Sunderland vs. Norwich: Final score 1-1, Black Cats fail to get past ten-man Canaries

Michael Regan

Norwich were reduced to ten men for much of their game against Sunderland, but still hung on for a point and could have won the game had they not been denied a clear penalty.

Norwich City will feel rightly aggrieved at the referee after they held on with ten men to earn a point at Sunderland, a result that leaves the Black Cats right in the thick of the relegation battle.

More from our team blogs: Sunderland blog Roker Report

The Canaries took the lead after making an uncharacteristically strong start away from home, with Kei Kamara's goalbound header from a corner being headed on by Wes Hoolahan, who made sure or shamelessly stole the credit for the goal, depending on your personal view.

Sunderland had gotten off to a sluggish start and the prospect of a disastrous home defeat seemed very real, but Norwich then made a terrible pair of errors -- Michael Turner's header back to his own net lacked power, and Sunderland pounced, with Danny Graham being played through before Mark Bunn charged out of his area to deny the opportunity with his elbow. A clear red for the keeper, and Norwich were suddenly left with ten men on the field.

Hoolahan was withdrawn for substitute goalkeeper Lee Camp, and although Sunderland hardly put Norwich under siege, it was not long until they found their equaliser. Sebastian Bassong was harshly ruled to have handled the ball after he controlled it on his chest in the area and it rolled onto his arm, and a penalty was awarded to the hosts, which Craig Gardner smashed into the top corner to put his side back in the game.

Camp had two good saves to make as Sunderland searched for another goal, as he was alert to keep out long-range efforts from Sebastian Larsson and Stephane Sessegnon. After half-time, long-range shooting continued to be the blueprint for the hosts as Norwich's deep defending frustrated them, but Craig Gardner could do no better from range.

After already having fallen foul of a poor refereeing decision once, Norwich suffered the same again. Danny Rose clearly handballed in the area for Sunderland in defending Russell Martin's cross, but the referee waved play on despite the furious protests of the visitors.

Grant Holt was introduced as Norwich sensed the possibility of a winner, but gave a poor performance all round, notably when a terrible touch led to him spurning a good opportunity as Simon Mignolet came out to smother the ball, before the big striker clumsily fouled him in the follow-up, earning a yellow card for his trouble.

Sunderland continued to attack but despite their numerical advantage, could not force enough pressure on Norwich's goal. Stephane Sessegnon had the best opportunity in the dying minutes after getting on the end of Craig Gardner's cross, but his effort was poor and the chance was wasted.

Follow @SBNationSoccer on Twitter | Like SB Nation Soccer on Facebook

More in Soccer:

The greatest defender you’ve never heard of

It’s rivalry week in MLS

International squads trickling out for March qualifiers

Coverage of the Premier League weekend

Analysis of the Champions League quarterfinal draw

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.