Sebastien Bassong opens the scoring for Norwich City against Sunderland. Picture: Paul Chesterton / Focus Images

Poll: Sebastien Bassong was our Norwich City Man of the Match against Sunderland, who was yours?

Monday, December 3, 2012
11.40 AM

Sebastien Bassong again underlined his immense importance to the Canaries’ cause in both penalty boxes.

The Cameroonian’s thumping header at Goodison Park rescued a Premier League point after a masterful defensive display to subdue Everton’s attack the previous weekend. Bassong was at it again on home turf.

City’s opener owed as much to his predatory instincts as it did Robert Snodgrass’ whipped free-kick delivery or Bradley Johnson’s nusiance value in front of Carlos Cuellar. Bassong anticipated the looping trajectory quicker than any of City’s attackers to poke past the stranded Simon Mignolet.

He could have had a second minutes later when he mis-timed his leap from Javier Garrido’s cross.

There was the momentary aberration with City totally dominating proceedings, when his intended header for Alex Tettey was seized upon by Stephane Sessegnon, but the shot flew nearer the corner flag. Bassong’s defensive nous and leadership qualities, were badly needed after Craig Gardner’s 44th minute lifeline was the signal for a gathering Sunderland storm following the interval. Norwich appeared to have survived the original surge, but Bassong remained alert to expertly cut out Danny Rose’s dangerous late cross – demonstating the type of athleticism which sets him apart from the rest of Norwich’s defence.

Perhaps fittingly, the former Tottenham man still had the energy to rumble forward one last time to re-direct Snodgrass’ clever free-kick into the path of Wes Hoolahan for a half-chance.