Baggies smash the Black Cats to condemn Martin O'Neill to his heaviest defeat as Sunderland manager.
The Nigerian striker netted twice for the home side at the start of both halves, with the influential James Morrison scoring the club's second goal in the 40th minute. The victory was sealed in injury time as Keith Andrews fired into the top corner to cap a perfect home debut.
The home side had clearly been sent out with instructions to attack the Black Cats and within three minutes the team got its reward as Odemwingie opened the scoring with a close range header. Youssouf Mulumbu found himself in some room on the left side and fired a cross into the penalty area. Odemwingie got in front of Kieran Richardson and headed his ninth goal of the season past Simon Mignolet.
Chances dried up after the blistering start and it wasn’t until the 31st minute that either side came close to testing the goalkeepers. The first opportunity fell to Sunderland when Phil Bardsley’s right wing cross found James McClean inside the penalty area, but the ball was just out of the youngsters reach.
A minute later the home side had two excellent chances inspired by the impressive Morrison. He delivered a cross for the first opportunity. Jonas Olsson rose above his marker to head the cross towards goal but Mignolet was able to save. Seconds later Morrison tested the Sunderland keeper himself as he drifted in from the right past three defenders but the Belgian parried his shot away
With five minutes of the half to go the lively Morrison doubled Albion’s lead following more poor defending from Sunderland. Jerome Thomas was able to find some space down the left wing and he delivered a dangerous cross to the back post. Morrison arrived ahead of McClean to head into the back of the net.
Three minutes into the second half things got worse for the visitors as Odemwingie grabbed his second and Albion’s third following an excellent counterattack. Morrison was again the catalyst as he raced away from the Sunderland midfield. He looked to play a one-two with Marc-Antoine Fortune but the return pass was just behind him, however it fell perfectly to Odemwingie who fired in from the edge of the penalty area.
Albion’s goalkeeper Ben Foster was called into action for the first time on the hour mark but he was able to deal with Craig Gardner’s long range shot. The midfielder saw his first clear sight of goal and his shot dipped and swerved before it reached Foster but the keeper was able to get something on it to clear.
With 10 minutes remaining Fraizer Campbell had a goal chalked out for offside, and although replays seemed to back the assistant referee’s decision the decision was very close. Sunderland’s best move of the match ended with Nicklas Bendtner finding Campbell and although the striker fired the ball in off the bar he was a fraction offside and a miserable afternoon for the Black Cats was complete.
West Brom completed the rout in injury time as the impressive Andrews fired a shot into the top corner from inside the area to cap a perfect debut for the new signing.
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