West Bromwich Albion 2
A point apiece for two teams struggling to find form. And whilst Sunderland will be pleased to have come from two down the result leaves manager Steve Bruce under pressure, especially as three of the Wearsiders next four matches are away, including trips to Arsenal and Manchester United.
It took only four minutes for the Baggies to grab the lead when James Morrison rose in front of Wes Brown to flick Chris Brunt’s free-kick beyond Simon Mignolet. Ninety seconds later it was 2-0 when Craig Gardner’s pass rocketed off Youssouf Mulumbu to drop beyond Michael Turner and leave Shane Long to scamper through and confidently beat Mignolet. The keeper then did well to deny Morrison when a third would surely have ended the contest.
Sunderland were back in the game on 24 minutes when Stephane Sessegnon’s pass was beautifully back-heeled by Sebastian Larsson into the path of man-of-the match Nicklas Bendtner whose shot deflected off Gareth McAuley to leave Ben Foster helpless.
The home side levelled when Ahmed Elmohamady rose to bullet home a header from a delightful Bendtner cross and might have taken the lead only for Foster to deny Gardner with a good save.
In the second period Sunderland enjoyed the majority of possession and Brown should have done better when he peeled away at the back post to meet but head Larsson’s cross down and over the bar. Then Elmohamady shot much too close to Foster when found by Sessegnon before the pace of the game slowed in the final quarter, with West Brom in particular rarely seeking to score the winner.