Best Ba None!
He nets first Sunderland goal to stun Canaries
GOOD things come to those who wait — and Abdoullah Ba has shown more patience than most. The 19- year- old Frenchman finally scored for Sunderland, having joined them from Le Havre seven months ago. And that helped Sunderland upset the form book and put a big dent in Norwich’s promotion hopes.
Ba’s 15th-minute winner ended the home side’s three- match winning run as the Canaries missed a chance to go fifth.
And it stopped the rot for Sunderland, who had lost their previous three matchesatches in a row.
Summer signing Ba was making his 23rdd appearance for thee visitors but only his fourth start, and his winner leaves them just five points outside the play-off places.
Sunderland boss Tonyy Mowbray said: ‘It was a brilliant goal and he’s a lovely lad. We’ve got a lot of young French playersayers here and they aree still learning.
‘I’ve had to say to them that they will get their chance, but that it could take six or seven months for them to be ready to play in this league.
‘He is a really talented boy. He needs to learn to move the ball and run without it because he can be frustrating when he dribbles and loses it. We had a laugh in there because I told him I thought he’d score today.’
TheyThe say possessionposse is nine tenthsten of the law, but it wasw what you did with it that counted at Carrow Road.
Norwich dominated the ball against a Sunderland side who had just been thumped 5-1 by Stoke, but it was the visitors who broke the deadlock.
In truth, Ba was only in Sunderland’s starting line-up because of an injury to Amad Diallo. But he made the most of it, collecting the ball on the edge of the box, turning Grant Hanley inside out with a stepover and then firing into the far corner through the defender’s legs.
Joe Gelhardt could easily have made it two before half-time and as a result Norwich were booed off at the interval.
Teemu Pukki briefly threatened for the home side after the break, but even though Norwich threw on a flurry of substitutes, Sunderland dug in grimly and defended for their lives.
Norwich were furious when referee Tim Robinson called play back for a foul by Pierre Ekwah in stoppage time when Josh Sargent looked like he might be in on goal.
But the reality is that they never seriously threatened the goal in this one.
Norwich manager David Wagner said: ‘The performance was as disappointing as the result. We were not at our level, not sharp enough. We deserved this defeat.
‘We shouldn’t get too carried away. Take this setback as a man and show how you react in the next situation.’