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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
16:55 25th February 2012

ALBION and Peter Odemwingie picked up from where they left off at Molineux 13 days ago as the rampant Baggies made a mockery of their three-month wait for a home league win.

The Baggies impressed from start to finish and were well worthy of their two-goal half-time cushion, courtesy of Odemwingie's third-minute header and James Morrison's fourth of the season on 41.

Roy Hodgson's men almost certainly knew they were going to smash the 30-point barrier when Odemwingie hit double figures for the season just three minutes after the break - his fifth in only two games.

And new boy Keith Andrews made it two goals in as many Albion games with a fine fourth in stoppage time.

To follow up their biggest away win of the season in the Black Country derby with their most emphatic of the term at home was fitting reward for the hosts' endeavour - and a first clean sheet in two months was the icing on the cake.

Albion lined up against one of the division's form teams as 14th entertained ninth, separated by only four points.

Andrews, fresh from crowning his debut as a sub at former club Wolves with a goal, was handed his first start in place of the injured Paul Scharner - Hodgson's only change. Billy Jones missed out with a hamstring problem, enabling Nicky Shorey to return to the bench.

Martin O'Neill also made one change as skipper Lee Cattermole came in for Fraizer Campbell.

Albion started on the front foot and with the game barely two minutes old, Jack Colback had to make a vital clearance to deny Andrews a clear sight of goal from Odemwingie's pull-back.

But the Baggies were ahead just a minute later.

Youssouf Mulumbu dissected Sunderland defenders Michael Turner and former Albion loan signing Kieran Richardson with a diagonal ball into the box and Odemwingie flick-headed inside Simon Mignolet's near-post.

Sunderland struggled to get out of their own half during the opening stages and Andrews threatened again in the 12th minute, driving fiercely at Mignolet from 30 yards.

Albion were bright with possession and tigerish without and the tempo of their play made life difficult for the visitors.

It wasn't until the 24th minute that the Black Cats recorded a shot and Craig Gardner got nowhere near his former Blues team-mate Ben Foster's goal with a 30-yard effort.

He was equally wayward with another long-range strike two minutes later after Jonas Olsson uncharacteristically gifted Colback possession in the centre-circle.

However, the Wearsiders started to grow into the game as the clock passed the half-hour mark and Albion were relieved to see James McClean fail to make contact with Phil Bardsley's deep cross on 32.

But Albion were soon back on the attack and Mignolet had to leap high to his left to clutch Olsson's towering header from Steven Reid's free-kick.

Seconds later, the Sunderland keeper dived low to his right to palm away Morrison's stinging drive from the edge of the box.

Albion had a two-goal cushion four minutes before the break.

Referee Chris Foy made a shrewd decision by waving play on after Liam Ridgewell had been fouled down the left, which enabled Jerome Thomas to centre. Morrison made a terrific late run into the box and his downward header clipped Turner's inside leg on its way into the net - his second goal against Sunderland this season.

Moments later, Albion were denied a certain third goal when Reid's free-kick into the box fell nicely for Marc-Antoine Fortune, whose goalbound eight-yard effort was deflected wide by Richardson.

Sunderland made a double change at half-time, with Nicklas Bendtner and Campbell coming on for Richardson and Colback.

And it took the Mackems less than two minutes after the restart to force Foster into his first save.

Mulumbu lost possession to Gardner on the edge of the Baggies box and the ex-Blues midfielder's swirling shot was well held by Foster.

But Albion had some real breathing space in the 48th minute as they surged three ahead.

A stunning counter-attack, started by Foster's throw-out and involving Morrison and Fortune, resulted in Odemwingie beating Mignolet with a first-time shot from just inside the box.

Albion were absolutely rampant and, on 53, Thomas collected Morrison's lay-off and curled a 15-yard beauty over Mignolet - only to see the ball crash against the bar.

Sunderland attempted to regroup and skipper Lee Cattermole saw a 17-yard drive rise a foot over after skipping past Gareth McAuley and Olsson.

Seconds later, Stephane Sessegnon could only find Foster's midriff with a 25-yard shot.

Sunderland had not thrown in the towel and Foster had to make his best save of the game on 61 when he redirected his body to claw away Gardner's 25-yard rocket, which swerved all over the place.

Back came Albion and Mignolet showed a safe pair of hands to clutch Andrews' 20-yard grass-cutter low to his right.

Fortune was enjoying another terrific game and he totally bamboozled John O'Shea down the left before blazing wildly across goal from an acute angle.

Albion were firmly back on top again and Morrison was denied at point-blank range by Mignolet before Fortune had a cross-cum-shot hacked away by Turner.

Sunderland rallied during the closing stages and Turner was inches wide with a header from Sessegnon's free-kick.

Sub Campbell was also unfortunate to be incorrectly flagged for offside after seeing a shot bounce down off the underside of the bar and appear to cross the line.

But Albion added further gloss to their terrific performance when Andrews curled home a superb 91st-minute effort from 15 yards from sub Graham Dorrans' tee-up.

ALBION (4-5-1): Foster; Reid, McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell; Odemwingie (Long 81), Mulumbu (Shorey 77), Morrison, Andrews, Thomas (Dorrans 65); Fortune. Subs not used: Fulop (gk), Cox, Tchoyi, Dawson.

SUNDERLAND (4-5-1): Mignolet; Bardsley, Turner, O'Shea, Richardson (Bendtner HT); Larsson (Bridge 59), Cattermole, Gardner, Colback (Campbell HT), McClean: Sessegnon. Subs not used: Westwood (gk), Kilgallon, Meyler, Kyrgiakos.

GOALS: ALBION - Odemwingie (3 & 48), Morrison (41), Andrews (90+1)

BOOKINGS: ALBION - Dorrans (foul 74). SUNDERLAND - O'Shea (foul 73).

REFEREE: C Foy (Merseyside).

ATTENDANCE: 25,311.

ALBION STARMAN: Marc-Antoine Fortune.

    Data provided by Press Association

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