West Brom volleys leave Sunderland rock bottom

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Clinical first-half volleys from Darren Fletcher and Chris Brunt gave buoyant West Brom a 2-0 win over Sunderland on Saturday, leaving the visitors bottom of the Premier League.

For Tony Pulis’s West Brom this was three wins from four Premier League games and leaves them in a lofty eighth place on 32 points.

The visiting fans chanted “Are you watching Ellis Short” for much of the second half, directed at their owner, the American equity fund manager who is trying to sell the club which is winless in five league games.

Powerful West Brom have made a habit of seeing off weaker opponents and after a 4-0 thrashing by Spurs and defeat to Derby in the FA Cup in their last two outings the Baggies showed no mercy to David Moyes’ modest Sunderland line-up.

West Brom’s opener came on the half hour when their captain Fletcher controlled a ball on his chest from a poorly cleared corner before volleying it left-footed from the edge of the area.

Sunderland were left with only themselves to blame for having failed to clear the corner and for giving the Scot so much time unchallenged.

Brunt then made it 2-0 on 36 mins after a fine run and shot from Matt Phillips saw Vito Mannone forced into a desperate save.

The rebound was fired onto the crossbar by Nacer Chadli before Brunt produced a stunning finish from just inside the box.

Moyes’ men came out in the second half with more fight in them and Adnan Januzaj and Jermain Defoe both produced decent efforts while Jack Rodwell’s shot from distance was easily dealt with by Ben Foster in the West Brom goal.

Pulis’s first capture of the transfer window, Jake Livermore — capped once by England when he was at Spurs — made a lively cameo appearance for an upbeat West Brom.

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