Premier League
West Brom2Sunderland0

West Bromwich Albion 2-0 Sunderland

Chris Brunt
Brunt has had a hand in six goals in his last five home Premier League games, with three goals and three assists

Sunderland dropped to the bottom of the Premier League when they lost 2-0 to West Brom at the Hawthorns following Swansea's win at Liverpool.

Darren Fletcher put West Brom ahead with a volley on the half-hour mark and six minutes later Chris Brunt lashed home from 20 yards to double the home side's lead.

Sunderland, who started the game in 20th place after Swansea leapfrogged them with a 3-2 victory at Anfield, struggled to create clear opportunities against a solid and confident West Brom side.

Their fourth defeat in five league games leaves them on 15 points, three points from safety.

Tony Pulis' men stay in eighth after their third league victory in four games.

The Baggies dominated the first-half and deserved their lead when captain Fletcher struck with a goal of high technical merit.

Sunderland failed to clear a corner and the ball was nodded on by Gareth McAuley to Fletcher, who controlled it on his chest before volleying past Vito Mannone on the turn.

Brunt's volley soon after might even have been better, and gave the home side a cushion they never looked like relinquishing.

The impressive Matt Phillips escaped down the right and his cross was palmed into the path of Nacer Chadli by Mannone, and although the Belgium winger hit the crossbar from close range, the rebound landed at the feet of Brunt, who arrowed home with a pure strike.

The Baggies' new £10m signing Jake Livermore made his debut, coming on for the last 20 minutes.

Fletcher was involved in an off-the-ball incident with Papy Djilobodji in the 86th minute, which was was not seen by the referee. The Sunderland defender appeared to punch Fletcher at a West Brom corner.

Blunt Sunderland fail to fire

Heatmap
The heatmaps for both sides in the game show how West Brom (left) were more of a threat in the Sunderland box, compared to the Black Cats' attacking efforts (right)

Sunderland managed just two shots in the first-half, only one of which was on target, a weak attempt by their top scorer Jermain Defoe in the 41st minute.

Defoe, 34, has scored 12 of their 20 Premier League goals this season, but the former England striker struggled to make an impact.

He managed just two touches in the West Brom box in the first-half, while as a team Sunderland only had seven touches in Foster's area.

Things did improve after the break with sevens shots and two on target - but with six of them from outside the box, West Brom rarely looked in much danger.

Sunderland's best opportunities to fight back came from set pieces but too often the delivery was poor, with Sebastian Larsson and Patrick van Aanholt particularly culpable.

Victor Anichebe gave his side a boost when he came off the bench for the last half hour as he returned from injury, but it looked as if Sunderland will need to strengthen their attack in the January transfer window if they are to have a chance of survival.

Man of the match - Matt Phillips

Matt Phillips
Phillips was West Brom's most potent attacking force, causing problems down the right wing and linking up well with full-back Allan Nyom.

What the managers said...

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Pulis wishes Berahino well at Stoke

West Brom manager Tony Pulis: "First half we played really well. In the second you have to give credit to Sunderland, they had more of the game than they did in the first half.

"We have done very well. The players have really embraced what we are trying to do and the atmosphere was fantastic again.

"Darren Fletcher's goal was fantastic and Chris (Brunt) has a wand of a left foot. We are really pleased. We have a clean sheet in a game that was always going to be difficult for us so we march on."

Premier League table

Sunderland manager David Moyes: "We played better in the second than the first, that is for sure. We are giving poor goals away and we are doing everything we can to eradicate it, but it is a disease we have got at the moment.

"We led to our own downfall but credit to the boys and credit to young George Honeyman, who was our best player by a long way today. We can take some positives from the game.

"We are missing Lamine Kone at the back. He gives a steadying influence. This was always going to be a difficult period. We are making mistakes and I will take responsibility for that.

"We are not that far away (from safety). We have to keep going and hope our turn for results will come. We have given away two or three poor goals but our play is not particularly bad - but goals change games."

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West Brom 2-0 Sunderland: Conceding goals is a 'disease' - David Moyes

Stats - Hawthorns the fortress, no luck for Black Cats

  • West Brom have won five of their last six home Premier League games, having won just one of the nine before that.
  • Sunderland have lost five consecutive away Premier League games for the first time since November 2013.
  • Moyes has lost five consecutive away Premier League games as manager for the first time since May 2005, when he was manager of Everton.

