

Substitution Dong-Won Ji replaces Stephane Sessegnon.

74:48

The ball is crossed by Paul Taylor, clearance by Kieran Richardson.

74:12

Craig Gardner concedes a free kick for a foul on Ryan Tunnicliffe. Free kick taken by Ryan Tunnicliffe.

73:02

Paul Taylor gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Phillip Bardsley. Direct free kick taken by Simon Mignolet.

72:06

Lee Cattermole gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Lee Tomlin. Direct free kick taken by Lee Tomlin.

70:15 Substitution

Substitution (Peterborough) makes a substitution, with Joe Newell coming on for Emile Sinclair.

69:53 Substitution

Substitution David Meyler is brought on as a substitute for David Vaughan.

69:43

Shot from just outside the area by Phillip Bardsley misses to the left of the target.

69:29

The ball is sent over by James McClean. Sebastian Larsson sends in a cross, clearance by Ryan Bennett.

67:55

Craig Gardner has an effort at goal from outside the box missing to the wide left of the goal.

63:28 Substitution

Substitution Mark Little replaces Tommy Rowe.

63:11

Short corner taken by Emile Sinclair.

62:51

Centre by James McClean, clearance by Ryan Bennett.

61:52

Lee Tomlin delivers the ball, Sebastian Larsson manages to make a clearance.

59:23

George Boyd concedes a free kick for a foul on Craig Gardner. Craig Gardner takes the free kick.

59:00

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on James McClean by Daniel Kearns. Kieran Richardson takes the free kick.

57:17

The assist for the goal came from Sebastian Larsson.

57:17 Goal scored

Goal! - James McClean - Peterboro 0 - 2 Sunderland James McClean scores a headed goal from inside the six-yard box. Peterborough 0-2 Sunderland.

56:48

Inswinging corner taken by Sebastian Larsson from the left by-line played to the near post,

56:29

Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by James McClean, Gabriel Zakuani makes a clearance.

56:17

James McClean takes a shot. Blocked by Ryan Tunnicliffe.

54:06

David Vaughan takes a shot. Blocked by Gabriel Zakuani.

53:10

The offside flag is raised against Emile Sinclair. Free kick taken by Simon Mignolet.

51:32 Substitution

Substitution Daniel Kearns on for Scott Wootton.

50:11

The ball is crossed by Sebastian Larsson, Phillip Bardsley takes a shot. Joe Lewis makes a save.

49:50

Sebastian Larsson takes a shot. Save by Joe Lewis.

47:14

Assist on the goal came from James McClean.

47:14 Goal scored

Goal! - Sebastian Larsson - Peterboro 0 - 1 Sunderland Sebastian Larsson finds the net with a shot from the free kick. Peterborough 0-1 Sunderland.

46:30

Craig Alcock concedes a free kick for a foul on James McClean.

45:52

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Scott Wootton by Craig Gardner. Ryan Bennett takes the direct free kick.

45:01

The game restarts for the second half.

45:00 +2:29 Half time

Half Time The ref blows to signal half-time.

45:00 +1:12

Phillip Bardsley takes a shot. Comfortable save by Joe Lewis.

45:00

Kieran Richardson has an effort at goal from outside the area missing to the wide right of the goal.

44:11

Lee Tomlin takes a shot. Lee Cattermole gets a block in.

42:13

Lee Tomlin takes a shot from a long way out which goes wide of the right-hand post.

40:04

The ball is sent over by Phillip Bardsley, Gabriel Zakuani gets a block in.

39:07

Centre by Sebastian Larsson, Headed effort from deep inside the penalty area by James McClean misses to the left of the goal.

38:45

Inswinging corner taken by David Vaughan.

38:38

Centre by James McClean, clearance by Tommy Rowe.

37:56

A cross is delivered by Kieran Richardson, Gabriel Zakuani manages to make a clearance.

37:37

George Boyd concedes a free kick for a foul on Sebastian Larsson. Free kick taken by Phillip Bardsley.

36:00

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on George Boyd by Craig Gardner. George Boyd takes the direct free kick.

34:33

Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Sebastian Larsson.

34:15

The ball is swung over by Sebastian Larsson, Craig Gardner takes a shot. Joe Lewis makes a save.

33:03

Sebastian Larsson is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Joe Lewis takes the free kick.

31:24

Phillip Bardsley has an effort at goal from outside the area missing to the wide right of the goal.

26:34

Lee Tomlin concedes a free kick for a foul on Sebastian Larsson. Phillip Bardsley restarts play with the free kick.

25:55

James McClean challenges Craig Alcock unfairly and gives away a free kick. Craig Alcock restarts play with the free kick.

25:06

Phillip Bardsley crosses the ball, James McClean takes a shot.

23:17

Shot from just outside the box by Paul Taylor misses to the left of the goal.

23:04

A cross is delivered by James McClean, clearance made by Ryan Bennett.

20:13

The ball is delivered by Kieran Richardson, Gabriel Zakuani manages to make a clearance.

19:52

James McClean produces a cross, clearance made by Scott Wootton.

18:55

Craig Gardner produces a cross. Craig Alcock concedes a free kick for a foul on James McClean. Sebastian Larsson delivers the ball from the free kick right-footed from left wing, Ryan Bennett manages to make a clearance.

17:40

The ball is delivered by George Boyd, Lee Cattermole gets a block in.

17:10

Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Paul Taylor played to the near post, clearance made by Craig Gardner.

17:03

Emile Sinclair crosses the ball, John O'Shea gets a block in.

14:41

George Boyd produces a cross, Paul Taylor takes a shot. John O'Shea gets a block in.

14:32

The ball is swung over by Tommy Rowe, Sebastian Larsson gets a block in.

13:31

The referee gives a free kick against Lee Cattermole for handball. Ryan Tunnicliffe takes the free kick.

12:56

Paul Taylor produces a left-footed shot from just outside the box that goes wide right of the target.

11:26

Inswinging corner taken by Paul Taylor, Tommy Rowe takes a shot. Matthew Kilgallon gets a block in. Tommy Rowe produces a left-footed shot from deep inside the area which goes wide of the left-hand post.

9:33

Inswinging corner taken by Sebastian Larsson, Header from close range by Matthew Kilgallon clears the bar.

9:25

The ball is swung over by Craig Gardner, Ryan Bennett makes a clearance.

7:38

The ball is swung over by Craig Gardner, clearance by Gabriel Zakuani.

6:44

Corner taken right-footed by Sebastian Larsson from the left by-line, clearance made by Gabriel Zakuani.

6:30

Craig Gardner takes a shot. Joe Lewis makes a save.

5:11

Sebastian Larsson has an effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the left of the target.

3:34

The referee blows for offside against Tommy Rowe. Simon Mignolet restarts play with the free kick.

1:56

Paul Taylor takes a shot from deep inside the box clearing the bar.

0:00

The match has kicked off.

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