West Brom 2 SAFC 0

by James, JBC Reporter

Lukaku brace KO’s Black Cats.

Due to some bad defending and missed opportunities, Sunderland left the Hawthorns yet again without even a point to their name.

The first chance of the game fell to the Wearsiders. Backed by over 2,000 followers, Fletcher’s well placed shot hit the post after he stroked it from 18 yards. However, there was still a chance as the ball fell to Danny Graham. His shot was blocked by Foster and then Fletcher blazed over the rebound.

Up the other end, the Baggies started to pile on the pressure and really should have scored. Ridgewell’s cross was met by Mulumbu and the midfielder should have scored as he was three yards out and had a diving header.

Despite this missed chance, the West Brom players kept the pressure up and on 33 minutes scored. Lukaku played the ball out wide to the unmarked Liam Ridgewell and, in Gardner’s attempts to block the shot, he handballed it and Lukaku put away the resulting penalty comfortably.

Sunderland should have been awarded a spot kick in stoppage time as Johnson’s shot was blocked by McAuley’s arm. It was almost a repeat of what had happened at the other end but the ref waved away protests.

Early in the second half, Lukaku was set up by Brunt but the powerful Belgian’s shot was saved by his fellow countryman in the Sunderland goal. An attempt that Mignolet couldn’t save, however, came in the 75th minute. Lukaku easily went past O’Shea, who was left on the floor and took on Bramble. The no.19 won the ball back but then played a back pass too short and Lukaku charged down Mignolet and deflected his clearance into the net.

The game was not over for Sunderland yet as skilled performance from Sessegnon, beat four WBA players and hit a shot that, considering it went through a body of players, Foster did well to save.

As the game drew to its close, McClean’s cross was cleared but it pinged to Sessegnon who curled his shot into the far corner to give the Lads a lifeline. However, it was one James McClean couldn’t take as he missed an 8 yard shot in stoppage time, poking it well over the bar.

West Brom team:
Ben Foster, Gareth McAuley, Liam Ridgewell, Steven Reid, Jonas Olsson ©, Claudio Yacob, Youssuf Mulumbu, Chris Brunt, James Morrison, Shame Long and Romelu Lukaku.

Sunderland team:
Simon Mignolet, Craig Gardner, Jack Colback, John O’Shea ©, Titus Bramble, Seb Larsson, Alfred N’Diaye, Adam Johnson, Stephane Sessegnon, Danny Graham and Steven Fletcher.