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West Bromwich Albion 4-0 Sunderland (Albion Fan's Perspective)

Wednesday 29th February 2012
Following on from our fantastic win against local rivals Wolves, how could Roy Hodgson and the team better that performance? By beating an in-form Sunderland team 4-0 and completely outplaying them; that's how! Oh, and we finally beat the home hoodoo, picking up our first win at home for three months and the first clean sheet for two months. These past two weeks have been a good time to be an Albion fan!

Hodgson made one change for the Albion, with Keith Andrews making his first start in place of the injured Paul Scharner. In the Sunderland dugout, Martin O'Neill made one change with Lee Cattermole coming in for Fraizer Campbell, who had recently been called up to the England squad.

The game started off very briskly and just three minutes in, Peter Odemwingie fired the home team in front, continuing where he left off at Wolves. Odemwingie flicked his head to the passing ball from Mulumbu and it was 1-0 to the Albion, much to the delight of a buzzing Hawthorns crowd. The Albion continued having the best of the chances and dominated the game in the early exchanges.

As the first half went on, Sunderland gradually got back into the game and both Craig Gardner and Jack Colback had chances for the visitors. This seemed to shake up the Albion and before the end of the first half the Albion had the majority of the chances again, with James Morrison doubling the Albion's advantage on 42 minutes. Jerome Thomas, who had been having a cracking game down the wing, sent the ball into the box which found itself connecting to Morrison's head, sending the Albion fans into wild celebration. To go into half time with a two goal lead was a fair reflection of the game we had seen so far, but it was important not to get complacent about the advantage.

At half-time, Sunderland made two changes with Nicklas Bendtner and Fraizer Campbell coming on for Kieran Richardson and Jack Colback, signalling O'Neill's intent. The visitors from the North-East had the first chance of the half when Craig Gardner managed to fire a shot at Ben Foster, after Mulumbu had lost possession.

However, we need not have worried as just minutes later it was 3-0 following a well worked counter-attack. Ben Foster threw the ball out and after a couple of passes between Morrison and the ever-impressive Marc Antoine-Fortune, the ball found itself at Odemwingie's feet who duly sent the ball straight into the back of the net.

Being three goals did not stop the Albion from going forward, who could sense another big-goal victory coming their way. Thomas had a shot that bounced off the bar, for it to land to Fortune who seemed slightly at a loss of what to do with it. However, 3-0 up, you can afford these little lapses of concentration. When was the last time us Albion fans could say that?

Sunderland, to give them credit, still pushed forward hoping to give the visiting fans something to cheer about, and Foster was soon called upon to do the save of the match thus far when he somehow managed to save Gardner's shot after moving his body in all manner of different ways. Before the end, Sunderland had a goal ruled offside after Campbell's shot bounced over the line. Despite this late pressure from Sunderland, it was the Albion who were to have the last laugh when Keith Andrews fired home his second goal in as many games when his effort from 15 yards hit the back of the net in injury time. Game over, 4-0.

Before this game, I was quite content with a draw considering the way Sunderland had been playing recently, but to win the game and win by four clear goals whilst putting up an absolutely dominating performance, was enough to make sure that the Albion faithful would stay happy for another week. The next game? Chelsea at home on Saturday. This will be a trickier game than the last two but considering the way they have been playing and the confidence that we have at the minute, I'm quietly confident we can get something from this game…

Man of the Match: Peter Odemwingie. Yet again Odemwingie had a cracker of a game. Scoring two goals and often threatening, he seems to be in such good form at the minute, form that he has finally discovered after a few misfiring games in the season. Peter the Great is back. Chelsea you have been warned.
Alex Horton

Total articles: 18

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