Norwich City FC were made to work hard to overcome Sunderland AFC 2-1 at Carrow Road and extend their unbeaten sequence to eight Premier League matches.
Both teams arrived at this juncture in contrasting moods and it came as no surprise when in-form Norwich went ahead after eight minutes, defender Sébastien Bassong getting the decisive touch after Bradley Johnson had flicked on Anthony Pilkington's free-kick. Pilkington then turned goalscorer, taking receipt of Johnson's incisive pass before slamming in with his right foot.
Martin O'Neill's visitors offered a stirring riposte on the stroke of half-time, Craig Gardner powering a shot beyond Norwich goalkeeper Mark Bunn. With that reprieve, Sunderland emerged after the break with renewed belief and were almost rewarded with the goal their second-half performance merited when Gardner's 25-metre free-kick came back off a post.
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