Romelu Lukaku scored twice for West Brom as the Baggies beat Sunderland to keep their hopes of claiming a Europa League place alive.
Lukaku's penalty, after a Craig Gardner handball, put the hosts ahead.
The Belgium striker doubled his side's lead when Sunderland goalkeeper Simon Mignolet's clearance rebounded off him.
West Brom flying high
The Baggies' best Premier League finish is the 10th spot they achieved last season. They have not played in Europe since their Uefa Cup campaign in 1981-82.
Stephane Sessegnon curled home a late consolation, but Albion held on for a deserved win.
All the talk pre-match was about West Brom's Peter Odemwingie, who had not played since trying to force a move to QPR on transfer deadline day, and he was booed as he came on as a late substitute.
But it was the performance of the outstanding Lukaku that stole the show as the 19-year-old was at the heart of everything good Albion did.
Lukaku's efforts, along with intelligent play from strike partner Shane Long, helped take the Baggies up to seventh as they aim to play in a major European competition for the first time in 31 years.
Sunderland played their part in an exciting game and they should have stolen a point in injury-time when James McClean fired over.
Clarke all smiles after 'nervous' win
Baggies manager Steve Clarke had insisted reaching the 40-point mark was his side's first target, which they have now done with 11 games remaining.
But it was Sunderland who should have taken the lead when Steven Fletcher's low shot hit the foot of the post before the Scotland striker wasted a second chance by shooting over the bar.
The hosts deservedly went ahead in the 35th minute when Lukaku, making only his 12th Premier League start of the season, slotted home a penalty after Liam Ridgewell's cross had been handled in the area by Gardner.
It was his 11th goal of the season, although that should have come a minute earlier when he had a goal harshly cancelled out.
Referee Roger East pulled the ball back for a free-kick after Chris Brunt was fouled while sliding a clever pass through to Lukaku, who finished well past Mignolet.
Lukaku, on loan from Chelsea, was unlucky not to score more goals, twice seeing powerful efforts parried by a busy Mignolet.
But Albion were living dangerously by failing to double their lead and could have conceded when Sessegnon's weak prod at goal lacked power and was hacked off the line after goalkeeper Ben Foster had flapped at a cross.
They did get their second when a horrible backpass from Titus Bramble was well short and Mignolet, having to run from his penalty area, cleared the ball off Lukaku and into his own net.
O'Neill at a loss to explain defeat
Sessegnon curled a late goal back for Sunderland but it was not enough and the defeat, which means Sunderland have only won two of nine matches in 2013, leaves the Black Cats only five points clear of the relegation zone.
West Brom manager Steve Clarke:
"I was a little bit nervous. We have to learn to manage the game a little better and see it out better than that. It didn't have to become a game of basketball, which it did in the last 15 minutes.
"It's nice to get back-to-back wins and give the supporters a nice Saturday evening."
Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill:
"Really disappointing to lose the game considering we had so many chances. That's the last three matches we've played where we shouldn't have been beaten.
"The big decision was the penalty kick which was given against us. But then there was a similar situation at the other end where it wasn't given. I've seen both of them back. Both are penalties.
"We played very well indeed and got nothing out of the game."
Full Time The referee blows his whistle to end the game.
A cross is delivered by Jack Colback. James McClean takes a shot from inside the six-yard box clearing the crossbar.
Alfred N'Diaye challenges Youssouf Mulumbu unfairly and gives away a free kick. Chris Brunt delivers the ball from the free kick left-footed from left wing.
Shot by David Vaughan. Save made by Ben Foster.
Foul by Chris Brunt on Alfred N'Diaye, free kick awarded. John O'Shea takes the direct free kick.
Peter Odemwingie has an effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the left of the target.
Substitution Peter Odemwingie is brought on as a substitute for Romelu Lukaku.
The ball is crossed by Alfred N'Diaye.
The ball is delivered by Marc-Antoine Fortune, clearance by Titus Bramble. Chris Brunt takes a shot. Simon Mignolet makes a brilliant save.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Youssouf Mulumbu by David Vaughan. Free kick taken by Steven Reid.