What next?

Sunderland host Tottenham, while West Brom travel to Middlesbrough, with both games played on 31 January.

Line-ups

West Brom

  • 1Foster
  • 2NyomBooked at 90mins
  • 25Dawson
  • 23McAuley
  • 11Brunt
  • 24Fletcher
  • 5Yacob
  • 10Phillips
  • 7MorrisonSubstituted forLivermoreat 72'minutes
  • 22ChadliSubstituted forMcCleanat 81'minutes
  • 9RondónSubstituted forRobson-Kanuat 87'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Olsson
  • 4Robson-Kanu
  • 8Livermore
  • 13Myhill
  • 14McClean
  • 45Leko
  • 47Field

Sunderland

  • 1Mannone
  • 4DenayerSubstituted forBoriniat 79'minutes
  • 16O'Shea
  • 5Djilobodji
  • 2Jones
  • 7Larsson
  • 8Rodwell
  • 3van Aanholt
  • 44JanuzajSubstituted forAnichebeat 66'minutes
  • 39HoneymanBooked at 85mins
  • 18Defoe

Substitutes

  • 9Borini
  • 12Simões Domingues
  • 22Love
  • 25Robson
  • 28Anichebe
  • 34Robson
  • 40Embleton
Referee:
Craig Pawson
Attendance:
24,380

Match Stats

Home TeamWest BromAway TeamSunderland
Possession
Home44%
Away56%
Shots
Home14
Away9
Shots on Target
Home5
Away3
Corners
Home1
Away4
Fouls
Home15
Away12

Live Text

Match ends, West Bromwich Albion 2, Sunderland 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, West Bromwich Albion 2, Sunderland 0.

Foul by Victor Anichebe (Sunderland).

Ben Foster (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Papy Djilobodji (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Hal Robson-Kanu (West Bromwich Albion).

Booking

Nyom (West Bromwich Albion) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

George Honeyman (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Nyom (West Bromwich Albion).

Attempt blocked. Matt Phillips (West Bromwich Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Chris Brunt.

Foul by John O'Shea (Sunderland).

Hal Robson-Kanu (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Papy Djilobodji (Sunderland).

Hal Robson-Kanu (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

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

Foul by Jake Livermore (West Bromwich Albion).

Substitution

Substitution, West Bromwich Albion. Hal Robson-Kanu replaces Salomón Rondón.

Booking

George Honeyman (Sunderland) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by George Honeyman (Sunderland).

Matt Phillips (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Fabio Borini (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Chris Brunt (West Bromwich Albion).

Attempt missed. Jake Livermore (West Bromwich Albion) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by James McClean with a cross.

Jermain Defoe (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Nyom (West Bromwich Albion).

Substitution

Substitution, West Bromwich Albion. James McClean replaces Nacer Chadli.

Substitution

Substitution, Sunderland. Fabio Borini replaces Jason Denayer because of an injury.

George Honeyman (Sunderland) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Chris Brunt (West Bromwich Albion).

Attempt saved. Nacer Chadli (West Bromwich Albion) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Jake Livermore.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Jason Denayer (Sunderland) because of an injury.

Corner, Sunderland. Conceded by Ben Foster.

Attempt saved. Patrick van Aanholt (Sunderland) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by Jack Rodwell.

Attempt blocked. Victor Anichebe (Sunderland) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by George Honeyman.

Substitution

Substitution, West Bromwich Albion. Jake Livermore replaces James Morrison.

Attempt saved. Billy Jones (Sunderland) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Sebastian Larsson with a cross.

Foul by Victor Anichebe (Sunderland).

Claudio Yacob (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Victor Anichebe (Sunderland).

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Chelsea21171345153052
2Tottenham22137245162946
3Liverpool22136351272445
4Arsenal21135348222644
5Man City22134543281543
6Man Utd22118333211241
7Everton22106633231036
8West Brom229583028232
9Stoke227782834-628
10West Ham2284102936-728
11Bournemouth2275103239-726
12Burnley2182112331-826
13Southampton216691926-724
14Watford2266102538-1324
15Leicester2156102434-1021
16Middlesbrough2248101825-720
17Swansea2253142651-2518
18Crystal Palace2244143041-1116
19Hull2144132045-2516
20Sunderland2243152042-2215
View full Premier League table

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