Sunderland Begin Post-Tony Mowbray Era with Victory against West Brom

Interim Sunderland boss Mike Dodds enjoyed a successful start to his tenure as the Black Cats secured a well-deserved 2-1 victory over West Brom. Defender Dan Ballard broke the deadlock in the 69th minute, and Dan Neil doubled Sunderland’s lead just six minutes before the end of the game. Despite West Brom hitting back through Brandon Thomas-Asante in the 86th minute, Sunderland held on to secure the win, bringing their three-game winless run to an end.

This victory briefly lifted Sunderland back into the top six of the table, while West Brom suffered a second consecutive defeat after their loss to leaders Leicester last week. Despite West Brom growing into the game and finishing the first half on top, they were unable to prevent Sunderland from securing the win.

Sunderland started the game strongly and were unlucky to have a goal ruled out for offside in the opening 15 minutes. The decision to disallow Jobe Bellingham’s close-range rebound was controversial, with replays showing that he was clearly onside. Undeterred, Sunderland remained on the front foot and continued to press for a goal.

West Brom struggled to create clear scoring opportunities in the first half, and their frustration was compounded when striker Josh Maja had to be substituted after a heavy tackle from Ballard. Sunderland continued to dominate the early stages of the second half and came close to breaking the deadlock when Aouchiche’s shot hit the post and Clarke’s rebound was saved by Palmer.

Dodds made a crucial substitution, bringing on Alex Pritchard, who played a pivotal role in both of Sunderland’s goals. Pritchard provided the assist for Ballard’s header, before setting up Neil for Sunderland’s second goal. Although West Brom managed to pull one back through Thomas-Asante, they were unable to find an equalizer in the closing stages of the game.

Sunderland’s victory signals a positive start to Dodds’ interim role, and it will be interesting to see if he can build on this performance in the upcoming games. As for West Brom, they will need to regroup and address their recent dip in form as they look to bounce back in their next fixture.


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