Tag Archives: Sunderland

Premier League Rewind: 19th-20th August 2000

Results: Charlton Athletic 4-0 Manchester City, Chelsea 4-2 West Ham United, Coventry City 1-3 Middlesbrough, Derby County 2-2 Southampton, Leeds United 2-0 Everton, Leicester City 0-0 Aston Villa, Liverpool FC 1-0 Bradford City, Sunderland 1-0 Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur 3-1 Ipswich Town, Manchester United 2-0 Newcastle United

After France’s success at the 2000 European Championships which made them back-to-back major international winners, football fans only had to wait approximately six weeks before domestic action returned. The 2000-2001 Premier League season began in August sunshine with some great goals, impressive displays and stormy battles.

The stormy battle came at Sunderland where Arsenal came a cropper on the opening day. Niall Quinn scored the only goal of the game. His header – a typical trademark effort from the big striker after 53 minutes helped the Black Cats record an impressive 1-0 victory over the previous season’s runners-up. However, the flashpoint came towards the end of the match as referee Steve Dunn gave Patrick Vieira the latest red card in his English career. An altercation with Darren Williams saw the Frenchman receive his marching orders. Arsene Wenger defended his volatile midfielder, speaking afterwards: “Patrick Vieira has tried to play football today and some other players have not tried, and in the end, he is sent off because he had a bad reaction.”

Many people were tipping Chelsea to be Manchester United’s strongest challengers and the Blues had just beaten United comfortably in the Charity Shield curtain-raiser a week earlier. Chelsea continued the good form on day one with a spectacular 4-2 home victory over West Ham United. After a year in Spain with Atletico Madrid, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink returned to English football and made a goalscoring return but his efforts were overshadowed by a wonderful goal from fellow debutant Mario Stanic, who scored twice on the day. The positive vibes though wouldn’t last long for Chelsea and their manager Gianluca Vialli. He was sacked less than a month later.

After losing on the final day of the previous campaign to Bradford City which meant they missed out on UEFA Champions League football for 2000-2001, Liverpool FC extracted some form of revenge with a nervy 1-0 success against the Bantams at Anfield. Beginning his first full season after his £11 million move in March from Leicester City, Emile Heskey scored the only goal of the game as the Reds began their momentous season in winning fashion.

Reigning champions Manchester United made a business-like start to their title defence. The biggest surprise of their routine 2-0 home win against Newcastle United was the first goal of the Old Trafford season came from centre-back Ronny Johnsen. A more familiar scorer in the shape of Andy Cole got the second as he haunted his old club yet again. Cole had now scored seven goals in his last four appearances against the Magpies.

The top two from the previous season in the First Division met on day one at The Valley and the tone for their respective campaigns was set from the outset. Charlton Athletic brushed aside Manchester City 4-0 thanks to goals from Andy Hunt, John Robinson, Mark Kinsella and Graham Stuart. This was despite missing five first-choice attacking players. The Addicks were set for a campaign safely in mid-table whilst Joe Royle was given plenty to think about after seeing his side pulled apart convincingly in the capital.

Elsewhere, Mark Venus had the honour of scoring the first goal of the season after only nine minutes at White Hart Lane. However, it wasn’t enough for Ipswich to get anything at Tottenham, as they eventually lost 3-1 and Leeds United began their season with a 2-0 triumph over Everton. Both goals came in the first half from Alan Smith.

What else happened in August 2000?

  • The Queen Mother celebrates her 100th birthday.
  • English actor Sir Alec Guinness dies from liver cancer, aged 86.
  • The Democratic party in America nominate the current US vice-president, Al Gore, as their candidate for US president at the November election during their convention in Los Angeles.
  • In one of the largest Russian naval exercises since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Russian submarine Kursk sinks in the Barents Sea. All 118 men on-board drown.
  • Nintendo announce their plans for their latest games console to take on Sony with the GameCube set to come out by the end of 2002.
  • One of Nickelodeon’s most popular shows makes its debut on their TV channel with Dora the Explorer launching.



