West Brom climb to third, as Redknapp returns
LONDON (AFP) – West Bromwich Albion continued their superb start to the Premier League season with a 4-2 win at Sunderland on Saturday that took them up to third place in the table.
Zoltan Gera’s curling 25-yarder put the visitors ahead after half an hour’s play at the Stadium of Light, before a fumble from Sunderland goalkeeper Simon Mignolet gifted Shane Long the Baggies’ second.
Romelu Lukaku’s 81st-minute penalty made it 3-1 after Craig Gardner had scored with a deflected free-kick, before Stephane Sessegnon brought Sunderland back into the game again with a late strike from close range.
However, Steve Clarke’s men struck again in injury through substitute Marc-Antoine Fortune to secure a fourth straight win and move to within just two points of the summit.
Newly apppointed Queens Park Rangers manager Harry Redknapp will watch from the stands later on Saturday when his new charges tackle second-place Manchester United at Old Trafford.
Redknapp was officially named QPR coach on Saturday morning, after Mark Hughes was sacked on Friday, and he immediately told his squad to knuckle down as they bid to pull away from the foot of the table.
“The players have to be at it,” he told Sky Sports News.
“The buck stops with them. I know Mark lost his job, but it’s down to the players. He could only do what he could do. The players have not performed to their potential.”
Victory for United will take them top, with leaders Manchester City not in action until Sunday, when they visit Chelsea and their new interim coach, Rafael Benitez.
Everton can close to within a point of fourth-place Chelsea if they win at home to Norwich City on Saturday, while Stoke City host Fulham and Reading visit Wigan Athletic.
Arsenal, bidding to trim the five-point gap that separates them from the top four, play at Aston Villa in the evening kick-off.