Live Commentary: West Bromwich Albion 2-2 Sunderland - as it happened

Relive how Sebastian Larsson salvaged Sunderland a 2-2 draw at West Brom in their Premier League opener, courtesy of Sports Mole's live text coverage.

Sebastian Larsson's late equaliser rescued a point for Sunderland as they drew 2-2 with West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns on the opening day of the Premier League season.

Lee Cattermole got the visitors off to a flyer with a stunning 25-yard strike, before Saido Berahino equalised from the penalty spot towards the end of the first half.

Berahino added his second of the game in the second period, before Larsson struck towards the final whistle.

See how the action unfolded below, courtesy of Sports Mole's live text coverage.

2.02pmGood afternoon and welcome to Sports Mole's live coverage of West Bromwich Albion's clash with Sunderland in the Premier League.

2.02pmTeams news has just arrived, so we'll get that to you now...

2.05pmWEST BROM: Foster; Wisdom, Dawson, Olsson, Pocognoli; Mulumbu, Gardner, Dorrans, Brunt; Anichebe, Berahino

2.06pmSUNDERLAND: Mannone; Roberge, Van Aanholt, Brown, O'Shea; Cattermole, Larsson, Rodwell, Johnson; Wickham, Fletcher

2.07pmSUNDERLAND SUBS: Pantilimon, Bridcutt, Gomez, Altidore, Mavrias, Graham, Buckley

2.08pmWEST BROM SUBS: Myhill, Ideye, Davidson, O'Neil, Sessegnon, Yacob, Baird

2.10pmWell, the big news for the home side, is Alan Irvine has handed debuts to Sebastien Pocognoli, Andre Wisdom and Craig Gardner. While Gus Poyet has given Patrick van Aanholt and Jack Rodwell their first starts in Sunderland colours.

2.12pmRodwell, a £12m arrival from Manchester City, has stated his intentions to get back into the England fold following his move to the Black Cats, and Poyet has been delighted with his new midfielder, and backed him to thrive when he gets some first-team football under his belt after stagnating at City.

2.14pmSpeaking about the arrival of former Manchester City and Everton midfielder Rodwell, Poyet told the club's official website that his lack of football at the Etihad could be an added incentive for him to perform at Sunderland this coming season.

2.16pmPoyet said: "It doesn't matter how much you train, it's about how much football you play and Jack needs to play football. We need to manage the minutes on the pitch and make sure he is always 100%, and then go up to be a 90-minute performer all the time because that's what we're looking to see. Jack looks happy, delighted, and that's going to bring a little extra for him in the game on Saturday."

2.18pmPoyet has also called for calm in the pursuit of Liverpool striker Fabio Borini. The two clubs reportedly agreed a £14m fee earlier this summer, but discussions have seemingly ground to halt...

2.21pmSpeculation persists that Liverpool are waiting to bolster their attacking options before offloading Borini, and Poyet has said that the deal is still in place. "I cannot tell you everything because it's not fair on anybody," Poyet told reporters in Friday's press conference. "But it's not like Borini doesn't want to come and we're trying to convince him. So calm, please!"

2.23pmBilly Jones and Emmanuele Giaccherini miss out for the visitors with respective hamstring and groin injuries, while Irvine is without Joleon Lescott, James Morrison (both knee) and Gareth McAuley (calf).


2.25pmNew signing Brown Ideye is on the bench today, but Baggies fans will be eager to get a glimpse of their new big-money signing.


2.30pmSo what can we expect from the two clubs this season? West Brom will be keen to turn off their revolving door that has seen them move on Steve Clarke, Pepe Mel, and Keith Downing last season. The appointment of former Preston North End boss Irvine perhaps caught some off guard, but he does have Premier League experience having worked alongside David Moyes at Everton.

2.33pmKeith Downing even! And what about Sunderland? Well, Poyet will look to get settled further after arriving to replace Paolo Di Canio last season. The Uruguayan has brought Costel Pantilimon to the club from Manchester City, but he's opted for last season's Player of the Year, Vito Mannone in goal today.



2.40pmGarry Monk ans co. have well and truly ruined Louis van Gaal's big day. The new era at Old Trafford gets off to the worst possible start. You'll be able to catch the full report from that game on our homepage.

2.52pmWell, we're just under 10 minutes or so from kick off, so let's get a prediction...


2.53pmI've gone for a score draw. I think both teams are evenly matched and both will be desperate to avoid defeat in their opening game. We could be in for a cagey affair.


2.58pmBoth teams are out on the pitch, so we're just about ready for the kick off.

0 minsKICK OFF And we're off and running.

2 minsPositive start from the Baggies and Dorrans flights in a good-looking ball, but Mannone gathers confidently. Good take by the goalkeeper.

2 minsBit of a special day for Craign Gardner, of course up against his former club this afternoon. He's just given away a free kick on the half-way line.

