Premier League - Larsson earns Sunderland point at West Brom

Premier League, The Hawthorns - West Bromwich Albion 2 (Berahino 42 pen, 74), Sunderland 2 (Cattermole 5, Larsson 85)

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Premier League - Larsson earns Sunderland point at West Brom
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Sunderland's Seb Larsson and West Brom's Chris Brunt (Getty Images)

West Brom and Sunderland shared the points after an excellent contest at The Hawthorns ended in a 2-2 draw. 

A predictably tight game opened with the most unpredictable of goals as Lee Cattermole blasted in for the visitors from 25-yards out.

The home side were struggled to create chances until they were given a helping hand by referee Neil Swarbrick, who awarded a penalty for Valentin Roberge’s pull on striker Victor Anichebe.

Saido Berahino was the man on the spot and he calmly slotted the ball into Mannone’s bottom-right hand corner four minutes before half-time.

It was not until the 73rd minute that either side created another clear opportunity, as ex-Sunderland man Craig Gardner looped in a cross for Berahino to tap in at the far post.

New signing Patrick van Aanholt was a threat down the left-wing throughout and it was little surprise when the Dutchman broke clear of the Sunderland defence to pull the ball back for Larsson’s equaliser with six minutes remaining.

KEY MOMENTS

Pre-match:  Alan Irvine’s first Premier League game as West Brom manager was given extra significance as they faced Sunderland, with both sides expected to struggled in the bottom-half of the Premier League.  As an added sub-plot, ex-Sunderland man Craig Gardner made his debut for the Baggies against his former club.

5’ - GOAL! WBA 0-1 Sunderland: A fantastic goal as well from Lee Cattermole. He probably won't score again this season but that doesn't matter right now, as he lashes in from 25 yards.

39’ – PENALTY! Penalty for West Brom! Slightly dubious one as Anichebe is “pulled back” by Roberge!

41’ – GOAL! WBA 1-1 Sunderland: Berahino scores! The England Under-21 international finished very calmly into the bottom left-hand corner.

59’ – GOAL DISALLOWED! Fletcher heads in at the back post but it's an easy decision to rule the goal out for offside. The striker with the giveaway glance to the linesman...

67’ – TACTICAL CHANGE: Poyet makes the first move, with new-boy Jack Rodwell coming off for even newer boy Jordi Gomez. The Spaniard makes his debut for the club after a move from Wigan over the summer.

73’ - GOAL! WBA 2-1 Sunderland: Berahino again! They've put Sunderland under very little pressure but are now ahead. Ex-Sunderland man Gardner loops a cross to the far post where the young striker is on hand to tap home.

84’ - GOAL! WBA 2-2 Sunderland: Seb Larsson equalises and it does come from the left-hand side as Van Aanholt gets in behind again! He pulls it back for Seb Larsson who passes it into the net.

KEY STATS

West Brom had won their previous five home games against Sunderland

It was the first draw between the sides for six games, when they drew 2-2 at the Stadium of Light in 2011.

TALKING POINT

Will these two sides be caught-up in another relegation battle this season? The prognosis looks slightly better for Sunderland, having threatened on the break and strong in the challenge. Jack Rodwell complements Cattermole’s “robust” approach and van Aanholt provides a new attacking option down the left.

For West Brom, the big positive is the scoring form of England Under-21 striker Saido Berahino. He linked well with Victor Anichebe, and he is likely to be partnered with new record signing Ideye Brown upfront this season.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Patrick Van Aanholt (Sunderland) On his debut for the Black Cats, after a move from Chelsea, the Dutch international was solid defensively and an excellent outlet on the left-hand side in attack. He threatened to get in behind the West Brom defence several times before he set-up Sebastian Larsson’s equaliser six minutes from time.

PLAYER RATINGS

WEST BROMWICH ALBION: Foster 6, Wisdom 5, Pocognoli 7, Gardner 6, Dawson 6, Olsson 7, Dorrans 6, Mulumbu 6, Anichebe 7, Berahino 8, Brunt 6... Subs: Baird 6, Yacob 5, Sessegnon 5

 SUNDERLAND: Mannone 6, Roberge 5, van Aanholt 8, Cattermole 6, O'Shea 7, Brown 6, Larsson 6, Rodwell 7, Fletcher 6, Wickham 6, Johnson 6... Subs:  Jordi Gomez 6, Altidore 5, Buckley 6

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