Baggies add to Moyes' problems
West Brom 2 Sunderland 0
Sunderland sank back to the bottom of the table as their miserable away form continued at The Hawthorns.
Goals from Darren Fletcher and Chris Brunt saw the Baggies return to winning ways following defeats to Derby, in the FA Cup, and Tottenham as the victory kept them in the frame as contenders for European football next season.
Sunderland, suffering with absences through injury and players away at the African Nations Cup, have now lost nine of their 11 away matches in the league, scoring just six goals.
David Moyes's men began the game bottom of the standings after Swansea's surprise 3-2 success at Liverpool earlier in the day. With 30 minutes on the clock, the Baggies went ahead, when Fletcher brilliantly brought the ball down on his chest inside the box and sent a volley beyond Vito Mannone. Salomon Rondon saw a goal-bound shot blocked by Sunderland defender John O'Shea, but the visitors were rocking and they were soon two goals behind.
A Nacer Chadli strike hit the crossbar before Mannone denied Matty Phillips, but Brunt pounced on the rebound to crash home a volley from the edge of the penalty area after 36 minutes.
Jack Rodwell and Jermain Defoe were off target with efforts in the second half before young forward George Honeyman, making his first Premier League start, set up Sebastian Larsson to head just wide after 71 minutes. That was about as good as it got for the visitors.
New signing Jake Livermore came on for his West Brom debut, replacing James Morrison. And the Baggies were able to see out the game comfortably to leave Sunderland bottom and without a win in eight visits to The Hawthorns.
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