Barclays Premier League: Sunderland 3, Norwich City 0
Full-time: Sunderland 3 Norwich City 0
Norwich City's unbeaten start to 2012 was brought to a crashing halt as they were swept aside by Martin O'Neill's rejuvenated Sunderland side at the Stadium of Light.
The Canaries saved probably their poorest Premier League performance of the season for manager Paul Lambert's meeting with his much-admired former Celtic boss.
After just one defeat in 10 matches in all competitions, and an unbeaten January, it was a dismal start to February for City and more than 800 travelling fans who made a 500-mile round trip.
It has been extremely rare for Lambert's team to look beaten by half-time, but two goals in the space of seven minutes by Fraizer Campbell and Stephane Sessegnon gave Sunderland an advantage they never looked like relinquishing.
There had been one early double chance for Grant Holt and Steve Morison before the opening goal, but it proved City's best effort of the night.
An own goal by defender Daniel Ayala, nine minutes after the break, wrapped up the goalscoring and despite a slightly more respectable second-half showing from the Canaries, they for once looked a well beaten side.
- 1 Driver caught hitting speeds of 119mph on A47
- 2 PICTURES: The best-dressed punters at Fakenham Ladies Day
- 3 Homes destroyed after blaze breaks out in terraced housing
- 4 Can you answer these 10 GCSE questions designed for 16-year-olds?
- 5 City burger joint takes beef off the menu
- 6 More cameras could be on way to fine law-breaking Norfolk motorists
- 7 Investigation closed after cash stolen from popular attraction
- 8 Crash closes part of B1145 in west Norfolk
- 9 Key worker couple celebrate 'fairy tale' day after winning £32,000 wedding
- 10 Fake chefs deliver out-of-date lasagne to Carrow Road ahead of Spurs clash
It was also revenge for Sunderland after their televised 2-1 defeat at Carrow Road in September – and this one was painful viewing for those of a yellow and green persuasion.
Lambert recalled five of the players who did not feature in the FA Cup at West Bromwich Albion in goalkeeper John Ruddy, full-back Kyle Naughton, midfield pair Bradley Johnson and Andrew Surman, and striker Morison.
Defender Elliott Ward was involved for the first time this as one of the seven substitutes.
Sunderland began brightly, Sebastian Larsson threatening first with a curling free-kick after three minutes but Ruddy was down to save.
Then Ruddy was forced into action again as Campbell got in a downward header from James McClean's centre.
Larsson shot wide from Sessegnon's pass as Sunderland kept up the early assault.
In the 13th minute, however, City almost took the lead against the run of play. Grant Holt's first effort was blocked by keeper Simon Mignolet, while Morison's follow-up was kept out by John O'Shea before Surman fired high and wide at the third attempt.
Craig Gardner was booked after 18 minutes for a late challenge on Zak Whitbread after the City man halted his forward burst.
But with 21 minutes gone, the deadlock was broken by a stunning goal by Campbell.
McClean gained possession from a quickly-taken throw-in and found Campbell, who struck a perfect 25-yard volley out of reach of Ruddy.
It was 2-0 seven minutes later when Sessegnon started and finished a move in style, sending Campbell away on the right then racing into the box to score unchallenged with a firm header.
It was very much one-way traffic and Campbell struck the post from Jack Colback's pass, although the flag eventually went up for offside.
Five minutes before the break, Gardner was off target with a powerful effort as the home side continued to pressurise a vulnerable City defence.
• Half-time: Sunderland 2, Norwich City 0
Ten minutes after the break, it was as good as over for the Canaries when they were carved wide open down the left side of the defence.
Full-back Phil Bardsley broke down the right and crossed towards the near post, where Daniel Ayala only succeeded in diverting the ball past his own keeper into the net.
City were being run ragged at this stage and when Larsson crossed from the right, Campbell was just inches away from getting a decisive touch as he slid into the six-yard box.
There was a double change for the Canaries as Anthony Pilkington and Elliott Bennett replaced Andrew Crofts and Wes Hoolahan and it almost paid dividends after 63 minutes when Pilkington crossed from the left, but Morison headed wide with a decent opportunity. Striker Aaron Wilbraham was Lambert's last throw of the dice when he replaced Holt.
Pilkington tried his luck from long range bit was way off target with an effort that summed up the Canaries' night.
Former England international Wayne Bridge was given the final eight minutes as one of their three substitutes on the night, a comfortable introduction for the on-loan Manchester City defender.
Wilbraham managed one effort on target from the edge of the area with five minutes left, but Mignolet gathered it comfortably.
There was a booking for Naughton in the final minute for a foul on substitute Ji Dong-won to complete City's miserable evening.
• Result: Sunderland 3, Norwich City 0
• Sunderland: Mignolet, Bardsley, Turner, Larsson, Gardner, Campbell (Ji, 74), Richardson (Bridge, 82), Colback, O'Shea, McLean, Sessegnon (Meyler, 82). Subs (not used): Westwood, Elmohamdy, Wickham, Lynch.
• Norwich City: Ruddy, R Martin, Whitbread, Ayala, Naughton, Johnson (Bennett, 62), Crofts, Surman, Hoolahan (Pilkington, 62), Holt (Wilbraham, 78), Morison. Subs (not used): Steer, Fox, Jackson, Ward.
• Referee: Lee Mason (Lancashire)
• Attendance: 34, 476
• Goals: Sunderland: Campbell (21), Sessegnon (28), Ayala (og, 54)
• Bookings: Sunderland: Gardner (18). City: Naughton (90)