3 minsLee Cattermole and Wes Brown lunge in to halt Berahino inside the box. Indecision from the Sunderland defence, but the pair did well to close the space out inside the six-yard box

5 minsGOAL! West Brom 0-1 Sunderland (Lee Cattermole)

5 minsWhat a hit from the midfielder. Olsson thinks he's cleared the danger, but Cattermole rifles it into the top corner from around 25 yards. Great strike from the Black Cats' skipper on his 120th appearance. Just his second goal, but a memorable one.

9 minsWell not a lot happening at the moment, Cattermole's goal was a bolt from the blue though.

11 minsAlan Irvine wouldn't have catered for his side conceding a goal like that in his preparatory work, he looks a bit shell-shocked on the side. But his team are seeing plenty of the ball in Sunderland's half. Not really threatening though.

13 minsNice work from Mulumbu as he takes two defenders out the game on the edge of the box, but then he lost his balance under a challenge from Roberge. He wanted a free kick but there was nothing doing.

15 minsRoberge has certainly been involved in a number of tussles so far and he's having a right old battle with Victor Anichebe. An unenviable task for the defender. West Brom win a corner...

17 minsPlenty of argy-bargy in the box there and Neil Swarbrick awards a free kick to Sunderland. He could've spotted a number of infringements there in fairness. Rodwell looks comfortable out there so far. He's knocking it about nicely.

20 minsUPDATE: Everton have taken the lead against Leicester City. Aiden McGeady with the goal for Roberto Martinez's men.

21 minsUPDATE: Leicester are back in it at the King Power Stadium. It's now 1-1 there.

22 minsLeonardo Ulloa with the goal there by the way. The big-money buy nets his first goal for the Foxes.

23 minsBack to this game, and not a lot to tell you about unfortunately. Neither side have carved out anything resembling a chance.

23 minsCHANCE! First real chance for WBA and Saido Berahino has wasted it. He opened his body up nicely inside the box to receive the ball, but he blasted it near post instead of going across the goalkeeper.

27 minsDorrans finds some space in the final third and Sunderland were on the back foot. However the Scot's through ball to Anichebe was too heavy and the Blac Ctas got back to snuff out the danger.

28 minsTerrible play from Larsson. He jumps on the poor pass from Pocognoli and brings it forward with three vs three, but his pass to Adam Johnson was too weak and Pocognoli got back to make the challenge. He's apologetic to his teammate, but that was a bit of a chance for the visitors there.

29 minsBOOKING! Dorrans is in the book for an aggressive challenge.

30 minsCHANCE! Roberge with a free header, six yards out and he puts it wide. Wasted by the defender!

31 minsBOOKING! Jonas Olsson goes in the book, as Mulumbu gives way a free kick for a tackle on Rodwell. Not sure what the Swede has said to the referee, but the official didn't like it. Good position centrally for Adam Johnson to shoot here...

32 minsLarsson instead takes it and fires it straight at the wall.

33 minsWe've just seen a replay there and Olsson was booked for hammering the ball away when the free kick was conceded.

33 minsAdam Johnson is struggling to get in the game this afternoon, whenever he has the ball, it is always with his back to goal in his own half.

33 minsCHANCE! Great effort from Chris Brunt, he hits it from around 25 yards but it flies just past the post.

39 minsCHANCE! Typically excellent long-range effort from Craig Gardner. He fires it in from outside the box but Mannone tips it over the bar. Good effort from the midfielder though, more of that is needed.


40 minsWell I mentioned about Roberge's tussle with Anichebe and he's hauled him down inside the box. A soft one for sure. But given...


41 minsCoolly done from the striker, he whips it to the keeper's right and Mannone goes the wrong way. Good spot-kick, but questionable decision. Anichebe went down softly and Poyet is furious.

43 minsThe home side really have found their rhythm now and Berahino skips past a challenge before striking it left-footed straight at Mannone.


3.48pmWell, it picked up towards the end, but Sunderland will feel hard done by by that penalty decision. Anichebe went down too easily, but West Brom won't care one bit. Nicely poised for the second half then!

3.51pmSunderland should have been 2-0 up after Roberge's miss, but then head in at the break level. It's fine margins in the Premier League, and let's see what the other scores are saying at the interval...

3.52pmUPDATE: Manchester United were beaten 2-1 by Swansea City in the day's early kick off. Everton lead Leicester City 2-1, while all other games are goalless. You can catch half-time reports on any of these games on the Sports Mole homepage of course!

3.56pmYou have to think that Alan Irvine may be tempted to give new signing Brown Ideye the nod sooner or later. Anichebe hasn't really threatened. He typically got his body in the way and rolled Roberge for the penalty, but other than that, it's been a quiet half for the powerful striker. Ideye may offer a more direct threat with the ball. We shall see...


4.00pmWant to see a vine of Lee Cattermole's strike? Of course you do...


4.03pmWell the second half is nearly underway here, both teams are back on the pitch.

45 minsKICK OFF: Here we go then...

4.05pmNo changes to report at half time.

