Sunderland has survived relegation after a vital 3-0 win against Everton saw them through and keeps them in the premier league.
Knowing victory at the Stadium of Light would guarantee top-flight football for another season, the Black Cats took control of their destiny in four devastating first-half minutes as Patrick van Aanholt (38) and Lamine Kone (42) saw them 2-0 ahead at the interval. Kone added his second on 55 minutes to guarantee three points against an Everton side who, having been swept aside by champions Leicester on Saturday, rarely threatened to extend the race for survival to the final day of the season.
Younes Kaboul created Sunderland’s first clear chance but, having done so well to carry the ball into the opposition area, he lashed a curling effort inches wide. First Van Aanholt settled the nerves, sending a free-kick around the wall and beyond Joel Robles, who should have done better with the tame set piece. The Everton goalkeeper atoned for his error by thwarting Jermain Defoe’s forceful header shortly after but he was helpless with Sunderland’s second as Kone crashed home a thunderous effort from close range.Pennington had an early chance for the visitors two minutes after the restart but Everton’s defensive frailties – that have marred their season – soon reared their head again as the hosts were presented with a string of chances to wrap up the victory. Defoe was played onside by John Stones and only a last-gasp clearance on the goalline prevented his chipped effort from making it 3-0.
But Everton’s reprieve was short-lived as, from the resulting corner where Wahbi Khazri almost scored directly, Kone was on hand to sweep the ball home from close range to seal the first double of his 10-year professional career. The result though now means Norwich and Newcastle joins Aston Villa in dropping down the division and Sam Allardyce’s side live to fight another day in the premier league.