Football: West Brom sealed a win which took them to the heady heights of third in the Premier League but Sunderland were unlucky not to take at least a point from the game.
But for an uncharacteristic error for their keeper and a West Brom penalty that shouldn't have been, the result might have been very different.
West Brom manager Steve Clarke was determined to keep his players' feet on the ground.
"Up until now we've done very well but you don't get carried away in the Premier League. There's a lot of games to play and points to play for. Our focus is on Swansea on Wednesday."
Looking to build on the good performance at Everton and the win at Fulham, Sunderland started the better and dominated the early stages.
Stephane Sessegnon looked the most likely to open the scoring. His beautiful left-foot volley was turned round the post by Boaz Myhill on 18 minutes.
Seven minutes later he rose to beat James Morrison to a Sebastian Larsson free kick but his header was saved.
Between the two chances West Brom forward Shane Long went to ground after a John O'Shea challenge.
Referee Mike Dean reached for his cards and with O'Shea already on a yellow Sunderland fan's hearts would have feared the worst - but it was Long who was booked for diving.
It was short-lived relief as minutes later, against the run of play, Sunderland were behind.
Adam Johnson lost possession in his own half and Zoltan Gera dispatched the loose ball into the Sunderland net.
Much was made of home keeper Simon Mignolet's quality in the build-up to this game but there was little he could do to stop the goal.
The next, however, was a different matter. Chris Brunt's through ball should have been easy for Mignolet to collect but he spilled it into the path of Long, who calmly tapped it into the empty net.
Mignolet's manager Martin O'Neill was in forgiving mood. "Simon's been fantastic over the season - he's entitled to a mistake like that now and again."
But it left them with a huge challenge to which the Sunderland boss responded at half time by swapping the injured O'Shea for the more attacking James McClean.
It gave the hosts renewed impetus. Johnson and Carlos Cuellar went close and Sunderland got themselves back into the match with 16 minutes left.
Craig Gardner's free kick took a deflection off Marc-Antoine Fortune to leave Myhill clutching at thin air.
But the comeback hit the buffers when West Brom were awarded a penalty with 10 minutes left.
It was a harsh decision. While Johnson didn't get the ball, nor did he touch Liam Ridgewell.
Any thoughts that Mignolet might redeem himself were dashed as Romelu Lukaku hammered the ball home for WBA's third.
"The penalty that never was was a major decision," said O'Neill. "It certainly knocks you back - we still had 13 or 14 minutes to play and we were in the game."
It was the cue for the 690 away fans to start bouncing in the stands and the home fans to start heading for the exits.
They should have stayed as Sunderland refused to lie down. Steven Fletcher's header from Johnson's corner was saved and Sessegnon pounced on the rebound with four minutes left.
Cuellar nearly grabbed a precious equaliser at the death but his header from Sessegnon's cross just lacked the power to beat Myhill.
With Sunderland having pushed forward West Brom took advantage and Fortune was able to seal their fourth consecutive league win.
It's the first time they've achieved a run like that in the top flight since 1980. For Sunderland it was a case of one step forward and one step back following the Fulham win.
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