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Sunderland 3-0 Reading

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McClean (R): Netted the opening goal

McClean (R): Netted the opening goal

Martin O'Neill's Sunderland recorded a morale-boosting 3-0 victory over Reading at the Stadium of Light on Tuesday evening.

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The hosts got off to a perfect start as James McClean put them ahead with three minutes on the clock, finishing past Adam Federici after the Reading keeper made a howler trying to punch away a corner.

Sebastian Larsson and Adam Johnson both went close for Sunderland before they doubled their lead.

On 29 minutes Danny Rose did brilliantly down the left and his low cross was flicked by Steven Fletcher with his heel into the net to put the Black Cats in control.

Just before half-time Fletcher squandered a great chance when he missed by inches with a header from a Johnson corner - but Sunderland went into the break two-up and completely in control.

Simon Mignolet pulled off a great diving save from a Nicky Shorey free kick on 54 minutes as Reading tried to rally, but Sunderland were well-organised at the back and stood up strong to everything their visitors could throw at them.

McClean and Craig Gardner pulled saves out of Federici and Noel Hunt forced the best out of Mignolet on 88 minutes, with the home keeper pulling off a point blank save when the Irish striker got his head on a corner.

Stephane Sessegnon put some added gloss on the scoreline in injury time as he latched onto a long ball, rounded Federeci, and then rolled the ball into the empty net to help life some of the pressure off O'Neill.

Posted: 11/12/12 20:40

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