Sunderland dominated today's game from the first whistle to the final whistle as they claimed a superb 3-0 win over West Ham United. A full recap of all the action is right here in our match report.
Sunderland started by far the stronger of the two teams and really took the game to visitors West Ham United with a flurry of chances inside the opening ten minutes.
Adam Johnson saw his volley blocked from inside the area and unfortunately for Sunderland on rebound David Vaughan could only flash a volley wide of the mark.
Steven Fletcher selfishly kept the ball to his own benefit just a minute later when his mazey dribble on the edge of the box lead to him creeping into the area and having a shot blocked for a corner. From the resulting corner there was panic in the Hammers' back line although Seb Larsson's cross eluded everyone.
The pressure continued to grow though and it paid off when Larsson hit his first goal in 28 appearances. And what a goal it was!
After good work from Vaughan and Johnson on the edge of the box the ball was laid off to Larsson about 25-yards from goal. He shifted it out of his feet and on his highly unfavoured left foot let fly with a lovely half volley which swerved high and away from Jussi Jaaskelainen into the top corner.
Strangely that goal seemed to settle down both sides. West Ham grew into the game a little more without creating too many chances, while Sunderland looked confident in possession and strong in the tackle.
Matt Jarvis got the break of the ball when a Joe Cole cross caused a bit of bother in the area and forced a fairly routine save from Simon Mignolet.
From another Cole cross more panic was caused in the Sunderland area but once cleared it was us who actually ended up with a shot on goal. The ball quickly shifted up to Sessegnon who ran at James Collins, beat him all ends up, but dragged his shot wide of the mark.
The pace of the game continued to slow down as half time approached, but it didn't stop Sunderland's dominance of the game.
Adam Johnson whipped in a freekick which saw Titus Bramble unmarked in the six-yard box and as standard, shooting wide. Bramble's blushes spared by the assistant referee having his flag raised for offside.
James McClean shot straight at Jaaskelainen from the edge of the area, while Steven Fletcher also nodded one over before the half time whistle blew to cap a thoroughly dominating half of football for Sunderland.
Sunderland came straight out the blocks in the second half and took full advantage with a second goal via Adam Johnson.
With a West Ham moving forward the ball was cleared to Sessegnon who found James McClean in acres of space on the left hand side. He fired towards goal and forced an excellent save from Jaaskelainen. The ball fell to Daniel Potts who should have made a routine clearance inside his own six-yard box but made a complete hash of things as the ball fell to Adam Johnson to stab the ball home from about two-yards out.
It could have been three on 55 minutes too. Sesegnon again instrumental in getting the ball to Jack Colback in an advanced position. The fill-in left back's effort was first stopped by Jaaskelainen and secondly by the far upright. Everyone seemingly in impressive form and another goal looked very much in the offing.
While Sessegnon was excellent in setting up a number of chances, there also has to be a great deal of acknowledgement for David Vaughan's performance. He was absolutely superb in midfield chasing down every loose ball, setting up the attack and moving the ball exceptionally quickly. In what was always going to be a physical game, it was the smallest man on the pitch who had probably the biggest say in today's game. He absolutely bossed things in the middle of the park
Steven Fletcher had the ball in the back of the net on 57 minutes for what would have been a superb goal after good work from Colback before the Scotland international applied a classy finish. Unfortunately he was ruled (correctly) to be offside.
West Ham reminded us all they were still here when Matt Jarvis fired a low shot wide of the mark and Joe Cole fired his own shot well, well over the bar.
Things were still very much one way traffic though in the main, and it was little surprise when a third goal was added.
Adam Johnson picked the ball up on the right-hand touchline and drove from his own half into the heart of the West Ham defence, picking out Sessegnon. Sess shaped to shoot but dragged the ball back onto his other foot, taking Potts completely out of things, and when his shot was blocked, Jaaskelainen couldn't stop James McClean scoring on the rebound from a tight angle.
West Ham came at us with a could of chances, allowing Simon Mignolet to get his gloves a bit dirty and remind us he was still in existence, so little was he called into action.
A cross fell very nicely into the path of Ricardo Vaz Te inside the six-yard area but he found Mignolet had made himself too big and made an excellent stop. James Tomkins found himself in an advanced position moments later and with Craig Gardner unable to fully clear the ball Mignolet was once again in top form to deny a goal.
With little under ten minutes remaining and the game very much won it was time for Alfred N'Diaye's grand entrance to the game, and he looked about as decent as you can given the short amount of time he was one, almost scoring with near enough his first touch.
Connor Wickham - on earlier as a sub - held the ball up and found N'Diaye inside the area but the Frenchman's effort went a few inches the wrong side of the far post with the 'keeper well beaten.
It wasn't exactly his goalscoring prowess he was brought here for. More is ability to put a foot in, and there were huge cheers when he made his first very routine tackle down by the near sideline.
And that was just about it. Kevin Nolan's miss near the end when you would have expected him to score just added further gloss to a wonderful game at the Stadium Of Light. Sunderland dominated from the first whistle and deserve all the points, and all the plaudits they are sure to receive.
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