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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
16:45 15th August 2015

REPORT: SUNDERLAND 1-3 CITY

NORWICH City secured their first points back in the top flight in convincing style with a 3-1 win at Sunderland.

Alex Neil's team produced some of their very best football to dominate their hosts and kickstart their 2015-16 Barclays Premier League campaign.

Unlikely scorers Russell Martin and Steven Whittaker earned them a two-goal half-time lead before Nathan Redmond put the result beyond doubt after the break.

Despite Duncan Watmore's late consolation, the result and performance from City will provide a significant boost of confidence for their upcoming matches, with Stoke City the visitors to Carrow Road next week.

Neil made two changes from the opening day defeat against Crystal Palace, with Redmond and Cameron Jerome earning starting places at the Stadium of Light.

Bradley Johnson and Lewis Grabban were the men to miss out, as Jonny Howson started on the left flank and Redmond on the right.

Sunderland handed a debut to Yann M'Vila, who was sent-off for the Club's Under-21s side against the Canaries last Sunday. Jermain Defoe and Steven Fletcher led their attack.

Tetts in-article

City went into the match unbeaten away from home in the league since December 28 last year, and it looked, after an impeccable first half on Wearside, that the run would be extended.

Neil's men were the better team right from the off, and it was the impressive Robbie Brady who fizzed their first effort just over the bar on 13 minutes.

They were dictating the tempo, which was frustrating their opponents and the home crowd, and Howson was the next to get a shot away but Costel Pantilimon saved comfortably.

After Howson had tested Pantilimon more severely with a low drive on 26 minutes, the Canaries took a deserved lead from the resultant corner.

Brady played the set-piece short, received possession back and fired at goal, with Pantilimon parrying against skipper Martin, who joyfully watched the ball roll into the net.

Russ in-article

If that goal came via a touch of fortune, City's second eleven minutes later showed the incisive cutting edge that was lacking in last Saturday's game against Palace.

Redmond stubbornly retained possession before feeding Whittaker on the right, and the full-back played a delightful one-two with Wes Hoolahan, picking up the midfielder's back-heel before advancing into a shooting position and finding the far corner.

Two minutes on, Jerome nearly made it three when he hooked an effort just over, and the half-time whistle couldn't come soon enough for the hosts after Graham Dorrans was the next to flash an effort narrowly off target.

HALF-TIME: Sunderland 0-2 Norwich City

Dick Advocaat tried to redress the balance in his team's favour at the break by introducing Danny Graham for Seb Larsson, but after Jeremain Lens tested Ruddy, City resumed control.

They were exploting the gaps in the final third with regularity and Redmond was the next man to take advantage on 57 minutes.

Hoolahan was at the centre of the move once again as Redmond drifted in off the right and went for the one-two. Hoolahan duly obliged and Redmond calmly slotted home at Pantilimon's near post.

Johnson and Grabban were introduced as City took complete control against a Black Cats team bereft of any confidence, and the second half played out like a training game for the visitors.

Only the introduction of debutant Watmore injected some energy into Sunderland's performance, but Ruddy was left a spectator until two minutes from time.

Watmore was left free in the box to find the corner, but the consolation didn't take the gloss off a polished showing from Neil's charges.

FULL-TIME: Sunderland 1-3 Norwich City

GOALS: Black Cats: Duncan Watmore (88) - Canaries: Russell Martin (26), Steven Whittaker (38), Nathan Redmond (57)

SUNDERLAND: Pantilimon; Jones, Kaboul, Coates, van Aanholt; Cattermole (c), Larsson (Graham 45), M’Vila; Defoe, Lens, Fletcher (Watmore 70). Subs not used: Mannone (GK), Bridcutt, Rodwell, Matthews, O'Shea.

NORWICH CITY: Ruddy; Whittaker, Martin (c), Bassong, Brady; Redmond (O'Neil 83), Tettey, Dorrans, Howson; Hoolahan (Johnson 62); Jerome (Grabban 68). Subs not used: Rudd (GK), Wisdom, Hooper, R Bennett.

REFEREE: Kevin Friend

ATTENDANCE: 41,379

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