SUNDERLAND recovered from going two goals down inside the first five minutes to gain a well-deserved point at the Stadium of Light.
And at the final whistle home fans did not know whether to applaud or boo after seeing their side dominate the second-half without being able to get a winner which would have put the seal on an open and entertaining game of football.
Albion took the lead just four minutes into the game when James Morrison was allowed to head home Chris Brunt’s inswinging free-kick far too easily.
And the visitors doubled their lead within 60 seconds when Chris Brunt tackle only served to put the ball into the path of Shane Long’s run on goal – the Irish striker outpacing Michael Turner before slotting a low shot just inside Simon Mignolet’s right-hand post.
The mood could have turned ugly but home fans commendably stuck behind their team and were rewarded when Sunderland produced a goal burst of their own midway through the first-half – Nicklas Bendtner’s shot taking a deflection on its way in in the 24th minute before the Dane turned provider in the 27th minute - Ahmed Elmohamady heading his first Sunderland goal home in the 27th minute from the cross from the right.
Sunderland were barely anything other than on top after that, Albion having to rely on hopeful counter-attacks.
But despite all their dominance, Sunderland could not find a winner and had to settle for a share of the spoils.
* Full report in tonight’s Football Echo.