Stunning strikes settle home clash.
21st January 2012
Stephane Sessegnon and Craig Gardner both scored stunning goals to extend Sunderland’s unbeaten run at the Stadium of Light to four games.
The Black Cats moved into 10th place in the Barclays Premier League with the win, which also ended Swansea’s four-match unbeaten run.
The hosts started brightly and went close to opening the scoring when Seb Larsson’s strike from distance looked to be finding the corner only for Michel Vorm to tip the Swede’s effort onto the post.
Sunderland took the lead on the quarter-hour; after a quick exchange of passes with James McClean down the left flank, Sessegnon opened up his body to curl an unstoppable effort into the top right-hand corner.
Scott Sinclair was guilty of wasting the Swans’ best chance of the first half when he blasted over from barely six yards from Nathan Dyer's low cross.
Gylfi Sigurdsson came to life in the second half for Brendan Rodgers’ side and it was his cross that found Danny Graham, who couldn’t keep his header down from close range.
Black Cats keeper Simon Mignolet was rarely called into action, though he had to be sharp to react to Sigurdsson’s well struck free-kick.
Sessegnon then headed wide from McClean's inviting cross, before Connor Wickham wasted a glorious chance to seal victory when he fired wildly wide from close range.
Second-half substitute Gardner sealed the points with a fine late strike; the midfielder controlled Sessegnon's cross-field pass on his chest before sending a dipping 25-yard volley over Vorm and into the net.
Sunderland: Mignolet, Bardsley, Brown, Richardson, O’Shea, Cattermole, Larsson (Elmohamady, 89), Vaughan (Gardner, 78), McClean, Sessegnon, Bendtner (Wickham, 12).
Subs not used: Westwood, Turner, Meyler, Ji Dong-won.