Norwich City’s fans breathed a huge sigh of relief on Saturday, as the Canaries beat Sunderland 2-0 in a massive relegation scrap at Carrow Road.
The winning goals came in the first half as Robert Snodgrass finished well early on, then Alex Tettey smashed in a stunning volley to stun Sunderland. The closest Sunderland came to scoring was after the break as Wes Brown and Fabio Borini were kept out by John Ruddy as Norwich kept a clean sheet and pulled seven points clear of the relegation zone with the win.
As for Sunderland they are three points from safety, and still control their own fate with games in hand.
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Norwich started the brighter of the two sides, as the Canaries pinned Sunderland back and were rewarded for their early endeavors. Snodgrass finished well as the Scottish international eased the tension at Carrow Road with Sunderland all over the place.
In the 32nd minute Norwich extended their lead as Tettey smashed in an absolute beauty from 25-yards out, as the home fans erupted. The ball dropped to Tettey and the central midfielder smashed it into the top corner on the full volley, as one of the best goals of the season cemented Norwich’s lead.
Sunderland were truly woeful throughout the opening half, and manager Gus Poyet had seen enough as he made a double change to bring on Lee Cattermole and Sebastian Larsson after 40 minutes.
After the break Sunderland improved and John Ruddy made a tremendous save from Brown, as the Sunderland defender saw his header from four-yards somehow saved by the England international. Ruddy then produced another good save from Borini, as the Black Cats tried to get going. The Canaries were reluctant to pour too many numbers forward, as Wes Hoolahan’s trickery kept Sunderland guessing. Hoolahan, Howson and van Wolfswinkel could have added some gloss to the scoreline, as Sunderland struggled throughout.
Late on Sunderland’s frustrations boiled over as Marcos Alonso was shown a red card for a late tackle and was handed a second yellow, as the Black Cats returned to the North East still entrenched in a relegation battle.
Norwich: Ruddy; Martin, Yobo, Bassong, Olsson; Snodgrass, Howson, Tettey, Hoolahan (Redmond, 89′); Elmander (Johnson, 87′), van Wolfswinkel (Hooper, 71′)
Goal: Snodgrass (19′), Tettey (32′)
Sunderland: Mannone, Bardsley, Alonso, O’Shea, Brown, Bridcutt, Colback (Larsson, 40′), Ki (Cattermole, 40′), Johnson (Scocco, 71′) Borini, Altidore.
Red card: Alonso (90′)