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Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2010

Sunderland, West Brom keep pace with leaders

LONDON (AP) Sunderland and West Bromwich Albion both kept in touch with the Premier League's top six sides Sunday, Sunderland beating West Ham 1-0 and the Baggies defeating Newcastle 3-1.

Jordan Henderson scored his first goal for a year in the 34th minute to lift Sunderland into seventh place and push West Ham back to the bottom of the standings.

West Bromwich Albion climbed to eighth after a goal by Somen Tchoyi and two from Peter Odemwingie secured a first league win over Newcastle in 26 years.

Sunderland trails sixth-place Bolton only on goal difference.

Arsenal moved into first place Saturday with a 2-1 win over Fulham after previous leader Manchester United's game at Blackpool was postponed because of a frozen pitch.

Henderson, who made his England debut last month, was picked as man of the match after he turned in Asamoah Gyan's 34th-minute cross to give his side all three points and end West Ham's recent revival.

"It's a long time since I scored a goal," Henderson said. "I've been working on it a lot in training, my finishing. I need to score more goals from midfield wherever I play. But the main thing is we won today."

Carlton Cole went close to canceling out the lead four minutes after the break and Victor Obinna hit the post 11 minutes from time, but Sunderland manager Steve Bruce saw his side hold out with few real scares.

While Sunderland is in its highest position for a decade, West Ham has not won away from home since the opening day of last season.

The Hammers are tied on 12 points and a minus-13 goal difference with Wolverhampton Wanderers, but trails because it has scored fewer goals.

Tchoyi's first goal at The Hawthorns — and fourth overall this season — gave the Baggies a deserved 32nd-minute lead. Newcastle manager Chris Hughton brought on Peter Lovenkrands at halftime but Odemwingie doubled Albion's lead in the 71st.

Odemwingie rounded Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul with a minute left to score before Lovenkrands's injury-time consolation.

"I thought everything about today was good," West Brom manager Roberto Di Matteo said. "We scored three great goals and we controlled the game for the majority of the time."

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