Norwich City has gone eight games without a loss in the Premier League, winning four times and drawing four after a horrible start to their campaign. They downed Sunderland, a team going in the opposite direction, on Sunday night. The Canaries scored two early goals, but barely held on to squeak out a 2-1 victory. Sunderland now have just one win in their last nine games.
Sebastien Bassong put the home side up after nine minutes, heading in a free kick. Danny Rose gave away the set piece with a foul on the wing, and Robert Snodgrass curled in a great delivery that the Black Cats failed to clear. The ball fell to Bassong, who applied the finish. Anthony Pilkington doubled his side's lead in the 37th minute, bringing down a long ball by Anthony Johnson and hitting a piledriver into the back of the net from 12 yards.
Craig Gardner unexpectedly fired Sunderland back into the match just before the stroke of halftime with a spectacular strike out of absolutely nowhere. He fired an unstoppable shot on the half-volley from 25 yards, and Mark Bunn was caught completely off guard.
Momentum swung back and forth throughout the second half, but Sunderland had the slightly better of the play and the much better chances. Their best chance to level the match came in the 60th minute, but it was completely squandered by Matthew Kilgallon. A free kick by Gardner bounced around and fell to the defender, who had a completely empty net to shoot at, but inexplicably turned his shot over the bar.
The Black Cats would never find a better chance than that, while Bunn showed great command to shut down a number of decent half-chances before they could become too dangerous. Norwich now have 19 points, and are seven points above the drop zone. Sunderland are just one point off the bottom three.