Premier League Files: Steed Malbranque

Premier League Career: Fulham (2001-2006), Tottenham Hotspur (2006-2008), Sunderland (2008-2011)

Steed Malbranque might have started his professional career with Lyon and would finish his footballing playing days in France but he spent the bulk of his time in English football. He became a firm favourite with fans of the clubs he represented in the Premier League; Fulham, Tottenham Hotspur and Sunderland. He also was liked by a certain British Prime Minister too.

Malbranque made his professional debut in 1998 with Lyon and would play 96 times in all competitions in his first spell with the club. This included 19 appearances in European competition, scoring twice in the UEFA Champions League. It was clear that there was talent in Malbranque’s game and Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger sent scouts to look at him. However, no move to the Gunners materialised.

In the summer of 2001, he did move to the Premier League and also to London but it was to top-flight newcomers, Fulham for a fee in the region of £4.5 million. He made his debut in the exciting 3-2 defeat at Old Trafford against reigning champions Manchester United and went on to score eight goals in his debut Premier League campaign.

Fulham fans loved Malbranque and he would score 44 goals in all competitions for the Cottagers during an impressive five-year spell with the club. One of his finest displays came in October 2003, when Fulham pulled off a brilliant result to defeat Manchester United 3-1. This was among a string of productive performances that saw him called into the full French international squad by Jacques Santini in March 2004 for a friendly against the Netherlands. However, he remained an unused substitute during the goalless encounter and he would never win a full international cap for Les Bleus.

In November 2005, British Prime Minister Tony Blair came onto the BBC’s lunchtime magazine show, Football Focus and was asked to name his favourite Premier League players. He picked Teddy Sheringham, Arjan de Zeeuw and Malbranque. Possibly boosted by having such a high-profile fan, Malbranque would score both goals later that afternoon in a 2-1 victory for Fulham over Manchester City. This would be his last season in west London. Despite having extensive talks over a new contract, these discussions broke down and with just one year left on his current deal, Fulham elected to cash in on his services.

There was plenty of interest in the summer of 2006 for Malbranque. The likes of Everton, Reading and Middlesbrough all made bids for him but he elected to stay in London and join Tottenham Hotspur on transfer deadline day for around £2 million. A groin operation delayed his debut for the Lilywhites until November 2006 and he would score 12 times in his 18 months with Tottenham in all competitions. Part of the last Tottenham squad to win silverware (the 2008 League Cup), Malbranque’s work ethic was also widely praised by Spurs supporters. In 2007-2008, he ended up in the top five for tackles made and tackles per minute across the whole Premier League.

In July 2008, he surprisingly followed Pascal Chimbonda and Teemu Tainio to Sunderland, signing a four-year contract. He struggled to replicate his Fulham and Tottenham form during his days on Wearside, although he did play in a different position as a winger. He then dropped into a deeper role in the 2010-2011 season to accommodate Danny Welbeck into the team. Welbeck was on a season-long loan from Manchester United. He featured prominently that campaign and his work ethic was again clear to see. He made his 100th appearance for the club in February 2011 against Chelsea but manager Steve Bruce decided to make him surplus to requirements at the end of the campaign. It was decided that removing him from the wage bill would help fund new summer signings too for the Black Cats.

Malbranque joined Saint-Etienne but made just one appearance for them before asking for his contract to be terminated. After a year away from the game, he returned to Lyon for four seasons before winding down his playing days with SM Caen and Monts d’Or Azergues who play in the Championnat National 2.

A tireless worker, Steed Malbranque won’t feature on the list of greatest French players to have played in the Premier League but he is fondly remembered by the clubs he played for and his best spell on these shores was definitely at Fulham, where he had a canny knack of scoring crucial goals.

The Clubs: Sunderland

All-Time Premier League Record

Played Won Drew Lost Scored Conceded Goal Difference Points No of Seasons
608 153 159 296 612 904 -292 618 16


Most Premier League Appearances

Player Appearances Total
John O’Shea 189
Sebastian Larsson 176
Phil Bardsley 174
Lee Cattermole 170
Michael Gray 170
Kevin Phillips 139
Kieran Richardson 134
Niall Quinn 129
Thomas Sorensen 126
Adam Johnson 122


Most Premier League Goals

Player Goals Total
Kevin Phillips 61
Jermain Defoe 34
Darren Bent 32
Niall Quinn 29
Kenwyne Jones 26
Steven Fletcher 23
Adam Johnson 19
Stephane Sessegnon 17
Fabio Borini 14
Kieran Richardson 14


