Wed, Sep 28, 2011 - Page 20 News List

Canaries outwit the Black Cats’ defense to move up to ninth

AP, NORWICH, ENGLAND

Norwich City earned their first home win in the Premier League this season, taking advantage of slack defending to beat Sunderland 2-1 on Monday.

Leon Barnett put the hosts ahead in the 31st minute after winger Elliott Bennett had skipped into the right side of the penalty area and delivered a low cross for the defender to slot into the net from close range.

Wales forward Steve Morison powered in a header at the start of the second half after the visitors were again caught napping at the back, before substitute Kieran Richardson drilled in a late consolation.

The win puts newcomers Norwich in ninth place with eight points.

Both teams were unchanged from last weekend when Norwich won at Bolton Wanderers and Sunderland routed Stoke City 4-0 at the Stadium of Light.

Norwich made the brighter start, but failed to seriously threaten ’keeper Simon Mignolet and Sunderland gradually worked their way into the match.

Denmark striker Nicklas Bendtner set up Craig Gardner on the edge of the area, but he misfired and sent his shot high and wide. Bendtner, on loan from Arsenal, then pulled the ball down with a neat touch, before sending a shot toward goal with his left foot, but Norwich goalkeeper John Ruddy got down quickly to make the save.

Norwich took the lead after Bennett played a neat one-two with David Fox to break into the right side of the Sunderland area, before cutting the ball back through the six-yard box to Barnett, who tapped in from close range.

Norwich kept pressing after the halftime break and were rewarded when Morison doubled the lead in the 48th minute. This time it was Anthony Pilkington who broke into the area on the left side and overlapping fullback Marc Tierney clipped the ball across goal where Wales striker Morison got above Wes Brown to power a header into the roof of the net from close range.

Norwich then displayed some shaky defending as well and nearly let Sunderland back into the game. Bradley Johnson’s miskick in the six-yard box gifted Bendtner an opportunity at the near post, but the forward saw his flick touched across the face of goal by Ruddy.

Sunderland still set up a nervy finish when Richardson drilled a low, angled shot into the bottom right corner in the 86th minute.

Norwich then had to make it through five minutes of stoppage-time with just 10 men after James Vaughan limped off injured with the hosts having made all three substitutions.

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