Match ends, Sunderland 0, West Bromwich Albion 0.
Sunderland 0-0 West Bromwich Albion
Sunderland remain in the relegation zone after they failed to turn their dominance into goals against West Brom.
Despite a first clean sheet in 17 league games, the Black Cats took only a point, wasting two excellent chances to win the game in the closing minutes.
First Fabio Borini forced a sprawling save from Ben Foster, before the keeper denied Jermain Defoe from five yards.
Then the hosts had a goal disallowed in injury time when Dame N'Doye netted, but was correctly adjudged offside.
It could be a significant missed opportunity for Sunderland, who are now four points from safety after Norwich beat Newcastle.
West Brom - who came closest when an overhit Darren Fletcher free-kick tested Vito Mannone - remain 11th.
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Defoe misfires as Sunderland draw blank
Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce will be hugely frustrated, having seen his side pegged back from winning positions in drawing their previous three matches. They finally kept it tight at the back - only to misfire up front.
The Black Cats had 22 shots - their most in a league game this season - hitting the target with seven, but could not find a way past Foster.
Much of the optimism about Sunderland's survival prospects has centred on the goalscoring nous of Jermain Defoe, but after netting in the past two games, the striker endured a poor day.
The 33-year-old had eight shots, but directed only three on target.
In addition to his late chance, he shot wide on the turn when played in by Patrick van Aanholt, and failed to make contact at all when found unmarked eight yards out by Wahbi Khazri's superb cross.
Foster sends timely England reminder
It was a largely lacklustre showing by West Brom, who were perhaps fortunate to earn the point that takes them to the 40-point mark widely presumed to represent safety from relegation.
Their star performer was goalkeeper Ben Foster, who made a number of excellent saves.
It was a complete performance from the 32-year-old, who used every part of his body to deny Sunderland: repelling Defoe's late shot with his feet, sticking up a hand to save a first-half effort from Lee Cattermole and even blocking with his face when Jan Kirchhoff found a way through.
And with back-up England keeper Jack Butland set to miss Euro 2016 after fracturing his ankle against Germany, Foster - who has eight England caps - could hardly have chosen a better moment to remind former Baggies boss Roy Hodgson of his class.
Man of the match - Jan Kirchhoff
What they said
Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce: "It was the best performance since I've been here. It was outstanding, particularly in the second half.
"We controlled the game, we played with composure and huge ability to break a very stubborn defensive unit. We richly deserved the victory, but just couldn't find the back of the net."
West Brom manager Tony Pulis: "I was concerned today, I think the players thought we were safe - but we showed that wherever we go, we're West Bromwich Albion and we give a performance. We must never lose that doggedness that I love as a coach.
"Hopefully [in the summer] we'll be able to bring a few players that will give us a little bit more going forward."
The stats you need to know
- For the seventh time this season, West Brom failed to record a shot on target in a league game.
- Jonathan Leko made his first Premier League appearance for West Brom - aged 16 years and 344 days. He is the first player to play in the Premier League born in 1999.
- West Bromwich Albion have lost just one of their past 13 Premier League meetings with Sunderland (W8 D4 L1).
Sunderland face league leaders Leicester next Sunday (16:00 BST), while West Brom visit Manchester City on Saturday (17:30 BST).
- 15KaboulBooked at 18mins
- 3van Aanholt
- 22KhazriSubstituted forN'Doyeat 82'minutes
- 6EvansBooked at 88mins
- 8GardnerBooked at 47minsSubstituted forMcCleanat 71'minutes
- 18BerahinoSubstituted forLekoat 78'minutes
- 33RondónSubstituted forAnichebeat 81'minutes
- Roger East
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Sunderland 0, West Bromwich Albion 0.
Lamine Koné (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by James McClean (West Bromwich Albion).
Offside, Sunderland. Fabio Borini tries a through ball, but Dame N'Doye is caught offside.
Attempt missed. Fabio Borini (Sunderland) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right.
Attempt blocked. Yann M'Vila (Sunderland) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Lee Cattermole.
Attempt missed. Fabio Borini (Sunderland) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Patrick van Aanholt.
Corner, Sunderland. Conceded by James Chester.
Attempt blocked. Jermain Defoe (Sunderland) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Lee Cattermole with a cross.
Jan Kirchhoff (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Jonathan Leko (West Bromwich Albion).
Offside, Sunderland. Lee Cattermole tries a through ball, but Dame N'Doye is caught offside.
Attempt saved. Jermain Defoe (Sunderland) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Yann M'Vila.
Jonny Evans (West Bromwich Albion) is shown the yellow card.
Attempt blocked. Victor Anichebe (West Bromwich Albion) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by James McClean with a cross.
Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by Vito Mannone.
Foul by Lee Cattermole (Sunderland).
James McClean (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Fabio Borini (Sunderland).
Darren Fletcher (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt saved. Fabio Borini (Sunderland) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Jan Kirchhoff.
Fabio Borini (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Claudio Yacob (West Bromwich Albion).
Hand ball by Jonathan Leko (West Bromwich Albion).
Foul by Jan Kirchhoff (Sunderland).
James Chester (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Substitution, Sunderland. Dame N'Doye replaces Wahbi Khazri.
Substitution, West Bromwich Albion. Victor Anichebe replaces Salomón Rondón.
Hand ball by Fabio Borini (Sunderland).
Substitution, West Bromwich Albion. Jonathan Leko replaces Saido Berahino.
Attempt missed. Patrick van Aanholt (Sunderland) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right from a direct free kick.
Lee Cattermole (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Sandro (West Bromwich Albion).
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Delay in match Patrick van Aanholt (Sunderland) because of an injury.
Hand ball by Salomón Rondón (West Bromwich Albion).
Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by Patrick van Aanholt.
Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by DeAndre Yedlin.
Substitution, West Bromwich Albion. James McClean replaces Craig Gardner.