Sunderland have retained their Premier League status in dramatic fashion for the fourth consecutive season after a 3-0 win over Everton at the Stadium of Light on Wednesday night.
- Sunderland 3 Everton 0
- Van Aanholt smashes home opener
- Kone gives Black Cats two-goal advantage
- Kone completes brace after the break
- Black Cats escape the drop
Goals from Patrick van Aanholt and Lamine Kone gave Sam Allardyce's side a comprehensive win in front of the home support to relegate Newcastle and Norwich.
The result for the Toffees looks set to be the last straw for manager Roberto Martinez as their disappointing season hit a new low – with the away support chanting 'Martinez Out' after the game.
237 – Sunderland were in the relegation zone for 237 days this season but have survived the drop. Houdini.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) May 11, 2016
Kone struck twice from close range after Van Aanholt scored with a 25-yard free-kick that wrong-footed goalkeeper Joel Robles.
The Dutchman's free-kick went straight through the wall and completely wrong-footed the Toffees keeper, who stepped to his left and allowed the ball to find the middle of the net, sending the home fans into a state of euphoria.
Just before the break Kone doubled their advantage. Everton failed to properly clear from a corner and the ball was quickly headed back in by Van Aanholt and lashed in by the Ivorian defender for his first goal for the club.
Sunderland’s last 10 Premier League games:
Clean sheets (4) pic.twitter.com/AgzlbCj47P
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) May 11, 2016
The visitors had to do something at the break after a poor display and Ross Barkley – who offered nothing in the first half – was sacrificed for Aaron Lennon.
Martinez's tactical change made no difference – 10 minutes after the restart, the Wearsiders got their third goal. Jermain Defoe went close with a chip over Robles but Matthew Pennington scampered back to clear off the line for a corner.
The resulting set-piece from Wahbi Khazri looked more like a shot and Robles did well to keep it out before Kone had the simple task of tapping the ball into and empty net.
Sunderland could've scored four or five on the evening as Everton's defending looked shambolic at times but the result remained 3-0 until the final whistle to spark wild celebrations within the Stadium of Light as they successfully fought off another relegation.