Sunderland 1 Norwich City 3: Fans turn on Ellis Short after another humiliating defeat

Russell Martin celebrates putting Norwich ahead against Sunderland today
Russell Martin celebrates putting Norwich ahead against Sunderland today

Sunderland fans turned their anger on owner Ellis Short, as the pointless Black Cats endured a second successive hiding at the start of the season.

In a game where Sunderland were supposed to produce a reaction from the previous weekend’s humiliation at Leicester, Dick Advocaat’s men were wretched again, as newly-promoted Norwich put their first points on the board.

First half goals from defenders Russell Martin and Steven Whittaker left Sunderland reeling, with the hosts never showing any hint of getting back into the game.

Nathan Redmond added a third after the break, with those fans who remained in the Stadium of Light after a mass exodus, chanting “Are you watching Ellis Short?”.

The only positive for Sunderland was Premier League debutant Duncan Watmore, who earned the biggest cheer of the afternoon after his introduction and then netted a consolation with two minutes to go.

Yann M’Vila was handed his Sunderland debut as one of two changes to the starting XI from Advocaat.

The French international was preferred to Jack Rodwell in central midfield, while Steven Fletcher came in for the injured Adam Johnson.

There was far more aggression and determination on show from Sunderland in the opening stages than they showed at Leicester the previous weekend, yet a lack of quality from both sides limited any goalmouth action.

But Costel Pantilimon needed to make a superb full-length save in the 25th minute with the first meaningful effort from either side after Wes Hoolahan laid the ball back to Jonny Howson on the edge of the area.

Howson’s angled drive across goal was brilliantly tipped behind by Pantilimon low to his left.

However, from the resulting corner, Norwich broke the deadlock after benefiting from a slice of fortune.

Sunderland were caught sleeping from a short corner when Robbie Brady was allowed to unleash an angled left-foot shot from the right-hand side of the area.

Pantilimon pushed it away, but it richocheted back off Russell Martin - who knew nothing about it - and bobbled into the net.

It got even worse for Sunderland seven minutes before the break when Steven Whittaker got the wrong side of the wayward Patrick van Aanholt and played a one-two with Wes Hoolahan.

Whittaker was able to burst down the right-hand side of the area, beyond Younes Kaboul, before powering a right-foot shot into the far corner.

Cameron Jerome then looped a shot over the bar as the boos rang around the Stadium of Light.

However, Steven Fletcher came close to pulling one back on the stroke of half-time, when he headed Jeremain Lens’ inswinging cross just wide.

Sunderland didn’t get any better after the break, and their humiliation continued when Norwich made it 3-0 in the 57th minute - again finding the net with frightening ease.

Advocaat’s side switched off from a throw-in, Nathan Redmond was allowed to play a one-two with Hoolahan on the edge of the area and got the return pass to the right of goal, where he slotted it beyond Pantilimon at the near post.

Sunderland grabbed a consolation with two minutes to go when Watmore - who looked by far the brightest of any player in red and white - broke his duck on his Premier League bow.

Lens’ free-kick from the left wasn’t properly dealt with by Norwich and Watmore’s scuffed half-volley bounced into the turf and nestled in the far corner.

Sunderland: Pantilimon, Jones, Kaboul, Coates, van Aanholt, Cattermole, Larsson (Graham 46), M’Vila, Lens, Defoe, Fletcher (Watmore 70). Subs not used: Mannone, Bridcutt, Rodwell, Matthews, O’Shea. Booked: Lens (9)

Norwich: Ruddy, Whittaker, Martin, Bassong, Brady, Tettey, Howson, Dorrans, Hoolahan (Johnson 62), Redmond (O’Neil 83), Jerome (Grabban 68). Subs not used: Rudd, Wisdom, Hooper, Bennett. Booked: Bassong (7), Tettey (48)

Attendance: 41,379