The Black Cats looked shell shocked after James Morrison and Shane Long scored within a minute of each other to give the Baggies a two nil lead with only five minutes on the clock. Chants from supporters requesting Bruce’s dismissal quickly evaporated after Nicklas Bendtner and Ahmed Elmohamady struck to bring the home side level and give both sides a valuable point in an entertaining affair on Wearside. It will have been a satisfying end to a torrid week for the red and whites after defeat to Norwich on Monday and Titus Brambles arrest and subsequent suspension. Both clubs have started the season in dreadful form and it was clear from the off that they were determined to give their fans something to shout about. The travelling Albion supporters were certainly singing after four minutes when Morrison put them into the lead. Some woeful marking from Wes Brown allowed the Scotland midfielder to nip in and nod Chris Brunts free kick past Simon Mignolet.
With the hosts still reeling from the opener Long gave them a huge mountain to climb just a minute later outpacing the lumbering Michael Turner before cooly slotting the ball home. Baggies boss Roy Hodgson would have been delighted by his sides rapid start considering they’ve only managed to score three goals in their six games so far this season. That joy quickly ebbed away and he will have been unhappy that his players failed to build on their early dominance allowing Sunderland to slowly but surely get back into the game. The home side responded well to the two goal sucker punch and the roof was lifted when Nicklas Bendtner struck his first goal in a red and white shirt. The on loan Arsenal hit man was a tad fortunate to see his strike deflect off Gareth McAuley after being teed up by Sebastian Larsson’s back heel. The big Dane then turned provider crossing for Elmohamody to head home his first goal since joining the club at the start of last season.
The action didn’t stop there with Sunderland having keeper Mignolet to thank as he twice denied Morrison with opposite number Ben Foster also having to be alert to keep out Larsson’s effort. The Swedish midfielder also had a good disallowed for offside as the first half ended at a frenetic pace. It was a shame the same intensity wasn’t displayed during the second period with both teams seemingly happy to settle for a point with the only notable chance going to the hosts as Brown’s flicked header bounced narrowly wide.