Biggest Premier League Victories

Match Date Season
Derby County 0-5 Sunderland 18th September 1999 1999-2000
Bradford City 0-4 Sunderland 2nd October 1999 1999-2000
Sunderland 4-0 West Bromwich Albion 13th December 2008 2008-2009
Sunderland 4-0 Bolton Wanderers 9th March 2010 2009-2010
Sunderland 4-0 Stoke City 18th September 2011 2011-2012
Sunderland 4-0 Cardiff City 27th April 2014 2013-2014
Crystal Palace 0-4 Sunderland 4th February 2017 2016-2017
Sunderland 5-2 Wolverhampton Wanderers 27th September 2009 2009-2010
Nottingham Forest 1-4 Sunderland 21st August 1996 1996-1997
Sunderland 4-1 Chelsea 4th December 1999 1999-2000


Worst Premier League Defeats

Match Date Season
Southampton 8-0 Sunderland 18th October 2014 2014-2015
Everton 7-1 Sunderland 24th November 2007 2007-2008
Chelsea 7-2 Sunderland 16th January 2010 2009-2010
Aston Villa 6-1 Sunderland 29th April 2013 2012-2013
Manchester United 5-0 Sunderland 21st December 1996 1996-1997
Everton 5-0 Sunderland 26th December 1999 1999-2000
Ipswich Town 5-0 Sunderland 29th December 2001 2001-2002
Chelsea 5-0 Sunderland 1st November 2008 2008-2009
Manchester City 5-0 Sunderland 3rd April 2011 2010-2011
Chelsea 6-2 Sunderland 16th March 1997 1996-1997



Manager No of Seasons managed Left the Club
Peter Reid 5 7th October 2002
Howard Wilkinson 1 10th March 2003
Mick McCarthy 2 6th March 2006
Roy Keane 2 4th December 2008
Ricky Sbragia 1 24th May 2009
Steve Bruce 3 30th November 2011
Martin O’Neill 2 30th March 2013
Paolo Di Canio 2 22nd September 2013
Gus Poyet 2 16th March 2015
Dick Advocaat 2 4th October 2015
Sam Allardyce 1 21st July 2016
David Moyes 1 22nd May 2017


Highest Home Attendances

Match Date Attendance Figure Season
Sunderland 0-1 Liverpool FC 13th April 2002 48,355 2001-2002
Sunderland 1-3 Manchester United 13th October 2001 48,305 2001-2002
Sunderland 0-1 Newcastle United 24th February 2002 48,290 2001-2002
Sunderland 0-2 Leeds United 31st March 2001 48,285 2000-2001
Sunderland 1-1 Newcastle United 21st April 2001 48,277 2000-2001
Sunderland 0-1 Manchester United 31st January 2001 48,260 2000-2001
Sunderland 2-3 Tottenham Hotspur 14th April 2001 48,029 2000-2001
Sunderland 1-1 Arsenal 27th October 2001 48,029 2001-2002
Sunderland 0-0 Chelsea 9th December 2001 48,017 2001-2002
Sunderland 1-0 Everton 22nd December 2001 48,013 2001-2002



Sunderland have undergone some tough times recently. They became the first club since Wolverhampton Wanderers in 2013 to experience the indignity of back-to-back relegations to the third-tier of English football. The Black Cats made their Premier League debut in 1996 and achieved two finishes in the top 10 at the start of the millennium under Peter Reid’s tenure. Before their 2017 relegation, they were becoming the survival specialists, edging to safety in the closing weeks of each season from 2012-2013 to 2015-2016.



Sunderland initially coped well with the step-up to Premier League level and by the end of January, sat in 11th position in the table. Arsenal, Chelsea and reigning champions Manchester United were among the teams to experience defeat in what was the final campaign at the historic Roker Park ground. February was the month it started to go wrong with four successive defeats and a 6-2 beating at Stamford Bridge in March left them in a precarious position. The Black Cats beat Everton 3-0 in their last-ever match at Roker Park but on the final day, they lost 1-0 to Wimbledon and were relegated by just a single point after Coventry’s surprising victory over Tottenham Hotspur.



