Bendtner, McClean and Sessegnon all on target.
Sunderland 3 QPR 1
24th March 2012
Sunderland moved to eighth in the Barclays Premier League with a comfortable win over QPR at the Stadium of Light.
Goals from Nicklas Bendtner, James McClean and Stephane Sessegnon secured the points for the Black Cats who moved within two points of seventh-placed Liverpool.
Djibril Cisse was also sent off on his return to the SoL for a rash challenge on Fraizer Campbell early in the second-half.
The hosts started brightly and went close to breaking the deadlock early on when Bendtner was allowed to get his head on a McClean set-piece before Jack Colback, making his 100th senior appearance, flashed a volley narrowly wide.
McLean was provider once again as Bendtner opened the scoring four minutes before half-time; the Danish international arrowed an unstoppable header past Paddy Kenny following a delicious cross from the impressive Irish winger.
Cisse went close to equalising for Rangers before he was given his marching orders for an ugly tackle on Campbell.
The Black Cats made their man advantage pay when McClean doubled their advantage with a low finish from an acute angle.
QPR were in tatters and fell further behind when David Vaughan delivered the perfect cross for Sessegnon to fire home at the far post.
Taiwo reduced the deficit with a superb free-kick, but there were no more late heroics as Mark Hughes’ side were dragged into the battle for survival.
Sunderland: Mignolet, Bridge (Meyler, 70), Turner, O’Shea (Campbell, 27), Kyrgiakos, Gardner, Colback, Vaughan, McClean, Sessegnon, Bendtner (Elmohamady, 82).
Subs not used: Gordon, Kilgallon, Wickham, Ji Dong-won.