English Premiership

Allardyce off to losing start at Sunderland

2015-10-17 18:25
Sam Allardyce (AFP)

West Bromwich - Sam Allardyce's first match in charge of Sunderland ended in defeat on Saturday as a second-half goal from Saido Berahino was enough for West Bromwich Albion to claim a deserved 1-0 win.

The former Newcastle United, Bolton Wanderers, Blackburn Rovers and West Ham United manager took over at Sunderland last week with the club second-bottom of the Premier League with just three points from eight games and desperately in need of a morale-boosting win.

West Brom, also struggling just outside of the relegation zone, were on the back foot in the early exchanges at The Hawthorns, but Sunderland were unable to get a shot on target despite a string of corners.

The hosts gradually worked their way back into the match and Stephane Sessegnon showed why Tony Pulis included him in the West Brom line-up by twisting and turning before sending a left-footed shot just wide of the post from 18 yards.

It was former Sunderland man Sessegnon who again was at the heart of the action two minutes from half-time when his right-wing cross was headed back across goal by James McClean, but Salomon Rondon was unable to get any power or direction on his header.

The Baggies opened the second half strongly and they took the lead after 54 minutes when Berahino pounced on a spill by goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon to poke the ball home from a yard out. It was a third league goal of the season for the Burundi-born striker.

Rondon then almost made it 2-0 on the hour mark but hooked wide of the post.

Allardyce sent on Danny Graham for Steven Fletcher as Sunderland went after an equaliser and they almost got one with 12 minutes to go.

Yann M'Vila tested Boaz Myhill with a 25-yarder which the West Brom goalkeeper spilled only for a defender to come to his rescue with a booted clearance.

But that was as close as the visitors got as Allardyce got a clear view of the task he is faced with to keep Sunderland up.

 

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