Sunderland 2 West Bromwich Albion 4
2:46pm Saturday 24th November 2012 in Sunderland AFC News
By Paul Fraser, Chief Football Writer
ANY hopes Sunderland had of improving their home form ended courtesy of their own mistakes at the Stadium of Light this afternoon.
Despite a largely encouraging performance in an attacking sense six days after winning at Fulham, the Black Cats were their own worst enemy against in-form West Bromwich Albion.
Sunderland created plenty of chances ? even scoring two second half goals courtesy of Craig Gardner and Stephane Sessegnon ? but it was at the other end where the home team lost it.
West Brom opened the scoring on the half hour when Adam Johnson miscontrolled Gareth McAuley's long pass. The loose ball fell kindly for Chris Brunt and he rolled inside for Zoltan Gera. The Hungarian then dispatched a wonderful left foot shot in to Simon Mignolet's left hand corner.
Mignolet was the guilty party two minutes before half-time though.
He made a complete mess of a wasteful Brunt through pass which should have been gathered comfortably by the goalkeeper. Instead Mignolet fumbled, striker Shane Long nipped in and tapped in to an empty net.
It was the sort of error that will haunt the Belgian for years to come.
In fairness to Sunderland they kept plugging away and gained their rewards when Gardner's free-kick deflected off the head of Marc Antoine Fortune before finding the Baggies net.
That arrived with 17 minutes remaining but then Johnson's clumsy slide tripped Liam Ridgewell in the area ten minutes before time. Romelu Lukaku made no mistake with a clinical penalty.
Even then Sessegnon raised hope three minutes from time when he hammered in his second goal of the week after pouncing on the loose ball when Steven Fletcher's header was saved.
But as Sunderland pressed for the late leveller that would have prevented a fourth successive home defeat, Fortune broke, rounded Phil Bardsley before slotting in the fourth and final goal with seconds remaining.
SUNDERLAND (4-2-3-1): Mignolet; Bardsley, O'Shea (McClean 46), Cuellar, Rose; Colback (Saha 73), Cattermole (Gardner 34); Larsson, Sessegnon, Johnson; Fletcher. Subs: Campbell, Kilgallon, Vaughan, Westwood (gk).
WEST BROMWICH ALBION (4-2-3-1): Myhill; Jones, McAuley, Olsson, Ridgwell; Yacob, Morrison (Tamas 90); Odemwingie (Fortune 70), Gera, Brunt; Long (Lukaku 70). Subs: Popov, Rosenborg, Dorrans.