After two seasons back in the First Division, Sunderland returned to the Premier League in 1999-2000 and enjoyed a thrilling campaign back in the top-flight. It started badly with a 4-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea but they bounced back superbly. A memorable 2-1 success over Newcastle United in August saw the end of Ruud Gullit’s explosive tenure as manager and Peter Reid’s side enjoyed a 10-match unbeaten run off the back of that. Sunderland eventually finished in a creditable seventh position and with 30 goals scored, Kevin Phillips had a season to remember, winning the Golden Boot.



After scoring 44 goals in a fruitful partnership the previous season, the Niall Quinn/Kevin Phillips duo contributed to another 26 goals in 2000-2001 as Sunderland finished seventh for the second successive campaign. A 2-0 away victory at West Ham in mid-January had Peter Reid’s side in the dizzying heights of second place in the table but they only managed another three victories to slide out of European contention.



Sunderland’s form took a drastic slide in 2001-2002. They were the lowest scorers in the division, mustering just 29 goals in 38 matches. They were in ninth position after a 3-0 victory at Blackburn Rovers at Boxing Day which was their biggest win of the season but a 5-0 reverse only a few days later at Ipswich started a worrying run of form with just three victories in 19 games. Survival was only secured by a home 1-1 draw with Derby County on the last day of the season.



Sunderland’s 2002-2003 season was a nightmare. After winning just two of their first nine matches, Peter Reid parted company with the club after over six years at the helm. Howard Wilkinson was the shock choice as his successor and although there were notable home victories over Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool FC, the Black Cats looked in real trouble and were in the drop zone at Christmas.

A calamitous first half at home to Charlton Athletic which saw Sunderland concede three own goals in the space of eight minutes virtually spelt the end for Wilkinson. He was sacked in mid-March. Mick McCarthy was brought in but it was already too late. He lost every single game and Sunderland went down in abject fashion. They were relegated on 12th April after a 2-0 defeat away at Birmingham City and finished with just 19 points, losing 15 successive matches.



Mick McCarthy stayed on as Sunderland manager after their relegation and guided them back to the top-flight at the second attempt of asking but once again, his squad were simply not good enough for Premier League football. Sunderland lost their first five matches and recorded just three wins all campaign. McCarthy was sacked in early March and Kevin Ball took over on a caretaker basis until the end of the season. Sunderland’s third Premier League relegation was confirmed in mid-April after a gutsy goalless draw at Old Trafford but ended with only 15 points – the second lowest tally ever recorded in Premier League history.



Former title-winning Premier League skipper Roy Keane was at the helm for Sunderland’s Premier League return in 2007. He brought in 12 new faces in pre-season and it took time for everything to gel, despite a brilliant opening day victory over Tottenham Hotspur. Sunderland won just two of their first 16 games and also lost 7-1 away at Everton in November. Keane though stuck to his principles and a vital away victory at Villa Park in March started a three-game winning sequence that eventually saw them survive in 15th place with 39 points.



Sunderland began the 2008-2009 season in solid form, winning three of their first nine matches, including a memorable 2-1 Tyne & Wear Derby success over Newcastle United. Manager Roy Keane though resigned on 4th December, five days after a damaging 4-1 home defeat to Bolton Wanderers. Ricky Sbragia took over and after impressive early victories in his tenure (4-0) over West Bromwich Albion and (4-1) away at Hull City, Sunderland slipped into relegation trouble. Despite winning just one of their last 13 matches, the poor form of Hull and Newcastle meant Sunderland survived. Sbragia resigned at the season’s end and owner Niall Quinn began his pursuit of Wigan boss Steve Bruce.



Steve Bruce agreed to leave Wigan Athletic in June to take the Sunderland post and he helped break the club-record transfer fee in the summer to acquire the services of Darren Bent for £10 million from Tottenham Hotspur. Bent’s response was to score 24 goals in the Premier League and finish third in the race for the Golden Boot, only below Didier Drogba and Wayne Rooney. Sunderland ended the season in a mediocre 13th place in the table but did achieve home wins over Liverpool FC, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur during the campaign.



