West Brom 3 Sunderland 0

by James, Junior Black Cats reporter

Baggies triumph over the Black Cats.

Backed by the vocal Red & White army, PDC’s men started brightly, creating some good moves through the middle and generally dominating the game.

Sunderland went down after 20 minutes as Morgan Amalfitano, who signed on deadline day and was superb during the match, received the ball on the right and sent in a cross. Ex- Chelsea, Bolton and Arsenal striker Nicolas Anelka saw his close range header parried away but the ball fell straight to former Black Cat Stephane Sessegnon and the Benin international slammed the ball into the top corner.

After this setback, Adam Johnson could have got Sunderland back on level terms. The ball bounced through to Johnson back post and his half volley brushed just past the post. However, the ball took a slight deflection which sent the ball agonizingly wide.

Soon after, Modibo Diakite deflected man of the match Amalfitao’s cross onto the crossbar and Sunderland rode their luck.

The second half began with West Brom in control, with Sunderland not posing much of a challenge to their Midlands counterparts.

Against the run of play, though, Sunderland could and have had a penalty. Colback, who is looking ensured the left back berth, crossed the ball and found substitute Altidore. The American’s shot looked destined for the top corner but was blocked by Olsson. However, it hit the centre back’s arm but as he was on the turn, a penalty would have been harsh.

An image that features in Sunderland fans’ nightmares is the one of talisman Steven Fletcher hobbling off injured. After placing his volley over the bar, the Scot fell awkwardly on his shoulder and faces several weeks on the sidelines. After making all of his subs, Di Canio had nobody to replace Fletcher so for the final 20 minutes, it was 10 v 11.

This numerical advantage for the home side was captilised upon on 75 minutes when another Amalfitano cross from the right was met by Liam Ridgewell at the back post, who volleyed home in front of the Sunderland fans.

The final goal came down the right again when Anichebe played in Amalfitano, who hit a brilliant shot across Westwood and into the bottom corner to make it 3-0.

The Black Cats now face off against Peterborough on Tuesday Night in the Capital One Cup third round.

West Brom team: Boaz Myhill, Gareth McAuley, Billy Jones, Liam Ridgewell, Jonas Olsson, Morgan Amalfitano, Youssuf Mulumbu, James Morrison, Scott Sinclair (Claudio Yacob) Stephane Sessegnon (Saido Berahino) and Nicolas Anelka (Victor Anichebe). Subs not used: Lee Camp, Goran Popov, Diego Lugano and Markus Rosengburg.

Sunderland team: Keiren Westwood, Ondrej Celustka, Jack Colback, Modibo Diakite, John O’Shea, Craig Gardner (Lee Cattermole), Ki, Emanuele Giaccherini (Charis Mavrias), Adam Johnson, Fabio Borini (Jozy Altidore) and Steven Fletcher. Subs not used: Vito Mannone, Elhadji Ba, Carlos Cuellar and Ji.