Premier League – Sunderland take huge step towards survival by beating Everton
Premier League, Goodison Park – Everton 0 Sunderland 2 (Graham 53’ Defoe 85’).
The win lifts the Black Cats clear of the bottom three and into 14th place, though Aston Villa, Newcastle, Leicester and Hull could all go past them before the end of the weekend.
The first half had few chances for either side, with both teams unable to find a telling final ball for their various strikers. Romelu Lukaku led the line for Everton, and Sunderland had all of Graham, Defoe andConnor Wickham on the pitch from the off.
Everton had the most chances, with Leon Osman firing wide at the start of the match, and having a shot blocked before the half-time whistle.
Lukaku was a constant presence up front, but Costel Pantilimon was alive to his threat to beat him in two one-on-one situations before he could shoot.
In the second half, Sunderland opened the scoring as Jordi Gomez’s shot from outside the box flicked off Graham’s left leg, over Tim Howard, and just into the goal.
Everton increased the pressure as they looked for an equaliser, winning a constant supply of corners. James McCarthy drove a shot against the post, and Pantilimon had to tip a Phil Jagielkaheader over the bar.