STEPHANE SESSEGNON helped to inflict a fourth defeat in five on former employers Sunderland, as the Black Cats remained rooted to the foot of the Premier League table.
Sessegnon, who joined West Brom in a £6million deadline day deal from Sunderland, opened the scoring on his Baggies bow, to leave Paolo Di Canio’s side cast adrift at the basement.
Sunderland had been bright until Sessegnon’s 20th minute opener, but looked shell-shocked for the remainder of the first half.
Substitute Jozy Altidore and Steven Fletcher both went close in the second half, before the latter left Sunderland with 10 men after being forced off a shoulder injury, when Di Canio had already used all his substitutes.
Moments later, West Brom effectively sealed their victory when Liam Ridgewell volleyed home after Keiren Westwood couldn’t get enough on Morgan Amalfitano’s cross.
The Baggies then added a third in stoppage time when man of the match Amalfitano drilled a fierce shot into the far corner.
Fabio Borini was handed his first Sunderland start, with the on-loan Liverpool striker replacing Jozy Altidore, who was struggling with injury during the week.
Borini was one of four changes to the XI, with Emanuele Giaccherini, John O’Shea and Craig Gardner also included in place of Charis Mavrias, Valentin Roberge and David Vaughan.
Former Sunderland forward Stephane Sessegnon made his Baggies debut up front alongside Nicolas Anelka.
Sessegnon replaced fellow new boy Victor Anichebe, with Scott Sinclair and James Morrison also handed starts in place of Claudio Yacob and the injured Chris Brunt.
Sunderland had enjoyed a productive opening, but they fell behind in the 20th minute with Sessegnon predictably breaking the deadlock.
Morgan Amlafitano crossed from the right and his centre was deflected off Nicolas Anelka at the near post, with Keiren Westwood only able to block the ball six yards in front of him.
The ball fell to the onrushing Sessegnon who slotted the ball in the bottom corner, although there was no celebration from the Benin international.
Sunderland were desperately close to equalising seven minutes later when Giaccherini’s cross from the left found Adam Johnson on the right-hand side of the area.
Johnson took the ball down on his chest and fired in a low left-footed cross which deflected off the outstretched ankle of Liam Ridgewell, inches past the near post.
The woodwork then spared Sunderland in the 29th minute when Amalfitano was given too much room to cut inside from the right and was able to unleash a right-footed shot which deflected off Anelka and onto the top of the crossbar.
HALF-TIME West Brom 1 Sunderland 0
Paolo Di Canio made a change at the interval with Charis Mavrias replacing Giaccherini.
After a tepid opening to the second half, there was a second substitution in the 59th minute as Altidore replaced Borini.
Sessegnon went close to a second on the hour mark when he span Modibo Diakite from a throw-in and unleashed a half-volley from 15 yards which was both high and wide of Westwood’s goal.
Craig Gardner tried his luck from 25 yards two minutes later, but his right-footed drive was comfortably over the bar.
Altidore had a golden opportunity to draw Sunderland level in the 65th minute when Jack Colback pulled a low ball back into the American’s path from the left-hand side of the area.
The former AZ Alkmaar striker had time to bring it under control, but his shot from 12 yards deflected off Jonas Olsson and wide.
Moments later, Anelka went close at the other end when his header from Billy Jones’ cross deflected off Ondrej Celustka and just past the post.
Substitute Lee Cattermole immediately prompted an opportunity in the 72nd minute when he fed Johnson down the right channel.
Johnson’s cross was glanced on by Altidore to Fletcher who met the ball flush on the volley 12 yards out, but his effort rocketed over the top.
It was to be Fletcher’s last contribution of the game after he landed awkwardly on his shoulder, leaving Sunderland with 10 men for the finale with all of their substitutes on the field.
West Brom’s victory was then secured in the 76th minute when Amalfitano twisted and turned down the right and delivered a cross which Westwood could only half punch clear.
Liam Ridgewell pounced on the loose ball at the back stick and cushioned a volley into the net.
The Baggies added a third in the third minute of stoppage time when substitute Victor Anichebe played in Amalfitano down the right-hand side of the area and he unleashed a fierce right-footed drive into the far corner.
FULL-TIME West Brom 3 Sunderland 0
WEST BROM: Myhill, Jones, McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell, Amalfitano, Mulumbu, Morrison, Sinclair (Yacob 69), Sessegnon (Berahino (89), Anelka (Anichebe 69). Subs not used: Camp, Rosenberg, Lugano, Popov.
SUNDERLAND: Westwood, Celustka, Diakite, O’Shea, Colback, Johnson, Gardner (Cattermole 69), Ki, Giaccherini (Mavrias 46), Borini (Altidore 59), Fletcher. Subs not used: Mannone, Cuellar, Ba, Ji. Booked: Colback (28), Ki (35)