Sunday, 10 April 2011

Sunderland 2 WBA 3

Sunderland 2

Shorey [own goal] 10, Bardsley 31


Odemwingie 29, Mulumbu 54, Scharner 72

Three deserved points for a resurgent WBA side saw them leapfrog a disinterested Sunderland team who despite lying six points above the relegation zone are far from safe. In fact defeat in next weekends away game at Birmingham and the home game that follows against Wigan Athletic may well force the Wearsiders to gamble by sacking manager Steve Bruce and bringing in Sam Allardyce or Martin O’Neill to try and stave off the drop.

The home side have taken just one point from 24 and have won just one of their last eight home games. Performances suggest another victory this season cannot be guaranteed.

Roy Hodgson’s team could even afford the luxury of gifting Sunderland an early lead, Nicky Shorey’s attempted headed clearance, from an Asamoah Gyan cross, flashing into his own net.  The Baggies were level when Jonas Olsson neatly headed down Chris Brunt’s cross and Peter Odemwingie showed greater determination than his marker Anton Ferdinand to sweep the loose ball home.

Sunderland took a 2-1 lead into the break with their only effort on goal in the game, Phil Bardsley hitting an unstoppable thirty-yard drive after Kieran Richardson had touched the ball to him from a free kick.

The second period was virtually all West Brom and when Odemwingie took advantage of Ferdinand’s inability to stay tight the Nigerian striker found Youssouf Mulumbu whose shot took a slight deflection off Michael Turner before squeezing beyond the despairing dive of Simon Mignolet. The Sunderland keeper than made a fine save from an Olsson header but had no chance on 72 minutes, WBA carving Sunderland apart before Odemwingie pulled the ball back for Paul Scharner to finish.

Only once did Sunderland look like they might grab a draw, but Danny Welbeck failed to hit the target in added time leaving the victorious side to take the deserved applause of their 3,000 followers at the end. 

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