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21 September 2013
• The Hawthorns, West Bromwich
Referee: P. Dowd
• Attendance: 24595
West Bromwich Albion
S. Sessègnon 20'
L. Ridgewell 76'
M. Amalfitano 90'+
Take care folks, it's been a pleasure.
A much needed win for West Brom, to ease the growing pressure on Steve Clarke. Sessegnon inevitably scored against his former club, with Ridgewell and the impressive Amalfitano adding the others. Pressure, though, is not something that Paolo Di Canio will be rid of anytime soon, as his side stay rock bottom and his tenure becomes ever more untenable.
90' + 5'
Morrison blasts a 25-yard free kick over the bar and that's it!
90' + 3'
Assist Victor Anichebe
90' + 3'
Goal Morgan Amalfitano
A deserved goal for Amalfitano, and what a neat finish it was. He collected the ball on the right from Anichebe, and blasted a sure shot across Westwood and into the far bottom corner.
90' + 3'
WBA PUT THE ICING ON THE CAKE!
90' + 1'
Into the first of five added minutes, most of that due to Fletcher's injury.
Sessegnon takes his exit, and is warmly applauded by both crops of supporters. Berahino comes on to mop up the last few minutes.
Amalfitano has had a very productive game today, and has the time and space here in the closing stages to pile the misery on the visitors, if he so desires. I don't think Sunderland will put up any resistance.
Anichebe goes tumbling under a Diakite challenge, but a bit of simulation, no penalty forthcoming.
West Brom just pinging the ball around to their heart's content. Sunderland have lost the will to fight back.
Now Ki is down clutching his ankle. The physios are doing their bit, but it would be further humiliation for Sunderland if he was unable to continue.
Tears from the young and trepidation from the old in the away section, as Sunderland are set to stay rock bottom of the EPL table.
It looks like another calamitous result for Di Canio, but will it be the final nail in his coffin?
Goal Liam Ridgewell
Surely now the end for Sunderland. To add insult to Fletcher's injury, Ridgewell hammers home after a superb run from Amalfitano, who beat a pair of players towards the byeline and centered into the box.
WBA SEAL THE POINTS!
Fletcher is off, but Sunderland have used up all their changes already, so are essentially shanghaied into playing with ten men.
Trouble here for Fletcher, who clattered right into Jones and did some damage to his shoulder. The stretcher has been summoned.
A raft of substitutions have just taken place: Anelka departs for Anichebe, Sinclair makes way for Yacob and Gardner sits for Cattermole.
Cestluka does excellently to divert the path of an Anelka header, who was picked out with some precision by Jones' ball into the box.
West Brom look the more likely side to score again here, as another good Amalfitano cross is just about diverted away from danger.
Gardner cannot connect on Johnson's cross, wasting a decent opening for the visitors.
SESSEGNON! All of a sudden he turns past his marker, and fires in a vicious shot towards goal, but it flashes over!
Altidore has just come on in place of the ineffective Borini. Quite why Liverpool spent so much on him I will never know.
Sunderland still looking a tad lethargic out there. They waste another long ball down the side and cough up possession cheaply.
Mavrias does really well to win the ball, charge forward and whip a cross into the mixer, but no one is there to meet it.
Anelka offside again. Carry on folks.
Myhill commits himself to a corner, but has his progress impeded by Fletcher. Free kick to come for the home side.
Mulumbu has taken a knock and has retreated to the touchline to get patched up. WBA down to ten men temporarily.
One change to report from the break, by the way. Giaccherini makes way for Mavrias. The Italian was rather wasteful on the ball, perhaps explaining the reason for his departure.
Here we go again.
Only one goal in it at the break, and surprise surprise, its Sessegnon with his name on the scoresheet. A fairly uninspiring game, it has to be said. Sunderland started well, but lost focus after conceding, with WBA finishing the half the stronger.
45' + 1'
Myhill claims two crosses in quick succession, and that's all she wrote for the first half.
I can't imagine there being much stoppage time, the game has rather lumbered on throughout the first half.
Far more even game with half time fast approaching, but neither side are looking particularly potent in front of goal.
Anelka on the ball again, appearing for one second to have broken free, but the linesman's flag halts him in his tracks.
Anelka is put in space down the right channel by Mulumbu, and immediately squares a cross towards the near post. No one in a WBA shirt shows any interest in attacking it, though.
West Brom keeping the ball on the deck, trying to pass their way into the Sunderland box. All very intricate, but not very effective.
Yellow Card Ki Sung-Yueng
Ki takes one for the team, stopping Sessegnon in a dangerous position. Free kick and yellow card.
