West Brom moved up to third place in the Premier League thanks to a 4-2 win over Sunderland at the Stadium of Light as strikes from Zoltan Gera, Shane Long, Romelu Lukaku and Marc-Antoine Fortune sealed the three points.
The Baggies took the lead with a spectacular strike from the Hungarian as he fired a belting shot into the top corner from 25 yards out. They doubled their advantage thanks to an error from Simon Mignolet as he spilled the ball straight into the path of the Irishman who tapped the ball home.
Craig Gardner gave the Black Cats hope of a revival when he scored from a long-range free kick but these hopes were dashed when Liam Ridgewell was fouled in the area by Adam Johnson.
The on-loan forward smashed home the penalty which despite a late goal from Stephane Sessegnon was enough for the win as Fortune sealed the points with a fourth goal.
Martin O’Neill stuck with the same team that beat Fulham 3-1 at Craven Cottage. Meanwhile, Clarke made two changes to him team as Youssuf Mulumbu missed out due to injury so Chris Brunt replaced him while Gareth McAuley returning to the line-up in place of Gabriel Tamas.
The Black Cats had the first real chance of the game as Stephane Sessegnon met Sebastian Larsson’s cross and Myhill had to get down low quickly to make a good stop while McAuley hacked away the danger from the rebound.
Clarke’s side showed why they are going so well this season when they took the lead out of nothing thanks to a wonder strike from Gera. The Hungarian let fly with a left-footed shot from just outside the penalty area which sailed into the top corner of Mignolet’s net.
The Baggies doubled their lead in bizarre fashion when Brunt played a through ball to Long which Mignolet beat the Irishman to, but then spilled right at his feet and the striker took full advantage, rolling the ball into the net.
It could have got better for West Brom minutes into the second half as Long was put clear by a good ball from Yacob but this time Mignolet came out and made an excellent save to block the striker’s goalbound shot.
O’Neill’s side were having a lot of possession as they pressed to get a goal back but when in the final third of the pitch they were unable to conjure any moment of magic until Gardner fired a free kick past Myhill into the top corner with the aid of a deflection.
West Brom continued to put in a solid away performance and almost put the game to bed when Ridgewell was fouled by Johnson in the box and referee Dean pointed to the penalty spot which Lukaku hammered home.
Sunderland, however, came back again as Sessegnon fired in from close range after Myhill had parried the ball to his feet but the Black Cats could not force an equaliser as the Baggies scored a fourth through Fortune to seal the win.