Club News

Stat attack: Amalfitano is top rate

And figures show Baggies defence is right up there

A CONVINCING performance, three goals and a deserved three points on Saturday and things are looking up for Albion and our stats partnersWhoScored.comhave some interesting numbers to tell us about from the victory over Sunderland.

The creativity returned against the Black Cats, with man of the match Morgan Amalfitano attaining a rating of 8.51 - enough to make it into WhoScored's Premier League team of the week (click here).

The on-loan midfielder is starting to make a name for himself in the top flight of English football after having helped Marseille to a second-placed finish in Ligue One last season.

The Frenchman may make a late push for the France squad for next year's World Cup.

A fantastic drilled finish from him completed the rout of the Black Cats and he might just hit form at the right time.

He also created more chances (3) than any other player in the game at The Hawthorns and dribbled past an opponent the most times (2).

Stephane Sessegnon was also on form on his Baggies debut, opening the scoring after 20 minutes with what was the home side's second shot of the game.

With so many new faces on show it was understandable that it took Steve Clarke’s men a while to find their feet and begin to gel, but that it only took that long is rather impressive.

From that point onwards, they grew in confidence, eventually mustering 13 shots - their greatest tally in a Premier League game this season.

Sessegnon was always an option to look for going forwards, holding the ball up and looking for runners wide of him to aid a break towards goal.

That is exactly how his goal came about as he found Amalfitano out on the right, who swung a dangerous ball into the box, and the duo look like they could become a key attacking threat for the Baggies this term.

The win extended Albion’s exceptional record against Sunderland. They now have seven wins and a draw in their last eight Premier League games against the Black Cats.

What was arguably most impressive about Saturday's victory was the Baggies improved what was an already an outstanding goals per game ratio in recent years against Sunderland.

They had averaged 2.7 goals per meeting since 2009, but that was bettered by Amalfitano, Sessegnon and Co. this weekend.

Defensively, the Baggies looked sound again. Only four teams - Tottenham, Chelsea, Southampton and Liverpool - have conceded fewer Barclays Premier League goals this season, and another clean sheet never really looked in doubt against Sunderland.

The away side failed to have a single shot on target as the Baggies defence stood up to everything thrown at them in a win that eventually sealed the fate of Paolo Di Canio.

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