Sunderland collapsed in the face of a West Brom invigorated by Stephane Sessegnon.
Sunderland started brightest but created nothing of note, and it was West Brom who scored first. Nicolas Anelka flicked on Morgan Amalfitano’s cross at the near post, to be shinned by Scott Sinclair against Keiren Westwood, who could only palm the ball away. That left room for an unmarked Sessegnon to place the ball high into the goal.
After that West Brom came alive, and were unlucky not to go further ahead when Amalfitano’s shot was deflected against the crossbar.
In the second half, Sunderland swapped Emanuele Giaccherini for Charalampos Mavrias. Sunderland then initially did well on the left wing, but slipped away again quickly.
Then the body blow came for Sunderland. Having used all three substitutes, Steven Fletcher suffered a shoulder injury incurred in the process of sending an excellent chance over from a few yards, and had to leave the game.
Moments later, it was worse, as is the Sunderland tradition. Amalfitano’s aggressive drive towards goal and cross to the back post was rewarded as Liam Ridgewell blasted in West Brom’s second goal in the 73rd minute. As the game drew to a close, Victor Anichebe’s excellent hold up play allowed him to slip in Amalfitano to rifle a ball into the far corner.
PRE-MATCH - Sessegnon makes debut: Starting against his former club, the forward would be relied upon to provide creativity up front.
20' - GOAL: Sessegnon opens the scoring: After Keiren Westwood can only palm away Scott Sinclair's shot, Sessegnon follows up with a shot into the roof of the net.
73' - Sunderland down to 10 men: Adam Johnson's cross from the right is missed by Jozy Altidore, and Fletcher's shot is well off target. He injures his shoulder, and has to leave the game, meaning Sunderland are a man short.
76' - GOAL: West Brom double their lead: Amalfitano drives into the penalty area, and his cross is blasted in by Liam Ridgewell at the back post.
90+3' - GOAL: Game over man, game over: Anichebe lays the ball off for Amalfitano to drive the ball into the far corner.
8 - West Brom ended a streak of eight Premier League games without a win.
9 - Sunderland have gone won better than West Brom, being without victory in nine Premier League matches.
17 - Sessegnon goals for Sunderland. They may have made an error in letting him go.
TALKING POINT: Paolo Di Canio may have little time left. This match was billed as a clash between managers with their jobs on the line. West Brom showed enough spark to buy Steve Clarke plenty more time, whereas Di Canio looks out of his depth.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Morgan Amalfitano (West Bromwich Albion): It was Stephane Sessegnon who provided the most notable story, but Amalfitano was the most effective and threatening West Brom player throughout, getting more dangerous each minute.
West Bromwich Albion: Myhill 6, Jones 6, McAuley 6, Olsson 6, Ridgewell 7, Amalfitano 8, Mulumbu 7, Morrison 6, Sinclair 6, Sessegnon 7, Anelka 6. Subs: Yacob 6, Berahino 6, Anichebe 6.
Sunderland: Westwood 6, Celustka 6, Colback 6, Diakite 6, O'Shea 6, Ki 6, Gardner 6, Johnson 6, Giaccherini 6, Fletcher 5, Borini 5. Subs: Alitodre 5, Cattermole 6, Mavrias 6.
THE MATCH IN A TWEET
#WBA 3-0 #SAFC: Completely unpredictable turn of events sees Di Canio’s team of Sunderland strangers lose, and Sessegnon score opener.
- Sports & Recreation
- Stephane Sessegnon
- Morgan Amalfitano
- Scott Sinclair
- Liam Ridgewell
- Keiren Westwood