Match Reports

Sunderland 2-1 Albion

An image of Grady Diangana on the ball against Sunderland

Albion were beaten 2-1 by Sunderland in the Sky Bet Championship on Saturday afternoon.

Second-half goals from Dan Ballard and Dan Neil were the difference at the Stadium of Light, despite Brandon Thomas-Asante’s late effort.

The Baggies have a chance to bounce straight back this Tuesday, when they travel to Rotherham.

Carlos Corberán made four changes to his starting XI, bringing in Kyle Bartley, Jayson Molumby, John Swift and Josh Maja for Semi Ajayi, Okay Yokuslu (suspended), Matt Phillips (injured) and Thomas-Asante.

His team created a few early opportunities as Maja saw a poke well blocked inside the area, and Alex Mowatt curled an effort inches wide.

They rode their luck at times, too - most notably Jobe Bellingham's incorrectly disallowed goal after being judged offside.

Ahead of half-time the chances dried up a little bit, but Albion’s bad fortune with injuries continued. This time Maja was the unfortunate recipient of a bad tackle from Ballard and forced off.

So, it was a goalless period - just about - and the nets carried on living a charmed life following the interval. Around the hour mark, Sunderland’s Adil Aouchiche smacked the post and Alex Palmer was on hand to brilliantly save Jack Clarke’s rebound.

The breakthrough did arrive in the 70th minute, though. Ballard, perhaps fortunate to be on the pitch, converted a header at the near post and gave Sunderland the lead.

And that advantage was doubled with six minutes remaining, Neil calmly chipping home a finish to make it 2-0.

There was a late attempt at a fightback - Thomas-Asante nodding past Anthony Patterson and giving the Black Cats a scare.

However, Albion were unable to find leveller in the North East and Sunderland held on to claim all three points.

Albion: Palmer; Furlong, Bartley (Ajayi 75), Kipre, Townsend; Molumby (Chalobah), Mowatt; Diangana (Thomas-Asante 60), Swift (Pipa 75), Sarmiento; Maja (Fellows 36).

Substitutes: Griffiths, Taylor, Pieters, Higgins.