West Brom beat the Black Cats
21 August 2010
The Baggies kicked off their home campaign with a well earned win over Steve Bruce's Sunderland.
It was a nervous time for the Albion faithful but in truth Sunderland rarely troubled the home defence who were superbly marshalled by the restored Olsson and calmed by the assured Tamas.
The first half started well for Albion as they pressed forward looking for an opening and new signing, Peter Odemwingie, almost had the Baggies ahead as he raced onto a through ball from Chris Brunt, however, he pulled his shot wide of the keeper's right hand post. Further chances followed for Cech and Morrison who shot just wide and then an exquisite overhead kick from Brunt deserved more.
eanwhile, Sunderland offered little threat other than from the free kicks generously awarded by the referee, Kevin Friend. However, Scott Carson was not called upon to make a save.
The second half was a tighter affair with Sunderland coming more into it but again they lacked a cutting edge and they could only manage to force two saves from the Albion keeper, one a long range shot from Richardson which looked like it was going over anyway and the other from Onuoha who headed tamely straight into Carson's arms. The introduction of Barnes for the injured Thomas at half time caused problems for Sunderland's defence without really creating an opening. However, in the 81st minute the fans got what they wanted when Brunt found Morrison in space and he played a defence splitting pass for Odemwingie to again latch onto and this time there was no mistake and he poked the ball passed Mignolet much to the delight of the home support. From then on the only real chance of note fell again to Albion with Brunt rattling the crossbar with a pile driver from 25 yards. The final whistle went to a huge cheer and the Baggies are off the mark. On this evidence they have the ability to make a good fist of staying in the Premier League this time around.