Apart from an embarrassing 5-1 clobbering from Newcastle United on Halloween, Sunderland enjoyed a brilliant first half of the 2010-2011 campaign. Darren Bent was still scoring goals, Asamoah Gyan settled quickly after his summer arrival and even the champions Chelsea were outclassed in a shock 3-0 defeat to the Black Cats in November.

After a 2-1 victory away at Blackpool in January, Sunderland sat in sixth position but Bent was sold to Aston Villa and a run of nine games without a win, losing eight of those matches took them onto the edges of the relegation battle. Late season wins away at Bolton Wanderers and West Ham United saw the club sneak a 10th place finish at the season’s conclusion.



Bruce spent £28 million in the summer transfer window but pre-season expectations of a European challenge quickly faded and after a 2-1 home defeat to bottom-placed Wigan Athletic at the end of November; he became the first managerial casualty of the season. Martin O’Neill quickly came in as his successor and won seven of his first 10 games in-charge to see Sunderland rise from 17th to 8th in the table. They eventually finished 13th after failing to win any of their last eight matches.



Martin O’Neill managed to get his long-time transfer target signed up in the summer as Steven Fletcher joined from relegated Wolverhampton Wanderers and he made a flying start, scoring five goals in his first four matches to win the Premier League Player of the Month award for September. Sunderland didn’t lose a top-flight match until a 3-0 loss at Manchester City in early October but never climbed higher than 11th in the table all season. After a 1-0 home defeat to Manchester United, O’Neill was surprisingly sacked despite an eight-game winless run. The temperamental Paolo Di Canio was his successor and two wins over Everton and famously, Newcastle United at St James’ Park saw Sunderland finish three points clear of the relegation zone.



With reports of dressing room mutiny and just one point from five games, Paolo Di Canio was dismissed by owner Ellis Short in late September. His successor was the likeable Gus Poyet and he helped Sunderland to another great escape. When the Black Cats won 3-0 at St James’ Park in early February for the second consecutive campaign, they rose to 14th place despite being bottom of the table on Christmas Day. However, they gathered just one point from their next eight games and relegation looked a certainty after a 5-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur.

The lost cause though turned into a fabulous run of form. A draw at Manchester City was followed by crucial home wins over Cardiff City and West Bromwich Albion and even more surprising, victories at Stamford Bridge and Old Trafford. Sunderland ended the campaign clear of trouble in 14th place. They also enjoyed a run to the League Cup final before losing 3-1 to Manchester City.



It looked like another long season for Sunderland supporters when they failed to win any of their first six matches, despite drawing five of these. A humiliating 8-0 loss to Southampton had the alarm bells ringing and despite another famous victory at St James’ Park before Christmas, Sunderland were fighting again against the threat of relegation. After a dreadful 4-0 home defeat to Aston Villa in mid-March, Gus Poyet was sacked.

Dick Advocaat was his replacement and once again, the late managerial change worked. Jermain Defoe returned to the Premier League after his spell in the MLS and scored a memorable goal in a home Derby victory over Newcastle and survival was secured by a goalless draw at Arsenal in the final week of the season. Advocaat was reduced to tears at the final whistle and confirmed shortly afterwards he would be stepping down. However, he had a change of heart later in the summer and remained in the post as first-team manager.



The Dick Advocaat magic faded away relatively quickly and once again, Sunderland were looking for a new boss when the Dutchman resigned in early October without a win to their name. Sam Allardyce was the next man in the hotseat but the initial bounce of victories over Newcastle United and Crystal Palace gave way to a dreadful December. Sunderland failed to collect a single point from five December matches and went into 2016 seven points adrift of safety.

Sunderland’s situation looked bleak after losing 2-0 at home to champions-elect Leicester City on 10th April but that was their final loss of the season. A crucial 3-0 away victory at Norwich City saw them regain destiny of their fate in the relegation battle and back-to-back home victories in May over Chelsea and Everton guided Sunderland to safety once again.



After England’s exit from the European Championships in the summer at the hands of Iceland, Roy Hodgson resigned and eventually, Sam Allardyce was tempted away from Sunderland to take control of the England national team. His successor was David Moyes but he looked flat and so did the team from the early stages of the campaign.

