As it was, the spoils were shared on a controversial afternoon in the North East.
Craig Gardner then drew the hosts level just before the break from the penalty spot, but the Black Cats were unable to make their numerical advantage count.
You can find out how the match unfolded with our minute-by-minute commentary below.
SUNDERLAND: Bardsley, N'Diaye, Wickham, Colback, Bramble, McClean, Westwood
NORWICH: Whittaker, Holt, Jackson, Fox, Becchio, R Bennett, Camp
"We said before that we have relied very heavily this season on Steven Fletcher scoring the goals, more so than we should have done," said O'Neill. "We needed some sort of experienced player in there alongside him.
"I thought Danny fitted the bill and I do believe that he will get goals when he gets fully match fit. He'll prove a handful."
"We need to start winning, really. I think next week is a big, big game for us," he told reporters. "We have difficult fixtures coming up, including Norwich. We have our work cut out. We have known that since the start of the season.
"It has been tough going throughout the season and we have to fight through these last nine games."
"I had a great first season there, but in my second year I picked up a bad injury. It was a massive setback for me and after that my time there was just completely disrupted by one injury after another," he told The Mirror.
"I played a few good games for them and we had some big wins. But their supporters never saw the best of me. I definitely don't feel I have anything to prove. But hopefully I can show them that I'm a pretty good player."
"Yes it's handball but surely [the Sunderland player] is interfering and has to be offside! Officials must have had a bad Cheltenham Festival! Fuming."
"I'd take a point under the circumstances but Sunderland are a poor team! #ncfc"