West Brom growing into this game with every passing moment, putting some decent pressure on Westwood's goal.
Amalfitano with a venomous shot from just inside the area, that Diakite blocks well. Corner, which is promptly cleared.
Dangerous corner for WBA is headed away with impunity by Diakite.
Yellow Card Jack Colback
Yellow card for Colback, out first booking of the game, for tripping Jones.
Sunderland still pressing diligently and are still forcing the hosts into a few mistakes.
And its Sessegnon on the ball again, but Celustka takes him out on the flank. Free kick to come, but Amalfitano cannot get it on target.
A somewhat somber celebration from Sessegnon, but you get the feeling that he's giving Di Canio the mental finger with that goal, after the Italian manager's criticism of him in a Sunderland shirt.
Goal Stéphane Sessegnon
Out of nowhere, against the run of play, West Brom are in front! And it's that man Sessegnon who plays out the self-fulfilling prophecy against his former club, stroking home a rebound after Myhill had done well to parry a shot from Anelka in close.
SESSEGNON! IT HAD TO BE HIM!
Ki goes short to play in Gardner, but Olsson steps forward to intercept beautifully.
Amalfitano receives a return ball from Anelka and goes barreling down the right in a rare West Brom attack. Colback is on him like a magnet though, and plays it out for a throw. Looks like a good back-and-forth between these two for the majority of the game.
Giaccherini getting himself involved a lot in the last few minutes, but once again, his end product is lacking. He tries to pick out Fletcher with a low cross, but t rolls right into the path of McAuley.
Giaccherini takes responsibility, but he needn't have bothered, skimming it right into the wall. Really awful attempt.
Dangerous free kick for Sunderland, dead centre, 20 yards out.
McAuley caught dangerously in possession thanks to some tenacity from Borini. Giaccherini is on the ball in a flash, but doesn't get his head up and shoots on sight, giving Olsson an easy block.
A fairly cautious opening from both sides, though Sunderland have bossed it in terms of possession so far.
Anelka peeling off the ball behind Diakite, but Morrison's pass to pick him out is way too predictable.
Borini trying to make a nuisance of himself, putting pressure on McAuley and Myhill on a long ball. The WBA keeper claims, but not before his defender takes a knock in the ribs from the Italian forward.
Borini goes against Olsson on the flank, loses the ball, and promptly fouls the defender.
West Brom finally get forward and win a corner. Ki intercepts the first, and another corner soon follows, but Amalfitano is upended near the left byeline. Freekick.
Strong start from the visitors, forcing WBA into a few mistakes in possession. Sunderland are being allowed to have the ball early on.
Here we go!
It will be very interesting to see how Sessegnon gets on today, playing his WBA debut after a last-minute transfer away from the Stadium of Light. The Beninese was essentially dscarded by Di Canio for showing no heart in his first two outings under the Italian. Point to prove?
Meanwhile, that eighth place finish for WBA last campaign seems, well a season away. The Baggies have only won four times in their last 23 league games, and there has been a conspicuous lack of noise about a new deal for Steve Clarke, whose contract expires at the end of the season. WBA have been very dire in front of goal, despite splashing seven figures on Sessegnon and Anichebe during the summer, added to their attacking collection of Long, Vydra, Sinclair and that man Anelka.
In many ways, both managers are playing for their future this afternoon at the Hawthorns, although the affable Steve Clarke may be a step farther from the plank than the volatile Paolo Di Canio. In fairness, Di Canio gets a bad rep from his refreshingly honest nature and his refusal to kowtow with the usual guarded media approach of EPL managers. But the table ultimately doesn't lie, and the Italian has a lot of work to do to save his position.
Both teams are 19th and 20th in the EPL table. West Brom, with a solitary goal scored, are the worst attacking team in the division, while Sunderland, with eight conceded, are the worst defensively.
SUNDERLAND: Westwood, Celustka, Colback, Diakite, O’Shea, Ki, Gardner, Johnson, Giaccherini, Fletcher, Borini. Subs: Mannone, Altidore, Ba, Cuellar, Dong-won, Cattermole, Mavrias.
WEST BROM: Myhill, Jones, McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell, Amalfitano, Mulumbu, Morrison, Sinclair, Sessegnon, Anelka. Subs: Camp, Rosenberg, Lugano, Popov, Yacob, Berahino Anichebe.
Let's look at our teams, shall we?
Hello, and welcome to the Hawthorns, and the Premier League clash between West Bromwich Albion and Sunderland. I'm Keeghann Sinanan, your scribe for today.
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