There were few high spots. Defoe continued to score goals and there was an enjoyable 4-0 away victory over Crystal Palace in early February over Allardyce, who was now Palace manager after his England experience turned sour. They were in the bottom three virtually all campaign and their 10-year spell in the top-flight ended in late April with a 1-0 home defeat to AFC Bournemouth. Sunderland finished bottom of the table and Moyes quit at the season’s end.

Shock Results: Middlesbrough 0-2 Sunderland (September 2005)

Goalscorers: Tommy Miller 2, Julio Arca 60


Middlesbrough: Brad Jones, Ugo Ehiogu (Massimo Maccarone 37), Gareth Southgate, Emanuel Pogatetz, Abel Xavier, Franck Queudrue, George Boateng, James Morrison (Ray Parlour 64), Fabio Rochemback, Mark Viduka, Yakubu (Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink 64)

Sunderland: Kelvin Davis, Gary Breen, Steven Caldwell, Justin Hoyte, Nyron Nosworthy, Julio Arca, Tommy Miller, Dean Whitehead (Liam Lawrence 90), Stephen Elliott (Anthony Le Tallec 84), Christian Bassila, Andy Gray

Referee: Howard Webb, Attendance: 29,583

Sunderland arrived at The Riverside Stadium in September 2005 already looking like a side in big trouble. Having won the Championship title the previous season, Mick McCarthy’s side had registered just a solitary point to their name from their opening six games back in the top-flight. They needed a lift-off against a Boro side that had sent Arsenal packing in their last match on home soil.

The visitors made the dream start after only 90 seconds. Goalkeeper Kelvin Davis played a long goal-kick up the park which unsettled the usually trustworthy Middlesbrough centre-back pairing of Ugo Ehiogu and Gareth Southgate. Southgate’s attempt to intercept a flick-on by Andy Gray only fell into the path of Tommy Miller who had made a run into the penalty area. His gamble was rewarded and Miller shot past Brad Jones to put the Wearsiders into an early lead.

Middlesbrough made an instant response and Davis had to be in fine form to deny James Morrison from a counter-attack, before bailing out Christian Bassila after he miskicked badly and Yakubu was denied by the goalkeeper’s legs. The Sunderland centre-backs of Gary Breen and Stephen Caldwell were having one of those days where they were blocking shots and making crucial interceptions at the vital moment.

Boro continued to do the pressing after the break and should have equalised when the Black Cats were down to nine men briefly whilst Nyron Nosworthy and Bassila were both being treated off-the-pitch following a clash of heads. However, Mark Viduka fired a shot wide of the post when the experienced Australian really should have scored. Moments later, Sunderland had the critical second goal but it did come through some form of controversy.

An offside was given against Gray but referee Howard Webb elected to overrule the decision and awarded McCarthy’s side a free-kick for a foul earlier on in the build-up on Miller. Middlesbrough players were unimpressed but Webb stuck to his decision and although there might have been some doubt to whether the correct decision had been made, there was no doubt on the taking of the free-kick. Julio Arca placed it to perfection over the wall and into the net with Jones left stranded.

Middlesbrough ran out of ideas and despite throwing on Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, Sunderland withstood the long-ball approach to record their first Premier League victory since defeating Liverpool FC in December 2002 – 22 top-flight games ago.

It was a rare highlight for McCarthy and for the team. They claimed just two further victories and were relegated with just 15 points, currently the second worst total in Premier League history. Middlesbrough did beat Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea at home but inconsistency like this performance against Sunderland was a reason why they only finished 14th in the final standings.

Premier League Rewind: 5th-6th November 2016

Results: AFC Bournemouth 1-2 Sunderland, Burnley 3-2 Crystal Palace, Manchester City 1-1 Middlesbrough, West Ham United 1-1 Stoke City, Chelsea 5-0 Everton, Arsenal 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool FC 6-1 Watford, Hull City 2-1 Southampton, Swansea City 1-3 Manchester United, Leicester City 1-2 West Bromwich Albion

At the start of November 2016, the top five in the table were covered by just three points. Title favourites Manchester City led the standings but had Arsenal, Liverpool FC, a revitalised Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur right on their coattails. By the end of this particular weekend, we had new leaders again and another special Premier League goalscoring milestone had been reached.

