Sunderland 3 QPR 1

Sunderland's Nicklas Bendtner (right) celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal.

Sunderland's Nicklas Bendtner (right) celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal.

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SUNDERLAND returned to winning ways this afternoon with a fine win over relegation-threatened Queens Park Rangers.

In a first-half of few chances, Sunderland made the most of the opportunity which came their way in the 40th minute when Wayne Bridge linked up with James McClean down the left and the Irishman centred for Nicklas Bendtner to glance a header across Paddy Kenny from 10 yards out.

In the second-half Craig Gardner hit the crossbar just seconds before ex-Black Cat Djibril Cisse helped his old club by getting sent off for a two-footed challenge on Fraizer Campbell in the 54th minute.

After that, Sunderland always looked likely winners and they extended their lead in the 70th minute when James McClean capitalised on an error by another ex-Sunderland player Nedum Onuoha to drive home a shot at the second attempt.

The Black Cats third goal came from a well-worked move involving McClean and David Vaughan on the left-wing, the Welsh international crossing for Stephane Sessegnon to fire home from six yards out in the 75th minute.

Taye Taiwo reduced the deficit in the 79th minute with a superbly struck free-kick but it was never going to be anything other a consolation goal.

* Full report in tonight’s Football Echo.