Premier League
NorwichNorwich City0SunderlandSunderland3

Norwich City 0-3 Sunderland

By Mike HensonBBC Sport
Jermain Defore and Fabio Borini
Jermain Defoe and Fabio Borini provided the assists for each other's goals

Sunderland climbed to within a point of safety by beating relegation rivals Norwich at Carrow Road.

At the end of an even first half, Fabio Borini buried a penalty following Andre Wisdom's rash challenge in the box.

The Italian put in an excellent cross for Jermain Defoe to turn in a second after the break before Duncan Watmore scored a third in injury time.

Nathan Redmond hit a post and Norwich had penalty appeals turned down - but the comeback never gathered real pace.

Instead Sunderland could easily have increased their winning margin before Watmore darted onto fellow substitute Sebastien Larsson pass and finally made the hosts pay for the space left behind as they committed numbers forward.

Relive Sunderland's crucial victory

Relegation fight 'going down to the wire'

One tactic - and it worked

Sunderland rely heavily on Defoe for goals. Fortunately for the Black Cats, he has managed 16 in 30 games this season and they had success as they repeatedly tested the Norwich defence against the 32-year-old striker's pace with long balls forward.

It may have been one-dimensional, but that direct style paid off as Borini chased up on a swift counter-attack and was clumsily fouled by Wisdom in the box as he controlled Defoe's return ball.

After the break, another fast transition after a dawdling Sebastien Bassong was robbed by Jan Kirchoff saw the roles reversed with Borini threading a perfect delivery to the far post for Defoe to slide in and convert.

Sunderland's goal difference is now seven superior to Norwich's and they might have increased that advantage further with Watmore wasting a fine opening before belatedly adding a third.

Passes graphic
The unsuccessful (red, in the right-hand image) and successful (green, in the right-hand image) passes from Lamine Kone (23) and Yann M'Vila (21) show Sunderland's eagerness to go long

Norwich's missing mojo

Norwich had 19 shots to the visitors' eight and 14 corners with Sunderland unable to force a single one.

But for all their industry, endeavour and possession, they lacked the cutting edge and ruthlessness that the Black Cats showed.

Norwich and Sunderland shots
Norwich's shots (left) came from distance while Sunderland's (right) were fewer, closer in and more clinical.

Instead they were largely restricted to long-range efforts, with Martin Olsson, Bassong and Wisdom bringing saves out of Vito Mannone.

Redmond then struck the base of a post with a skimming effort, while referee Andre Marriner turned down a trio of weak penalty claims to the home crowd's disgust.

Soured milk

Tussles between Norwich and Sunderland
Sam Allardyce was at the centre of an early sideline skirmish

The two clubs have competed for the Friendship Trophy in their league meetingsexternal-link since they played each other in the 1985 Milk Cup final, but with the far greater prize of Premier League survival on the line there was little cordial about this encounter.

Norwich's Robbie Brady nudged DeAndre Yedlin into the advertising hoarding in front of the Sunderland bench, sparking a shoving match in which Black Cats' boss Sam Allardyce and Norwich substitute Cameron Jerome jostled each other.

Relations were not improved by Borini's goal celebration which finished with him sliding on his knees in front of the home supporters, some of whom returned fire with the paper clappers that had been distributed before kick-off.

The closing stages of the match played out to the travelling fans' taunts that Norwich are heading to the Championship with their north-east rivals Newcastle.

If that prediction proves true, this result will feature heavily in Norwich's post-mortem of the season.

Man of the match - Jan Kirchoff

Jan Kirchoff
Sunderland anchorman Jan Kirchoff made five tackles, won possession nine times and made 40 passes - all team-high totals

What they said

'Norwich will have to do it the hard way'

Norwich boss Alex Neil: "The two teams are still chasing us, we're still a point ahead. We need to win games and that's always been the case.

"That second goal cost us the game. The second half, for that first 25 minutes we looked threatening, hit the post, and I thought we were going to score but that second goal took the stuffing out us."

Sunderland victory is massive - Allardyce

Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce: "The position we've left ourselves in was making me feel a bit edgy this morning. Will we handle the pressure? Will we cope with the pressure?

"They've answered my questions. They've coped with the pressure and coped with everything Norwich could throw at them. To come here and win 3-0 shows you what a massive result it is."

