Premier League
SunderlandSunderland2West BromWest Bromwich Albion0

Sunderland 2-0 West Bromwich Albion

By Luke ReddyBBC Sport
Fabio Borini

Sunderland ensured their Premier League status with victory over West Bromwich Albion, effectively relegating Norwich.

Jack Colback's stabbed finish and a neat Fabio Borini volley secured the win for the Black Cats, who have won four games in a row to stay up.

Jozy Altidore missed from six yards but Sunderland could not add to a lead the visitors rarely threatened to narrow.

Poyet revels in Sunderland 'miracle'

But despite losing, West Brom are three points clear of 18th placed Norwich with a vastly superior goal difference.

The Canaries must beat Arsenal on the final day, hope West Brom lose against Stoke, and manage a 17-goal swing in the process if they are to avoid slipping into the Championship for the first time since 2011.

Defeat against West Brom would have left Sunderland just two points above Norwich, but a fourth consecutive top-flight win for the first time in 14 years means they can now finish as high as 12th.

Such a finish looked unlikely when they were beaten 5-1 at Tottenham one month ago, prompting manager Gus Poyet to say his side needed a "miracle" to stay in the Premier League.

Defeat at Everton followed and left the Uruguayan's side seven points from safety, but 13 points from a possible 15 - including wins at Chelsea and Manchester United - have led to a stunning escape.

Sunderland banner
Sunderland's supporters have remembered Poyet's "we need a miracle" comment

Poyet was jubilant on the final whistle after completing an achievement he said would be the "greatest of his career"external-link ahead of kick-off.

His side started with purpose and vigour but dangerous crosses into the box yielded no reward before Marcos Alonso's left footed delivery saw Colback prod in the opener.

The 24-year-old, out of contract in the summer, guided his third goal of the season right footed past Ben Foster, prompting an early celebration from Poyet on the touchline.

Borini, on loan from Liverpool, was busy and had forced an earlier tipped save from Foster before he beat the West Brom keeper with a hooked effort on the half hour mark.

The Italian has had more shots at goal than any Sunderland player this season and his enthusiasm was rewarded when he volleyed home Sebastian Larsson's delightfully flicked through ball.

The Black Cats' control of the first half laid the foundations for a win which leaves Fulham as the worst home side in the season's Premier League, while West Brom played with the intensity of a team who do not expect Norwich to produce a miracle of their own on Sunday.

West Brom lacked intensity - Mel

Aside from a curling Saido Berahino effort which forced Vito Mannone into a diving save, the visitors' threat was timid.

Since beating Sunderland in September they have only won six times, but 15 draws - the most in the top flight - look likely to prove vital in securing a fifth consecutive season in the top flight.

Early second-half improvement saw Berahino and Stephane Sessegnon fire efforts wide, before Altidore - on the field for less than five minutes - turned a glorious chance wide from six yards for the home side.

Full-back Santiago Vergini drilled wide after a flowing Sunderland attack, but the miss proved meaningless as the Black Cats became only the second team in Premier League history to be bottom on Christmas Day but survive.

For reaction from Sunderland manager Gus Poyet see here.

West Bromwich Albion manager Pepe Mel: "In the first half we played with little intensity. We were better in the second half but Sunderland beat us with that intensity.

"We have managed to keep the team up but I believe we could have done things better. Especially in today's game."

Line-ups

Sunderland

  • 25Mannone
  • 27Vergini
  • 28Alonso
  • 33CattermoleSubstituted forGiaccheriniat 88'minutes
  • 16O'Shea
  • 5Brown
  • 7Larsson
  • 14Colback
  • 10WickhamSubstituted forAltidoreat 61'minutes
  • 11JohnsonSubstituted forBridcuttat 61'minutes
  • 31Borini

Substitutes

  • 2Bardsley
  • 17Altidore
  • 22Ba
  • 23Giaccherini
  • 26Bridcutt
  • 30Scocco
  • 32Ustari

West Brom

  • 1Foster
  • 2ReidSubstituted forDawsonat 45'minutes
  • 11Brunt
  • 7Morrison
  • 23McAuley
  • 14Lugano
  • 38BerahinoSubstituted forVydraat 78'minutes
  • 5YacobSubstituted forMulumbuat 45'minutes
  • 16Anichebe
  • 29Sessegnon
  • 17Dorrans

Substitutes

  • 3Olsson
  • 10Sinclair
  • 13Myhill
  • 20Vydra
  • 21Mulumbu
  • 25Dawson
  • 40O'Neil
Referee:
Lee Mason
Attendance:
45,181

Match Stats

Home TeamSunderlandAway TeamWest Brom
Possession
Home48%
Away52%
Shots
Home10
Away13
Shots on Target
Home4
Away3
Corners
Home5
Away0
Fouls
Home14
Away12

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Sunderland 2, West Bromwich Albion 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Sunderland 2, West Bromwich Albion 0.

  3. Post update

    Foul by Chris Brunt (West Bromwich Albion).

  4. Post update

    Jozy Altidore (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Victor Anichebe (West Bromwich Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Graham Dorrans.

  6. Post update

    Victor Anichebe (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Santiago Vergini (Sunderland).

  8. Post update

    Foul by Graham Dorrans (West Bromwich Albion).

  9. Post update

    Liam Bridcutt (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  10. Post update

    Attempt saved. James Morrison (West Bromwich Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Graham Dorrans.

  11. Substitution

    Substitution, Sunderland. Emanuele Giaccherini replaces Lee Cattermole because of an injury.

  12. Post update

    Offside, West Bromwich Albion. Chris Brunt tries a through ball, but Matej Vydra is caught offside.

  13. Post update

    Delay over. They are ready to continue.

  14. Post update

    Delay in match Lee Cattermole (Sunderland) because of an injury.

  15. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Lee Cattermole (Sunderland) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Jozy Altidore.

  16. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Chris Brunt (West Bromwich Albion) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  17. Post update

    James Morrison (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  18. Post update

    Dangerous play by John O'Shea (Sunderland).

  19. Post update

    Diego Lugano (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Fabio Borini (Sunderland).

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Man City372656100376383
2Liverpool37256699495081
3Chelsea37247669264379
4Arsenal37237766412576
5Everton37209859392069
6Tottenham37206115251166
7Man Utd371961263422163
8Southampton371510125345855
9Newcastle37154184257-1549
10Stoke371211144351-847
11Crystal Palace37135193146-1544
12West Ham37117194049-940
13Swansea37109185153-239
14Sunderland37108194057-1738
15Aston Villa37108193958-1938
16Hull37107203851-1337
17West Brom37715154257-1536
18Norwich3789202860-3233
19Fulham3794243883-4531
20Cardiff3779213172-4130
View full Premier League table

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