Substitution Marc-Antoine Fortune on for James Morrison.
The ball is crossed by Craig Gardner.
Stephane Sessegnon takes a shot from just inside the penalty box which clears the crossbar.
Liam Ridgewell gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Stephane Sessegnon. Direct free kick taken by Simon Mignolet.
James McClean provided the assist for the goal.
78:55 Goal scored
Goal! - Stephane Sessegnon - West Brom 2 - 1 Sunderland Stephane Sessegnon finds the back of the net with a goal from inside the area to the top right corner of the goal. West Brom 2-1 Sunderland.
James McClean produces a cross.
Craig Gardner restarts play with the free kick.
Booking Booking for James Morrison.
James Morrison challenges Stephane Sessegnon unfairly and gives away a free kick.
Stephane Sessegnon takes a shot. Save made by Ben Foster.
Substitution James McClean comes on in place of Adam Johnson.
Substitution David Vaughan on for Sebastian Larsson.
Booking Romelu Lukaku is shown a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.
74:07 Goal scored
Goal! - Romelu Lukaku - West Brom 2 - 0 Sunderland Goal scored by Romelu Lukaku from just outside the penalty area to the bottom left corner of the goal. West Brom 2-0 Sunderland.
Adam Johnson sends in a cross, Ben Foster makes a save.
Adam Johnson crosses the ball, Gareth McAuley manages to make a clearance.
The ball is delivered by Chris Brunt.
The ball is delivered by Stephane Sessegnon.
The ball is delivered by Romelu Lukaku, clearance by John O'Shea.
Inswinging corner taken by Chris Brunt.
Romelu Lukaku takes a shot. Save by Simon Mignolet.
James Morrison takes a inswinging corner.
Corner taken by Chris Brunt from the right by-line, Steven Fletcher manages to make a clearance.
The ball is delivered by Graham Dorrans, James Morrison takes a shot. Blocked by Titus Bramble.
Youssouf Mulumbu takes a shot. Comfortable save by Simon Mignolet.
Foul by Claudio Yacob on Stephane Sessegnon, free kick awarded. Free kick crossed left-footed by Adam Johnson from right wing, clearance made by Chris Brunt.
Substitution Graham Dorrans is brought on as a substitute for Shane Long.
The ball is swung over by Liam Ridgewell, Titus Bramble manages to make a clearance.
Romelu Lukaku produces a left-footed shot from the edge of the box and misses to the right of the target.
Corner from the left by-line taken by James Morrison, clearance made by Craig Gardner.
A cross is delivered by Romelu Lukaku, Craig Gardner gets a block in.
Romelu Lukaku takes the chance to get an effort at goal. Save by Simon Mignolet.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Claudio Yacob by Sebastian Larsson. Ben Foster restarts play with the free kick.
The ball is sent over by Craig Gardner, clearance by Jonas Olsson.
Youssouf Mulumbu gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Stephane Sessegnon. Craig Gardner restarts play with the free kick.
Shane Long challenges Craig Gardner unfairly and gives away a free kick. Simon Mignolet restarts play with the free kick.
Free kick awarded for a foul by John O'Shea on Shane Long. A cross is delivered by Chris Brunt, Jonas Olsson has a header from deep inside the six-yard box and clears the crossbar.
Steven Fletcher takes a shot. Gareth McAuley gets a block in.
Alfred N'Diaye produces a cross, Close range effort by Danny Graham misses to the right of the goal.
The ball is delivered by Jack Colback, Steven Reid gets a block in.
Centre by Adam Johnson, Steven Reid gets a block in.
Shane Long concedes a free kick for a foul on John O'Shea. Sebastian Larsson crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from left wing, Liam Ridgewell makes a clearance.
Inswinging corner taken by Chris Brunt, John O'Shea makes a clearance.
Inswinging corner taken by Sebastian Larsson from the left by-line, Stephane Sessegnon takes a shot. Clearance by Youssouf Mulumbu.
