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West Bromwich Albion
West Ham United
23 February 2013
• The Hawthorns, West Bromwich
Referee: R. East
• Attendance: 25924
West Bromwich Albion
R. Lukaku 35', 75'
S. Sessègnon 79'
That was a rather good game after a slow start. Thank you for sharing it with me, and stick around for Goal.com's coverage of today's football. I've been Chris Teale, see you later everybody.
90' + 4'
FULL-TIME, and West Brom take a vital three points thanks to their 2-1 win over Sunderland. It was an absorbing second half that saw Romelu Lukaku add a fortunate second goal for the Baggies thanks to a deflection from a Simon Mignolet clearance. Stephane Sessegnon pulled one back for the Black Cats, giving them hope, but they could not quite mount a comeback despite a late surge and lose their third game in a row in the Premier League to slip further towards the clubs in relegation trouble.
90' + 3'
CHANCE! That was the chance for Sunderland, as James McClean comes onto a knock-down from Bramble in the penalty area but sends his shot over the bar. What an opportunity wasted.
90' + 2'
Sessegnon comes forward well but for some reason manages to run the ball out of play despite five of his team-mates being poised for the cross into the penalty area.
90' + 1'
There'll be three minutes of stoppage time added on.
Great save! Substitute David Vaughan hits a deflected shot that Foster can't quite gather cleanly, but he gets to the rebound before the lurking Sessegnon.
That would have been quite an impact, as Odemwingie sees a shot go just wide of the far post with Mignolet beaten. That would have helped his relationship with the fans.
Romelu Lukaku goes off to a standing ovation from the Baggies fans. He's replaced by Peter Odemwingie, who is greeted by a chorus of boos by the home faithful.
Great save! Bramble's clearance goes straight to Brunt, whose half-volley on his left foot forces a brilliant save from Mignolet.
West Brom have slowed their game down to walking pace to try and secure the three points, with Mulumbu making the most of a foul to have a nice lie down on the turf.
Whoops. Sessegnon has a chance on the half-volley but hammers his shot over the bar.
The Baggies are starting to try and just hold the ball for as long as they can, but are undermined as Ridgewell gives away a cheap foul.
GOAL!!! Could this be the comeback? James McClean sees a shot rebound clear, and Sessegnon is on hand to measure a shot into the West Brom net. The Black Cats now trail by just one goal.
Yellow CardJames Morrison
Almost immediately, Sessegnon goes past three players and has a shot that the Baggies scramble away. Great move there from the Beninese midfielder.
Yellow CardRomelu Lukaku
Alas, Lukaku took his shirt off while celebrating and earned a yellow card from the referee.
GOAL!!! West Brom are 2-0 up! Bramble tries a backpass to Mignolet, the goalkeeper's clearance ricochets off Lukaku's leg and goes into the net! A lucky goal, and one that might spell the end for Sunderland in this game after another Bramble error.
Sunderland are huffing and puffing, but West Brom are defending well and holding firm.
Great run there from Sessegnon down the left and he nearly picks out Fletcher, but the Baggies defenders are back in numbers to sweep up the danger.
Great pressure here from West Brom, with Lukaku forcing a corner thanks to another stinging shot.
Glorious chance there for the sliding Morrison after some great play from Brunt and Graham Dorrans, but the Scot is denied by a superb challenge from Bramble. It's fair to say that Titus has had a mixed afternoon so far.
Good try there from Mulumbu, who jinks around a little before letting fly with a shot that is gathered well by Mignolet.
Good grief, Lukaku is unstoppable out there as he bulldozes through Gardner and then O'Shea before dragging his shot well wide. The striker is having an absolute stormer of a game out there.
Great save there from Mignolet, who denies a stinging shot from Lukaku. That came from excellent pressing from the Baggies, with Larsson having the ball stolen off him by Morrison.
Oh dear, that's a terrible challenge from Bramble on Long on the centre circle. The Irishman is in real pain out there, and Bramble is given a final warning when play stops. He is lucky not to be sent off there.
Great free kick there from Brunt but Olsson's header is too heavy and the ball goes over the bar.
Sunderland press forward again and Fletcher tries a shot that is blocked well by McAuley.
Chance! That is a great ball in from N'Diaye and the stretching Graham just about manages to make contact but his touch is not quite heavy enough. Sunderland are definitely looking better in this second period.
Great stuff there from Long, who is played in by Morrison and still manages to get a shot away from an acute angle that forces a West Brom corner.
Chance Sunderland! That could have been an equaliser there. A corner comes in but goes over everyone and Sessegnon is there at the back post. However, his shot is weak and is stopped on the line by Mulumbu.
That would have been a superb goal from Morrison, who takes the ball down and hammers a half-volley from outside the box. Unfortunately, it is wide and high.
We're a couple of minutes in and Sunderland already look edgy around Lukaku, who is causing problems with his mere physical presence.
We're back already for the second half, which is kicked off by Sunderland.
45' + 2'
HALF-TIME, and West Brom lead 1-0 thanks to Romelu Lukaku’s penalty. The decision to award the penalty was perhaps a questionable one as Craig Gardner was adjudged to have handled Liam Ridgewell’s cross, but the finish was calm and comfortable. The half in general started quietly, but then the home side increased the tempo and the pressure, with Lukaku increasingly to the fore. Sunderland meanwhile have been unable to make any real impact so far, with just John O’Shea’s early near-post header to show for a largely fruitless opening period in which they were very much second-best to their hosts.
