PREMIER LEAGUE: Campbell returns with the goods for Sunderland
The Black Cats secured their fifth win from their past six to move up to eighth on the table thanks to a goal from comeback kid Fraizer Campbell who then assisted the brilliant Stephane Sessegnon before an own-goal from Daniel Ayala.
The opener came in the 21st minute when the returning Campbell scored with an absolute stunner from outside the box. The former Manchester United man, who had scored on his comeback from two knee injuries in the FA Cup draw with Middlesbrough on Sunday, controlled a deflected ball with one touch before hitting a superb volley over a hapless John Ruddy to mark his first league game back since August 2010.
The lead was soon doubled when Sessegnon made a divine run in midfield, which included a nutmeg on Bradley Johnson, before playing a wide ball out to the right for Campbell who produced a pinpoint delivery for the Benin international to head home from the six-yard box for his sixth of the season.
The match was essentially wrapped up when Seb Larsson played a one-two with Phil Bardsley who hit a low cross from the right which deflected off Ayala and into the back of the net just 10 minutes into the second half.
Earlier, Grant Holt's volley from close range was smartly kept out by Sunderland keper Simon Mignolet before the home side were unlucky not to grab their third in the 50th minute when they broke with Sessegnon working it to Larsson who provided a through ball for Craig Gardner but his well-struck shot across his body was saved by Ruddy.
Besides the goals and the couple of mentioned saves, neither goalkeeper had too much to do as Sunderland did the damage early before sitting back to soak in another win at home after a horror 2011 at the venue.
For the Canaries, it was their first loss in 2012 as Paul Lambert sees his men drop to 11th after chasing a third away win on the trot.
TRIBAL ASKS: If Sunderland can sustain this form, can they sneak a place in the top five?
Stadium of Light, Sunderland - 34,476