Baggies grab lifeline

2009-04-25 19:04

Birmingham - West Bromwich Albion gave their fans reason to hope they could pull off a miraculous escape from Premier League relegation with a 3-0 defeat of Sunderland at The Hawthorns.

A first win in 12 games leaves the Baggies six points adrift of safety with only four matches left and it is just about conceivable that three wins could be enough to save them, although it still seems virtually certain that Tony Mowbray's side will be playing in the Championship next season.

Defender Jonas Olsson opened the scoring, Chris Brunt scored the decisive second - his fourth in the last three games - and Juan Carlos Menseguez wrapped things up with his first goal for the club.

It was Sunderland's fifth defeat in the last six games and they remain perilously close to the relegation zone with only a four-point cushion over 18th-placed Middlesbrough.

Sunderland had enjoyed the better of the opening exchanges but it was West Brom who broke the deadlock, with Olsson claiming his third goal of the season five minutes before the break.

Jonathan Greening's inswinging corner was flicked on by Abdoulaye Meite and the Swedish defender finished with a half-volley at the back post.

Brunt's 58th-minute strike was testimony to the power and pace of Marc-Antoine Fortune, the winger muscling past Anton Ferdinand before sending in a low cross that Brunt turned in from close range.

Brunt then turned provider, releasing Menseguez for West Brom's third right at the death.