Sunderland ensured they would remain a Premier League side come next season while relegating Norwich and neighbours Newcastle in the process.
Sam Allardyce’s men awaited Everton knowing that a victory would ensure their survival with one game to spare. The Black Cats and Roberto Martinez’s Everton looked like two evenly matched sides on paper but as soon as the whistle went, there was only one winner really. One side wanted to win, the other did not; one side had purpose, the other simply did not; one side had resolve, the other just came to play.
Patrick van Aanholt scored in the 38th minute with a 25-yard freekick to make it 1-0 to Sunderland. Everton goalkeeper Joel Robles was largely at fault for failing to save the free-kick. Defender Lamine Kone then doubled Sunderland’s lead shortly before half-time with a volley. Kone then struck again in the second half to make sure the victory, and of course survival, was in the bag.
Big Sam, always the miracle worker, has done it yet again – keeping a bad team from their own demise and also maintaining his record of never being relegated with any club. Magic! Allardyce has led this Sunderland team to defy the odds. When he took over the helm on October 9, the Black Cats were one place off the bottom with only three points from eight games and even looked more poised to be relegated than Aston Villa at the time. Allardyce turned their fortunes around and should have been in charge of affairs from the start really. They have ensured survival now and at the hands of Everton of course. Everton – truly the go-to boys when you need to wrap up your season, ask Leicester.
Results – Wednesday 11th May 2016
Norwich 4 – 2 Watford
Sunderland 3 – 0 Everton
Liverpool 1 – 1 Chelsea