Sunderland's renaissance under Martin O'Neill continued at London Road where they eased past npower Championship side Peterborough 2-0 to make it through to the fourth round of the FA Cup.
The Black Cats controlled the first half and almost went ahead when James McClean rattled the bar with a fierce drive in the first half but they soon took the lead after the break through Sebastian Larsson's free-kick.
McClean, 22, got the goal he deserved just before the hour when he glanced home Larsson's cross to make it five wins from seven matches since O'Neill took charge.
It did not take Sunderland long to get in to their stride. Phil Bardsley opened up the Peterborough defence with a clever slide-rule pass but Larsson shot wide and Craig Gardner then stung Joe Lewis' palms with a powerful drive after George Boyd dallied on the ball in midfield.
Peterborough started to play with more confidence and Tommy Rowe fired a dipping volley just wide in the 13th minute, but they soon found themselves on the back foot again.
Paul Taylor then raced forward 30 yards before flashing a 25-yard drive just past Simon Mignolet's goal in the hosts' best opportunity of the half.
Youngster McClean cut in off the flank after picking up Bardsley's cross and blasted a fierce drive that rattled Mignolet's bar to sound Peterborough a warning as the end of the first half neared.
Craig Alcock's foul on McClean gave Sunderland a free-kick five yards from the right corner of the Peterborough box three minutes in to the second half and the away side took full advantage.
Larsson whipped in a curling ball from the free-kick that evaded the sea of players from both sides in the box and sneaked to the net at the back the post to give the away side the lead.
McClean then rose to glance home Larsson's cross at the near post from eight yards to double the Black Cats' lead.
- Sports & Recreation
- Sports & Recreation/Soccer