Analysis: WBA have that knack of doing just enough which Sunderland lack

Fabio Borini
Fabio Borini
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In two games against Sunderland this season, West Brom have added four points to their tally and took their grand total yesterday to the magic number of 40.

The Baggies haven't impressed in either game, far from it in fact.

For the second successive season at the Stadium of Light, Tony Pulis strung centre-halves across his back-line, flooded his midfield with grafters and demonstrated next-to-no ambition, despite West Brom already being free from relegation worries.

Vito Mannone didn't have a save to make, as the visitors failed to register a shot on target, despite boasting the attacking talents of Saido Berahino and Salomon Rondon.

But the record books show that West Brom came away with a share of the spoils.

That's the big difference between lying in mid-table and where Sunderland are; staring at the barrel towards the Championship.

Unlike the Baggies, Sunderland don't have the knack of converting defeats into draws or more importantly, draws into wins. They can't scrape results which make such a seismic difference.

Performance-wise, Sunderland did their very best to break down Pulis' men and had more than enough chances to come away with three points.

With a splash of fortune, Sam Allardyce's side would have coasted to victory and were denied on several occasions by some superb saves from keeper Ben Foster.

A total of 22 shots from the hosts is a staggering figure, considering none of them found the net.

But the bottom line is they didn't convert any of them and were left with that familiar frustration at registering a solitary point for the third game on the spin. What a difference it would have made if Sunderland had even't converted two of those into victories.

Norwich's last-gasp victory over Newcastle looks to be potentially fatal for the Magpies, who are now six points adrift of safety and boast an inferior goal difference.

Sunderland's survival prospects aren't much better though, even if they have a game in hand on the Canaries.

Allardyce's men might have to win now at Carrow Road in a fortnight, particularly as Norwich face an inviting opportunity against sinking Crystal Palace next weekend.

It's a bleak situation which Sunderland should so comfortably have avoided.