Manchester City had wobbled recently at The Etihad Stadium, having dropped points at home to Southampton and Everton and that trend continued against Middlesbrough. Just days after sweeping aside Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League group stages, it looked like the home side were on their way to a routine victory when Sergio Aguero scored two minutes before half-time. However, despite having 25 shots on-goal, they were wasteful and were punished in the first minute of stoppage-time. George Friend’s cross was met by midfielder Marten de Roon, whose header was too powerful to be stopped by Claudio Bravo, earning Boro a fourth away draw of the season. It was now just one win in five Premier League matches for Pep Guardiola.

Chelsea had the opportunity to go top following this result at Eastlands and Eden Hazard put in an exemplary performance as Everton were crushed 5-0 at Stamford Bridge. The Belgian was in masterful form, scoring twice, whilst Pedro ably assisted with a goal of his own and two assists too. Since a half-time change of formation in defeat at Arsenal at the end of September, Chelsea hadn’t conceded a goal and had now chalked up five successive victories.

On the Sunday, Arsenal had the opportunity to take over at the summit of the table as they hosted local rivals Tottenham in the latest edition of the hotly-contested North London Derby rivalry. It seemed like they were going to inflict a first defeat of the season on Mauricio Pochettino’s side when Kevin Wimmer headed the ball into his own net from a Mesut Ozil free-kick. However, Tottenham were given a penalty by Mark Clattenburg when Mousa Dembele was tripped in the penalty area by Laurent Koscielny. On his return to the starting XI following six weeks out with injury, Harry Kane made an immediate impact on his return, converting the spot-kick as Spurs extended their unbeaten run. However, they had now drawn four successive matches since beating Manchester City a month earlier.

Ultimately, it was Liverpool FC who would end the weekend as new league leaders. Jurgen Klopp’s side produced a sparkling display against a Watford side that caved in spectacularly at Anfield. Sadio Mane scored twice and Georginio Wijnaldum struck his first Reds goal as the Hornets lost 6-1 at Anfield. Liverpool were top scorers in the division with 30 goals in just 11 matches.

There was a piece of goalscoring history at The Liberty Stadium. Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored the 25,000th goal in Premier League history as Manchester United strolled to a 3-1 win at Swansea and moved back into the top six. It was only their second win in eight matches and left the Swans second-bottom and only above Sunderland on goal difference. There was finally some joy for the Black Cats supporters, as they came from behind to defeat AFC Bournemouth 2-1 and record their first victory of the season at the 11th attempt of asking.

The cracks were beginning to show at Leicester City. The reigning champions were performing dreadfully on their travels but at home, they were still unbeaten until West Bromwich Albion outfought and outplayed them. Matt Phillips scored the winning goal as the Baggies made the short trip back across the Midlands with all three points following a 2-1 win and left Claudio Ranieri’s side just two points above the relegation zone.

What else happened in November 2016?

  • Republican candidate Donald Trump defeats Hilary Clinton to become the 45th President of the United States.
  • Former Cuban President Fidel Castro, who spent 32 years in office, dies aged 90.
  • 71 people are killed in Colombia on-board LaMia Flight 2933 which include many of the Brazilian Chapecoense football team.
  • Thomas Mair is found guilty of murdering Labour MP Jo Cox in West Yorkshire and is sentenced to life imprisonment at The Old Bailey.
  • UKIP has a new leader as Paul Nuttall is elected.
  • BBC Television celebrates its 80th anniversary.
  • Britain’s Andy Murray becomes ATP Men’s Singles World no.1, becoming the first British player to reach no.1 in the tennis rankings in the modern era.

Seasonal Stories: Sunderland (1999-2000)

Storming to seventh

Sunderland returned to the elite of English football in 1999 after two seasons in Division One. The Black Cats had coasted to the title in the previous campaign and had learned their lessons from their painful relegation on the final day in 1997.

Peter Reid’s side played some thrilling football all campaign and finished in a fine seventh position, just outside of the European qualifying positions. They also had the top scorer of the Premier League season in their ranks with Kevin Phillips scoring 30 goals in his debut top-flight campaign.

Adding experience

Manager Peter Reid largely kept trust with the squad that had brought Premier League football back to Sunderland for the 1999-2000 season. Just £5.5 million was spent in the summer transfer window but some useful experience was added, especially to the defence.