Stats you need to know

  • Norwich have conceded nine penalties in the Premier League this season, the highest tally in the division.
  • Sunderland have scored each of their past 17 penalties in the Premier League, last missing one in December 2011.
  • Only Sunderland in 2007-08 and Bradford in 1999-2000 (nine) have conceded more penalty goals in a Premier League season than Norwich this season (eight).
  • Jermain Defoe has now scored 10 goals in 14 Premier League away appearances this season for Sunderland.
  • Defoe has scored or assisted in four of his past five Premier League games against Norwich (two goals, two assists).
  • Sunderland scored with all three shots on target in the match.
  • Sunderland won at Carrow Road for the first time since March 1985, having gone 10 games without a win there since.

What's next?

Both teams play Arsenal next. Sunderland welcome the Gunners to the Stadium of Light on 24 April, while Norwich have a fortnight to prepare for their trip to north London.

Norwich's 2015-16 run-in
Sat 30 AprilArsenal (A)
Sat 7 MayMan Utd (H)
Wed 11 MayWatford (H)
Sun 15 MayEverton (A)
Sunderland's 2015-16 run-in
Sat 16 AprilNorwich (A)
Sun 24 AprilArsenal (H)
Sat 30 AprilStoke (A)
Sat 7 MayChelsea (H)
Wed 11 MayEverton (H)
Sun 15 MayWatford (A)



Formation 4-4-1-1

  • 1Ruddy
  • 3WisdomBooked at 40mins
  • 24Bennett
  • 6Bassong
  • 23OlssonBooked at 59mins
  • 16JarvisSubstituted forHoolahanat 59'minutes
  • 28O'Neil
  • 8Howson
  • 12BradySubstituted forRedmondat 45'minutes
  • 7NaismithSubstituted forJeromeat 74'minutes
  • 9Mbokani


  • 10Jerome
  • 13Rudd
  • 14Hoolahan
  • 18Dorrans
  • 21Mulumbu
  • 22Redmond
  • 25Pinto


Formation 4-1-4-1

  • 25Mannone
  • 24Yedlin
  • 23Koné
  • 15Kaboul
  • 3van Aanholt
  • 27KirchhoffSubstituted forO'Sheaat 85'minutes
  • 9Borini
  • 21M'VilaSubstituted forLarssonat 67'minutes
  • 6CattermoleBooked at 58mins
  • 22KhazriBooked at 32minsSubstituted forWatmoreat 45'minutes
  • 18Defoe


  • 2Jones
  • 7Larsson
  • 10N'Doye
  • 13Pickford
  • 16O'Shea
  • 20Toivonen
  • 41Watmore
Andre Marriner

Match Stats

Home TeamNorwichAway TeamSunderland
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Norwich City 0, Sunderland 3.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Norwich City 0, Sunderland 3.

  3. Post update

    Corner, Norwich City. Conceded by DeAndre Yedlin.

  4. Post update

    Attempt missed. Wes Hoolahan (Norwich City) left footed shot from long range on the right misses to the left.

  5. Post update

    Martin Olsson (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Fabio Borini (Sunderland).

  7. Post update

    Offside, Norwich City. John Ruddy tries a through ball, but Cameron Jerome is caught offside.

  8. Goal!

    Goal! Norwich City 0, Sunderland 3. Duncan Watmore (Sunderland) left footed shot from the left side of the six yard box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Sebastian Larsson with a through ball.

  9. Post update

    Jonny Howson (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Fabio Borini (Sunderland).

  11. Post update

    Dieumerci Mbokani (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Younes Kaboul (Sunderland).

  13. Post update

    Attempt missed. Gary O'Neil (Norwich City) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Wes Hoolahan.

  14. Post update

    Attempt missed. Cameron Jerome (Norwich City) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Wes Hoolahan.

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, Sunderland. John O'Shea replaces Jan Kirchhoff.

  16. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Jonny Howson (Norwich City) header from the centre of the box is blocked.

  17. Post update

    Corner, Norwich City. Conceded by Lamine Koné.

  18. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Nathan Redmond (Norwich City) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Wes Hoolahan.

  19. Post update

    Corner, Norwich City. Conceded by Vito Mannone.

  20. Post update

    Attempt saved. Nathan Redmond (Norwich City) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Wes Hoolahan.

As It Stood

3Man City33186961332860
5Man Utd33168940301056
6West Ham321313652401252
14West Brom331010133140-940
16Crystal Palace33108153542-738
20Aston Villa3437242365-4216
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