Sunderland produced some scintillating football, and two fantastic goals, en route to a strong 2-0 home win over Swansea City at the Stadium of Light, in their Barclays Premier League 2011/12 encounter on the afternoon of Saturday 21st January 2012.
Sunderland got their victory thanks to a goal in either half coming from Stephane Sessegnon (14) and Craig Gardner (85). Both goals were extremely well executed, and both came following periods of excellent football from the hosts, who have been a revelation of late under new manager Martin O’Neill.
But, other than their clinically taken goals, Sunderland failed to keep possession and it is Swansea, not the Black Cats, who had the bulk of the possession. Sunderland were happy to restrict the visitors to nothing other than half chances, in the most patient a display as Wearsiders will have witnessed in recent seasons.
When they got the ball, and worked an opportunity, Sunderland, today, were devastating.
First, Sebastian Larsson saw his shot diverted onto the post by Vorm, in an early signal of attacking intent from the hosts. Later, Sessegnon coolly curled an unstoppable shot into the top-right corner from the opposite corner of the penalty area – a terrific shot that flew in past one of this season’s best-performing goalkeepers, Vorm.
Following this, Sunderland relaxed visibly, and perhaps invited a little pressure from a side who have been notably poor on their travels this season. Despite handing Swansea much of the first half possession, the visitors rarely threatened with any efforts of note, and the sides came in with the score at 1-0 to Sunderland.
The best was yet to follow, however, and Sessegnon was instrumental again, this time with the assist, as he played the ball to Craig Gardner, who chested the ball down, before slamming a volley fully 25 yards into the top corner of Vorm’s net. 2-0. Game Over.
Sunderland had only really played football in the opening 15 minutes, and the closing 15 minutes, though, yet again, showed plenty of mental strength, and no little defensive ability, to come away with a professional victory and a clean sheet. Quite simply, they got the job done. Martin O’Neill has collected 10 points from a possible 12 at home since joining the club.
Today’s three points for Sunderland meant they leapfrogged Swansea to climb to 10th in the table. Swansea, who will hope to improve their cutting edge away from home, slid to 13th as sides around them collected points today.