Norwich 2 Sunderland 0

by James, Junior Black Cats Reporter

Canaries topple Cats.

Norwich dominated the early exchanges and deservedly got a goal when Robert Snodgrass finally placed the ball into the net after a ping ball match by the Sunderland defenders.

It was two before long when Alex Tettey scored a delicious volley from 0ver 30 yards to double the hosts’ advantage in the 32nd minute.

Manager Gus Poyet made two rotations from the starting line up that drew against fellow relegation battlers Crystal Palace 0-0 at the Stadium of Light last week, with both Jack Colback, slotting in at midfield for Seb Larsson, and Jozy Altidore replacing the injured Steven Fletcher up front.

The Black Cats couldn’t establish themselves and get their passing game going in the earlier stages, with the likes of Wes Hoolahan, Roberto Snodgrass and Martin Olsson causing problems with their crossing and creativity.

It was left back Olsson who put the cross in for the goal, with the ball flashing across the six yard box before Wes Brown’s clearance passed centre back partner John O’Shea and fell to Johan Elmander at the left edge of Mannone’s goal.

The former Bolton striker reversed it to the onrushing Scottish international Robert Snodgrass, who placed the ball accurately into the corner past the helpless Mannone from around 10 yards.

The home side still looked the most dangerous on the ball with the Wearsiders, backed by around 1,500 fans, and could not get out of their own half.

Ricky Van Wolfswinkel should have scored when a ball was delivered across goal and it took a good save from Italian stopper Mannone to deny Snodgrass’ fellow countryman Russell Martin from scoring after the defender hit a well struck shot from the edge of the box.

Martin’s strike, though, was bettered by his team mate Alex Tettey minutes later when the ball fell to the midfielder after an O’Shea header out. Tettey, who had previously not scored in the Premier League, caught the ball beautifully as it flew into the far corner to Mannone’s left. Again, the ‘keeper didn’t have a chance.

The Sunderland bench responded six minutes later when Poyet introduced Lee Cattermole and Seb Larsson as the Uruguayan looked to wrestle the game back. Midfielder pair Ki Sung-Yeung and Jack Colback made way for the new duo.

The away side looked to retaliate late in the first half, but Fabio Borini’s shot from a tight angle was saved after the ball managed to get to him from a Jozy Altidore lay off.

Sunderland responded in te second half, however, England ‘keeper John Ruddy pulled off a point blank save to push the ball away from the line and deny Poyet's side a route back into the game.

Marcos Alonso then compounded the Black Cats’ worries after earning a second booking when the Spaniard handled the ball in the opposition box and received his marching orders in stoppage time of the game, leaving Poyet with a dilemma over who will play in the left back spot on Wednesday.