45' + 1'
That's more like it from Sunderland, who set Adam Johnson free and see his shot deflected away by McAuley for a corner. Some shouts for handball against the Northern Irishman, but that was a difficult one for the referee.
There'll be two minutes added on to the first half.
Good heavens, Lukaku is so strong. He barges Larsson aside and almost creates another chance for himself or for the unmarked Chris Brunt but unfortunately can't lift his head in time.
Brunt's free kick is a poor one, though, and goes straight into Mignolet's gloves.
Yellow CardTitus Bramble
Oh dear Titus. Bramble is beaten for pace in a one-on-one with Shane Long, but cynically fouls the Irishman to pick himself up a booking.
West Brom definitely deserve that goal after upping the ante in the last 10 minutes, and their opponents look a little bit shocked at the moment.
Penalty GoalRomelu Lukaku
And he scores! Lukaku buries it comfortably, sending Mignolet the wrong way, and West Brom are 1-0 up.
Penalty West Brom! Ridgewell plays in a cross from the left and Craig Gardner is adjudged to have handled the ball as he tried to block it. Lukaku steps up.
Adding insult to injury, Steven Reid sends the resulting free kick straight into the Sunderland wall. What a shame.
Oh, referee. James Morrison is brought down on the edge of the box but manages to play in Lukaku, who finishes calmly but is pulled back for the foul. Where was the advantage there, referee?
Chance again! Great ball in from Ridgewell, and Youssouf Mulumbu must score with his header from six yards out. He doesn't, and that may be one of the misses of the season.
This has warmed up a bit now. James Morrison flashes a delicious cross across the box but no one is there to get on the end of it for West Brom.
Chances! Steven Fletcher hits the post after a great pass from Danny Graham. The former Swansea man then sees the rebound blocked by Foster, and from that rebound Fletcher sends a shot over the bar.
Great ball there from Liam Ridgewell, who fires in a cross to Lukaku, but the Belgian can't quite direct his header properly. That is probably the first half-chance of the game.
Ouch. Chris Brunt fouls Stephane Sessegnon but comes off worse and limps away from the challenge. Even worse, he concedes a free kick when the Baggies were attacking pretty well.
It's getting a little bit scrappy out there as both sides struggle to keep the ball and pass it well. Could they be cancelling each other out with the same system?
Sebastian Larsson usually has a very cultured right foot, but his delivery with that free kick isn't quite up to his normal standard and is cleared well by the Baggies.
N'Diaye has started pretty well, but is pulled up for a foul on the centre circle.
Oh dear, Titus. The big defender balloons a cross from the right straight out and into the stands.
N'Diaye looks lively and his cross forces Gareth McAuley to clear behind his own goal for a corner. McAuley then goes down from the resulting corner, but he should be fine to continue.
Very dangerous corner from Adam Johnson, whose near-post corner is headed well by John O'Shea. However, Ben Foster is there to cling on to the ball and bowl it out immediately.
Towering header there from Lukaku, but Titus Bramble is there to sweep up the threat and give it to his goalkeeper Simon Mignolet.
The ball is played through to Alfred N'Diaye in the West Brom box, but Jonas Olsson holds him off and shepherds the ball out for a goal kick.
West Brom have made all the early running, although they have little to show for it so far. Romelu Lukaku has already showcased his considerable strength.
Here we go! West Brom kick off the first half.
The big news for the Baggies is that striker Peter Odemwingie starts on the bench for the first time since his attempt to engineer a move to QPR fell through on transfer deadline day. Just the one other change for the Baggies, with Romelu Lukaku coming in for Graham Dorrans. Meanwhile, January signing Danny Graham makes his first start for Sunderland as one of two changes, with the injured Danny Rose and Lee Cattermole making way for Sebastian Larsson and Graham in what is a very attacking formation.
And here’s Sunderland: Mignolet; Gardner, O'Shea, Bramble, Colback; Sessegnon, Larsson, N'Diaye, Johnson; Graham, Fletcher. Subs: Bardsley, Kilgallon, Vaughan, Mangane, McClean, Cuellar, Westwood
The teams are in, so here’s how West Brom line up: Foster; Reid, McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell; Morrison, Yacob, Mulumbu, Brunt; Lukaku, Long. Subs: Myhill, Jones, Odemwingie, Tamas, Rosenberg, Fortune, Dorrans.
Sunderland, meanwhile, have been on an inconsistent run of form recently despite wins in January against West Ham and Wigan. The Black Cats find themselves six points clear of the relegation places in 13th place but have lost their last two games to leave them perhaps looking over their shoulder still at those beneath them. However, a win here would move them further away from the danger zone and help Sunderland fans sit slightly easier this evening.
West Brom had been winless in the Premier League for over a month as they dropped out of the Champions League places and then the European places altogether. However, in their last game they beat Liverpool 2-0 away thanks to goals from Romelu Lukaku and Gareth McAuley in the last 10 minutes, so Baggies fans will be hoping this is the start of a revival. If they can put another run of good form together, they could be a surprise qualifier for a European competition at the end of the season.
Good afternoon, and welcome to Goal.com’s LIVE! text commentary on this Premier League match between West Brom and Sunderland. I’m Chris Teale, and I’m really happy you’re with me for this one.
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