Norwich 2 Sunderland 0 match report: Gus Poyet rues ‘unexpected’ performance as Alex Tettey gets Canaries flying

Sunderland were reduced to 10-men when Marcos Alonso was sent-off but the result was already out of their reach

Carrow Road

Gus Poyet sent Sunderland back out so early after half-time that Lee Cattermole came within a whisker of being flattened by an inflatable plastic wheel. The crowd chortled but the midfielder did not smile. Embarrassing and undignified as that would have been, what had gone on during the first 45 minutes was far worse for the Black Cats.

Put simply, Sunderland were dire. While the absence of creativity might have been understandable, the lack of fight was unforgivable – no doubt the Uruguayan told them as much, both during half-time and at greater length after the match. By the time he appeared to fulfil his media duties he had calmed down sufficiently to describe the performance, with a certain dry humour, as “unexpected”.

Almost as unexpected, in the context of the game, as Norwich’s second goal, a searing 30-yard volley by Alex Tettey. “He won’t score another like that, I’ll put money on it,” said Poyet. “Not that we deserved anything from the game.”


Norwich started brightly, but hardly irresistibly, and the game had begun to deteriorate into the nervous, mistake-laden mess when the home team went ahead. Startled by the fact Martin Olsson’s low cross had been allowed to travel across the six yard line before arriving at his feet, Sunderland centre-half Wes Brown’s attempted clearance went straight to Johan Elmander, who looked up and cut the ball back to the edge of the penalty area for Robert Snodgrass to steer calmly inside Vito Mannone’s right-hand post.

The goal changed the game to an extraordinary degree, in that Norwich began to play with verve and confidence, and Sunderland, well, very nearly gave up. The goal-shy Ricky van Wolfswinkel (one goal in 20 Premier League appearances since being bought for £8.5m) somehow missed the ball completely when all he had to do was get a touch on Wes Hoolahan’s low cross, and Jonny Howson nearly succeeded in lobbing the back-pedalling Mannone from 45 yards.

It would have been a spectacular effort, and perhaps it inspired Tettey when Hoolahan’s cross was headed towards him as he stood some 30 yards from goal shortly after the half hour. The midfielder did not hesitate, putting his foot through the ball to such effect that Mannone’s dive was no more than a gesture as the volley flew past him into the far corner of his goal.

Five minutes before half-time Poyet made a double substitution, Lee Cattermole and Sebastian Larsson replacing the ineffectual Ki Sung-Yueng and Jack Colback, but while he saw the effort levels rise, the lack of creativity remained total.

Indeed, had Van Wolfswinkel not mistimed a simple close-range header from a Snodgrass cross two minutes after the break, allowing Mannone to make a save, Norwich might have scored a hatful.

As it was Cattermole’s work-rate and readiness to make a tackle ensured sufficient improvement to restrict the damage, though the fact Poyet took off Adam Johnson with fully 20 minutes remaining demonstrated his lack of faith in his side’s ability to salvage a point. Marcos Alonso’s sending-off for a second yellow card in added time completed their misery.

“It was a big game and we were excellent from start to finish,” said the Norwich manager Chris Hughton, who after a long series of games before which his imminent dismissal has been confidently predicted, was entitled to sit back with a smile.

“We’ve actually had better performances, but you have to score the goals at the right time, and we did. Everybody at the club enjoyed Tettey’s goal, because it couldn’t have happened to a nicer bloke, but it was equally important to maintain our level of performance in the second half, and we did that. With results elsewhere, it’s been a good day for us.”


Norwich (4-4-1-1): Ruddy; Martin, Yobo, Bassong, Olsson; Snodgrass, Howson, Tettey, Hoolahan (Redmond, 89); van Wolfswinkel (Hooper, 71); Elmander (Johnson, 87).

Sunderland (4-5-1): Mannone; Bardsley, O’Shea, Brown, Alonso; Bridcutt, Colback (Larsson, 40), Ki (Cattermole, 40), Johnson (Scocco, 71), Borini; Altidore.

Referee: Phil Dowd.

Man of the match: Snodgrass (Norwich)

Match rating: 6/10

Life and Style
love + sex
A propaganda video shows Isis forces near Tikrit
voicesAdam Walker: The Koran has violent passages, but it also has others that explicitly tells us how to interpret them
Arts and Entertainment
Victoria Wood, Kayvan Novak, Alexa Chung, Chris Moyles
tvReview: No soggy bottoms, but plenty of other baking disasters on The Great Comic Relief Bake Off
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all