4.05pmNo changes to report at half time.

47 minsWest Brom are claiming a goal, but it was cleared off the line by the look of it, but the assistant has flagged for a foul. Not sure that was a foul in all honesty, it looked as though Mannone just flapped at it.

48 minsSebastien Pocognoli has planted a couple of excellent crosses into the box already this half. Wickham doesn't look comfortable tracking him back out wide.

52 minsCHANCE! Wickham steals a yard on Wisdom to arrive at the back post to meet the corner, but he side-foots it wide. Good chance for the striker there.

54 minsCattermole with a cynical foul on Berahino as the youngster tries to break on the half-way line. Surprisingly he wasn't booked for the offence. The home fans certainly wanted it.

56 minsCHANCE! Big chance for Anichebe. That perhaps perfectly encapsulates him as a player. He rolls Roberge superbly to make the space for the shot, but then fluffs it and sends it well wide of the goal. That was him in a nutshell.

58 minsGreat play from Johnson as he brings down the long ball beautifully before feeding Rodwell, but Wickham's shot deflects off Olsson. It was going well wide anyway. Corner to Sunderland, and Roberge's volley is blocked.


59 minsFletcher turns home Cattermole's cross with a great header, but the Scot was offside. Correct decision by the referee's assistant.

62 minsSunderland certainly having the better of it the last five or 10 minutes or so. Can they grab a second goal though?

65 minsWest Brom have seen a little more possession the last couple of minutes. No changes for either side as of yet.

66 minsAnd as I type that, Jordi Gomez prepares to come on for Rodwell.

67 minsSo the new £12m midfielder departs to a round of applause as Spanish schemer Gomez comes for his debut following his free transfer from Wigan.

70 minsJohn O'Shea gives Mannone a dangerous backpass, but the goalkeeper just reaches it before Berahino can close it off. Both fans are in full voice here, Twenty minutes to go...

72 minsWill Buckley looks as though he's going to make his Sunderland bow. The 24-year-old was signed from Brighton & Hove Albion on Thursday, and he'll make his Premier League debut as he replaces Adam Johnson. Disappointing day for the winger.


73 minsNice finish from the England Under-21 star. Craig Gardner delivers a dangerous cross to the back post and Berahino steals a yard on Patrick van Aanholt at the back post to tap in. Instinctive stuff from the forward, 2-1 now!

75 minsLast season's Baggies top-scorer is off to a flyer this time around. Chris Baird looks as though he's about to come for Alan Irvine's side.

76 minsBaird comes on for Brunt as Jonas Olsson takes the captain's armband. Baird makes his first Premier League appearance since February 2013. He'll help to see this out at the back.

79 minsBuckley goes down under a clumsy tackle from Pocognoli. A good chance to deliver here for Larsson. Wide right, around 30 yards out.

80 minsWest Brom dig in and get it clear. It looks as though Jozy Altidore is coming on for Wes Brown. A roll of the dice from Poyet. Defender for a striker, but can the burly American change things? He's got 10 minutes to do so...

82 minsVan Aanholt feeds Wickham but the striker's low cross is cleared by Craig Dawson. Nevery couple of seconds for the Baggies before Fletcher fouls Olsson to relieve the pressure.

84 minsClaudio Yacob is on for Craig Gardner. All three changes have been made by both managers now, and surely Sunderland will have to pile the pressure on for the last six minutes or so...


86 minsSuperb stuff from Patrick van Anaholt. He gets to the byline and delivers a low cross, and Larsson expertly applies the finish. Good goal from Sunderland, well worked. Van Aanholt makes amends for his mistake for the West Brom second. Game on...

87 minsA good old fashioned penalty-box scramble causes havoc in the Sunderland area. They eventually scramble it clear, somehow and Cattermole and Anichebe are down with head injuries I think.

89 minsLooks like Anichebe is in pain. He took a knee into the back and also had a head injury. He looks dazed their the big man. He'll be OK though.

90+1 minsThere's five minutes of added time here. Will there be a winner?

90+1 minsThere's five minutes of added time here. Will there be a winner?

90+4 minsGreat defending by Fletcher of all people. He was back and cleared Chris Baird's cross and he was fouled as he did so. Pressure is off Sunderland and it looks as though we're set for a draw here.

90+4 minsGreat defending by Fletcher of all people. He was back and cleared Chris Baird's cross and he was fouled as he did so. Pressure is off Sunderland and it looks as though we're set for a draw here.



4.55pmWell, the full-time whistle brings to an end an excellent 45 minutes of football. Both teams were given their all there and a draw was perhaps a fair result.

4.59pmWell that was a great half of football. Both teams really gave their all and on reflection, a draw was perhaps the fairest outcome.

5.04pmThat's all from me, isn't it great to have Premier League football back!? I hope you've enjoyed the commentary, until next time, bye for now...

Gustavo Poyet the Sunderland manager celebrates his team's 1-0 victory during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Sunderland at Old Trafford on May 3, 2014
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