Odemwingie nets Baggies brace
West Brom romp to victory against Sunderland
By Hayley Paterson. Last Updated: 27/02/12 8:56am
Rampant West Brom hit four past below-par Sunderland with Peter Odemwingie scoring twice.
Sunderland barely had chance to get into the game as Odemwingie got in behind the Black Cats defence to head home Youssouf Mulumbu's searching ball in the third minute.
James Morrison then found himself unmarked as he guided Jerome Thomas' cross into the back of the net in a first half that the visitors just could not cope with.
Martin O'Neill opted for attacking changes after the restart with Nicklas Bendtner and Fraizer Campbell coming on, but it was the defensive frailties at the back that hampered his side.
Odemwingie later added a third before Campbell thought he had pulled one back, however was wrongly pulled up for offside as his strike cannoned off the bar and over the line. Keith Andrews then marked his first league start for Roy Hodgson's men with a superb curled effort into the top corner.
Roy Hodgson's side, who had collected only one point from their previous six home games, dominated from the off against the previously on-song Black Cats.
With Sunderland failing to carve out a clear-cut chance in the first 45, they found themselves 2-0 down when Odemwingie's glancing header defeated Simon Mignolet for his ninth goal of the campaign.
Albion enjoyed the lion's share of possession as midfielder Andrews tested Mignolet with a dipping drive with the away side's only real goal threat coming in the 26th minute when Craig Gardner dragged a low drive well wide.
As the Baggies continued to pressure Sunderland's shaky defence, Mignolet was called into action again as he plucked a Jonas Olsson header out of the air from Steve Reid's free-kick.
The Black Cats shot-stopper then parried a curling Morrison attempt in what was a neat period of one-touch football for the hosts.
The home side's perseverance paid off when Morrison was perfectly placed to head home a fine Thomas cross from close range with nobody closing down the delivery four minutes before the half-time whistle.
On came new England recruit Campbell and fellow striker Bendtner, who was sporting a protective face-mask, for Jack Colback and Keiran Richardson in a last-ditch attempt by O'Neill to claw something back from the game.
With three up front, Sunderland started the second-half better than the first as Ben Foster was tested when he clung on to Gardner's low drive.
However, those attacking substitutions left the away side a little light at the back with the in-form James McClean taking on an unfamiliar left-back role.
Sunderland were soon caught on the counter after 49 minutes as Odemwingie put Albion 3-0 up.
It all started from a quick Foster throw out to Scottish international Morrison. He drove towards Sunderland's final third picking out the run of Marc-Antoine Fortune who square the ball across the box into Odemwingie's path who made no mistake with a low drive.
Thomas was unfortunate not to have made it 4-0 when he cut inside on to his right-foot and curled an effort which struck the crossbar.
Gardner again was the only Sunderland player posing a threat in front of goal for them and saw his swerving shot hit the body of Foster.
Michael Turner later had to clear a thumping shot from Fortune as Steven Reid signalled West Brom's intentions at the back by blocking a Stephane Sessegnon effort on goal.
Campbell was adjudged to be offside as he struck the crossbar which actually then bounced over the line before Andrews made it 4-0 with an injury-time curling shot thanks to good play between Morrison and substitute Graham Dorrans.
Barclays Premier League
|16||West Bromwich Albion||16||15|
|17||West Ham United||16||14|