1-0; Fletcher, 31' 2-0; Brunt, 37'
West Bromwich Albion 2-0 Sunderland: Baggies cruise to two goal victory over apathetic Wearsiders

West Bromwich Albion 2-0 Sunderland: Baggies cruise to two goal victory over apathetic Wearsiders

Goals from Darren Fletcher and Chris Brunt saw the game all but over after just 37 minutes, as Moyes' men slid to yet another defeat away from home.

jack-mcgraghan
Jack McGraghan

West Brom ran out comfortable winners at the Hawthorns this afternoon thanks to strikes from Darren Fletcher and Chris Brunt, as sorry Sunderland slumped to their ninth away defeat of the season and remained rooted to the foot of the Premier League table.

The Baggies had a spring in their step from the off and bagged their first of the afternoon via the unlikely source of Fletcher in the 31st minute, who chested wonderfully before turning and sending his volley into the far corner of Vito Mannone's net.

The hosts doubled their lead just six minutes later through Brunt, who followed up Nacer Chadli's shocking miss from close range by smashing the ball into the top corner.

Both sides made changes from their previous top-flight fixtures

Sunderland afforded a second Premier League start to George Honeyman after he made the starting 11 in their 2-0 FA Cup defeat to Burnley in midweek, with Fabio Borini dropping to the bench as a result.

Billy Jones also returned to the side in the place of Donald Love, marking two changes to the squad from their last Premier League outing against Stoke City.

West Brom made a single change to the side that lost 4-0 at White Hart Lane last weekend, with Allan Nyom replacing Jonas Olsson in defence with Tony Pulis looking to keep a clean sheet in front of the home crowd.

The result was set in stone as early as the half-hour mark

In truth, the first period was a rather dull affair for the first half an hour at least. The hosts were largely dominant as expected however, but never really came close to scoring until the 28th minute.

Chadli made his way down the wing and found Salomon Rondon 10 yards away from goal, but the Venezuelan could only send his header crashing into his team-mate Matt Phillips and out for a goal kick.

Baggies fans only had to wait another three minutes to see the first goal of the day though. Sunderland failed to clear the lines on several occasions and Gareth McAuley found his captain Fletcher with a cushioned header, and the Scot finished in a way more alike to a classy forward than a defensive midfielder by chesting and volleying into the far corner on the turn.

The goal was a big blow to David Moyes' men, but they didn't help themselves by conceding another goal just six minutes later. 

Phillips skipped past John O'Shea with ease on the right flank and sent a low ball into the penalty area, where Chadli inexplicably cracked the bar from close range but had his blushes spared by Brunt who slammed the ball high into the far corner and well out of Mannone's reach for 2-0.

Brunt's sweetly struck volley all but confirmed the three points for Pulis' side.

Things looking bleaker with every passing game for the visitors

Sunderland managed to grasp a foothold on the game in terms of possession in the second half at least, but as they have done so many times this season they simply could not find the creativity within their ranks to unlock the West Brom defence.

Jones, van Aanholt and Jermain Defoe all had attempts at testing Ben Foster but none of those chances were anything close to being clear cut chances on goal, and the English stopper remained relatively comfortable in the second period with the hosts simply consolidating the lead they attained in the opening 45 minutes.

Perhaps the sole highlight of the afternoon for the travelling Black Cats fans was the re-introduction of the recently injury free Victor Anichebe to the first-team, with the Nigerian seeing 25 minutes of action after coming on in the place of Adnan Januzaj.

The home fans also got a chance to see their latest signing Jake Livermore in action. The £10m signing was introduced in the 71st minute by his new boss and will be unlikely to have an easier debut for the rest of his career with the Baggies in cruise control for much of the second period.

This result sees West Brom lock down eighth place in the table whilst Sunderland are now propping up the rest of the division thanks to Swansea's shock 3-2 win at Anfield in the day's lunchtime kick-off.

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