Liam Ridgewell gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Stephane Sessegnon. Free kick crossed left-footed by Adam Johnson from right wing, Steven Reid makes a clearance.
Effort on goal by James Morrison from outside the area goes harmlessly over the bar.
The ball is swung over by Liam Ridgewell, clearance by John O'Shea.
Corner taken by Adam Johnson from the right by-line, Shane Long makes a clearance.
The game restarts for the second half.
45:00 +1:56 Half time
Half Time The players leave the pitch at half time.
Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Sebastian Larsson from the left by-line, Liam Ridgewell manages to make a clearance.
Adam Johnson produces a drilled left-footed shot from 18 yards. Gareth McAuley gets a block in.
The ball is crossed by James Morrison, Header on goal by Shane Long from inside the box goes harmlessly over the target.
Centre by Alfred N'Diaye, clearance by Jonas Olsson.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Stephane Sessegnon by Liam Ridgewell. Direct free kick taken by Craig Gardner. The assistant referee signals for offside against Steven Fletcher. Ben Foster takes the indirect free kick.
Chris Brunt crosses the ball from the free kick left-footed from right wing, brilliant save by Simon Mignolet.
Booking Titus Bramble shown a yellow card.
Unfair challenge on Shane Long by Titus Bramble results in a free kick.
Foul by Titus Bramble on Shane Long, free kick awarded. Centre by Chris Brunt, Headed effort from deep inside the penalty area by Shane Long misses to the left of the goal.
The assist for the goal came from Liam Ridgewell.
34:09 Goal scored
Goal! - Romelu Lukaku - West Brom 1 - 0 Sunderland Placed penalty scored by Romelu Lukaku. West Brom 1-0 Sunderland.
The ball is crossed by Liam Ridgewell. Craig Gardner is adjudged to have handled the ball.
Romelu Lukaku gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Craig Gardner. Simon Mignolet takes the direct free kick.
Foul by Sebastian Larsson on James Morrison, free kick awarded. Strike comes in from Steven Reid from the free kick.
The ball is crossed by Chris Brunt, clearance made by Titus Bramble.
The ball is sent over by Liam Ridgewell, Close range headed effort by Youssouf Mulumbu misses to the right of the goal.
Liam Ridgewell delivers the ball, Jack Colback makes a clearance.
Craig Gardner sends in a cross, save made by Ben Foster.
The ball is crossed by Stephane Sessegnon, save by Ben Foster.
James Morrison delivers the ball, Titus Bramble makes a clearance.
The ball is swung over by James Morrison, comfortable save by Simon Mignolet.
Steven Fletcher produces a left-footed shot from the edge of the area and hits the post.
The ball is delivered by Liam Ridgewell, Headed effort on goal by Romelu Lukaku from inside the penalty box misses to the right of the goal.
Foul by Chris Brunt on Stephane Sessegnon, free kick awarded. Simon Mignolet takes the direct free kick.
Steven Fletcher gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Liam Ridgewell. Direct free kick taken by Ben Foster.
The referee blows for offside. Ben Foster takes the free kick.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Steven Reid on Alfred N'Diaye. Simon Mignolet restarts play with the free kick.
Claudio Yacob gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Steven Fletcher. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Sebastian Larsson from left channel, Liam Ridgewell manages to make a clearance.
Foul by Alfred N'Diaye on Chris Brunt, free kick awarded. Chris Brunt takes the direct free kick.
Centre by Titus Bramble.
Corner taken by Adam Johnson, Chris Brunt manages to make a clearance.
Alfred N'Diaye delivers the ball, clearance made by Gareth McAuley.
Shot from outside the box by Chris Brunt misses to the left of the goal.
Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Adam Johnson from the right by-line to the near post, Ben Foster makes a save.
A cross is delivered by Stephane Sessegnon, James Morrison gets a block in.
Centre by Liam Ridgewell.
Danny Graham is caught offside. Ben Foster restarts play with the free kick.
Centre by Sebastian Larsson, Claudio Yacob gets a block in.
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