Premier League
SunderlandSunderland0West BromWest Bromwich Albion0

Sunderland 0-0 West Bromwich Albion

By Mike WhalleyBBC Sport
Jermain Defoe and Claudio Yacob
Sunderland have won just one Premier League game at home since 4 October
  • Sunderland record 13th PL draw of season
  • Poyet's side had lost previous two games
  • West Brom unbeaten in four matches
  • Lescott escapes with early booking

Sunderland remain in Premier League relegation trouble following boss Gus Poyet's unity call as fellow strugglers West Brom held them to a dire draw.

Albion defender Joleon Lescott escaped with a booking after appearing to commit a professional foul on striker Danny Graham in the fifth minute.

Sunderland winger Adam Johnson had a goal ruled out for offside, and Seb Larsson was denied by Ben Foster.

The West Brom keeper made a second-half save from Connor Wickham's header.

The stalemate leaves the Black Cats 16th, three points above the relegation zone, while West Brom are five points off the bottom three.

Poyet wrote an open letter to his club's fans during the week appealing for them to "stay positive" in the face of a poor run that had brought just one league win since Christmas.

His side at least showed more spirit than they did in losing their last Premier League game at home to relegation rivals Queens Park Rangers and in going out of the FA Cup at League One side Bradford City.

But their build-up play was often too slow against a Baggies side who seemed content to eke out a point.

Hard times at the Stadium of Light
Sunderland have managed just three home wins in all competitions this season - Premier League victories over Stoke (4 October) and Burnley (31 January), plus an FA Cup third-round victory over Championship side Leeds on 4 January.

Tony Pulis has suffered just one defeat in the 10 matches since he was appointed Albion boss on 1 January, and his men absorbed the home side's pressure without too much difficulty.

West Brom did get a couple of lucky breaks in the first half, however, with Lescott only cautioned by referee Mike Jones after dragging down Graham, who was racing clear on to Lee Cattermole's pass.

Johnson then had a goal ruled out for offside by assistant referee Constantine Hatzidakis just before half-time, when television replays suggested the Sunderland winger was level as he collected Ricky Alvarez's diagonal right-wing cross.

Jermain Defoe whizzed a shot across goal and Foster made a flying save from Larsson in a first half more notable for its physical confrontations - with Albion midfielder Claudio Yacob lucky to escape punishment for shoving Defoe to the ground as they waited for a Johnson corner.

The second half was hardly any better, with Sunderland's best chances coming from corners. Santiago Vergini headed wide a Larsson delivery amid more pushing and shoving in the penalty area, while substitute Connor Wickham turned Johnson's ball straight at Foster.

Albion's keeper was not troubled after that, and Poyet's side were unable to fashion just a third home league win of the season.

Gus Poyet
Gus Poyet wrote an open letter to fans appealing for unity before the game
Seb Larsson
Seb Larsson was unable to add to the three goals he has scored for Sunderland this season
Jermain Defoe and Claudio Yacob
Jermain Defoe had a couple of first-half tangles with West Brom midfielder Claudio Yacob at set-pieces
John O'Shea and Brown Ideye
West Brom striker Brown Ideye - with four goals in his previous three matches - was largely kept quiet

Line-ups

Sunderland

Formation 4-4-1-1

  • 1Pantilimon
  • 27VerginiSubstituted forvan Aanholtat 88'minutes
  • 16O'Shea
  • 5Brown
  • 15Réveillere
  • 20ÁlvarezBooked at 11minsSubstituted forFletcherat 68'minutes
  • 6Cattermole
  • 7Larsson
  • 11Johnson
  • 19GrahamSubstituted forWickhamat 68'minutes
  • 28Defoe

Substitutes

  • 3van Aanholt
  • 4Bridcutt
  • 9Fletcher
  • 10Wickham
  • 14Gomez Garcia-Penche
  • 22Coates
  • 25Mannone

West Brom

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Foster
  • 25DawsonBooked at 29mins
  • 23McAuley
  • 6LescottBooked at 5mins
  • 11Brunt
  • 7MorrisonSubstituted forBairdat 73'minutes
  • 24Fletcher
  • 5Yacob
  • 8GardnerSubstituted forMcManamanat 88'minutes
  • 18Berahino
  • 9Ideye

Substitutes

  • 2Wisdom
  • 3Olsson
  • 4Baird
  • 13Myhill
  • 19McManaman
  • 21Mulumbu
  • 29Sessegnon
Referee:
Mike Jones
Attendance:
40,943

Match Stats

Home TeamSunderlandAway TeamWest Brom
Possession
Home62%
Away38%
Shots
Home13
Away5
Shots on Target
Home2
Away1
Corners
Home11
Away2
Fouls
Home11
Away12

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Sunderland 0, West Bromwich Albion 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Sunderland 0, West Bromwich Albion 0.

  3. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Patrick van Aanholt (Sunderland) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Adam Johnson.

  4. Post update

    Sebastian Larsson (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Darren Fletcher (West Bromwich Albion).

  6. Post update

    Attempt missed. Chris Brunt (West Bromwich Albion) left footed shot from more than 35 yards is too high.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Sebastian Larsson (Sunderland).

  8. Post update

    Darren Fletcher (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Patrick van Aanholt (Sunderland).

  10. Post update

    Joleon Lescott (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  11. Substitution

    Substitution, Sunderland. Patrick van Aanholt replaces Santiago Vergini.

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, West Bromwich Albion. Callum McManaman replaces Craig Gardner.

  13. Post update

    Offside, Sunderland. Anthony Réveillere tries a through ball, but Jermain Defoe is caught offside.

  14. Post update

    Corner, Sunderland. Conceded by Joleon Lescott.

  15. Post update

    Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by Wes Brown.

  16. Post update

    Delay over. They are ready to continue.

  17. Post update

    Delay in match Ben Foster (West Bromwich Albion) because of an injury.

  18. Post update

    Attempt saved. Connor Wickham (Sunderland) header from the right side of the six yard box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Adam Johnson with a cross.

  19. Post update

    Corner, Sunderland. Conceded by Chris Brunt.

  20. Post update

    Corner, Sunderland. Conceded by Gareth McAuley.