The main arrival was that of Steve Bould. The central defender, a serial winner of FA Cups and league championships during his time at Arsenal, was signed in early July for £500,000 and was appointed as the new captain of the side upon his arrival. He was joined by 1996 European Championship winner Thomas Helmer from Bayern Munich on a free transfer. However, he made just two appearances all season for Reid.

The most expensive arrival was midfielder Stefan Schwarz. The Swede was a £4 million capture from Valencia and had Premier League experience on his CV too from a one-season spell with Arsenal in 1994-1995.

Rude awakening

Sunderland made a disastrous start on the opening day at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea. It wasn’t going to be an easy beginning but they lost 4-0 with future Sunderland manager Gus Poyet scoring an early contender for Goal of the Season.

Their first victory came three days later in their first-ever Premier League match at The Stadium of Light. Kevin Phillips scored twice to beat his former club and fellow Premier League promoted side Watford 2-0.

Sunderland’s season received proper lift-on towards the end of August when they travelled to St James’ Park for a local derby with Newcastle United. It was a filthy evening weather-wise but a joyous one for the visiting fans. Niall Quinn and Phillips scored second half goals as the Black Cats recovered from a goal down at the interval to win 2-1. The result sealed Ruud Gullit’s fate and ended his reign as Newcastle manager.

The win on Tyneside began an 11-match unbeaten run in the top-flight with one of the highlights coming at Pride Park where they ran riot at Derby County. Phillips scored his first Premier League treble in a 5-0 victory which still remains Sunderland’s biggest-ever Premier League victory. When his two goals downed Aston Villa 2-1 a month later, the Black Cats were sitting in impressive company in the table.


1 Leeds United 11 8 1 2 21 12 +9 25
2 Manchester United 11 7 3 1 27 16 +11 24
3 SUNDERLAND 11 7 2 2 20 9 +11 23
4 Arsenal 11 7 1 3 17 10 +7 22
5 Leicester City 11 6 2 3 19 14 +5 20
6 Chelsea 9 6 1 2 15 4 +11 19

Dishing out revenge on Chelsea

Sunderland’s unbeaten run came to an end on 20th November when they were beaten 2-0 at home by Liverpool FC. It was their first home defeat of the campaign. However, they bounced back again with another run of three successive victories. The second of those wins was probably the sweetest of the season on home soil.

Chelsea turned up at The Stadium of Light on a difficult run of form domestically that saw them down in the upper reaches of mid-table. Nevertheless, no-one could have forecasted the amazing first half performance Sunderland put in. The Phillips/Quinn axis was working a treat and both scored a brace. Sunderland supporters were dreaming at half-time and they richly deserved their 4-0 lead. They eventually won 4-1 and dished out the perfect revenge on the Blues for their opening day drubbing.

Before Christmas, Phillips had already scored 19 Premier League goals and he was leading the race for the Golden Boot. Sunderland went into Christmas still in third spot in the table and only below Leeds United and Manchester United.

Boxing Day was a horror story at Everton, folding to a 5-0 defeat in what was the club’s worst defeat of the season. This result started an 11-game sequence that ultimately saw any European hopes dashed.

Only five points were collected in this period but there were spirted draws at home to both Manchester United and Newcastle United. A 5-2 loss to Leicester City in early March forced Reid into some tactical adjustment for the run-in with the club having dropped into ninth position in the table.

Kev reaches the 30-goal mark

Despite the winless run, Phillips had still scored another six goals and it became clear that he wasn’t going to be caught by anyone in the Golden Boot battle. Only England captain Alan Shearer from Newcastle United was putting up any sort of challenge but Phillips finished well-clear.

In Sunderland’s final home game of the season, he scored the only goal of the game against West Ham United and it saw him reach a personal milestone. He became a member of the 30-goal club in a Premier League season, only becoming the third player to achieve this mark after Shearer and Andy Cole. Since then, only Thierry Henry, Cristiano Ronaldo, Didier Drogba, Mohamed Salah, Harry Kane, Luis Suarez and Robin van Persie have achieved a similar total in any Premier League season meaning Phillips is in very elite company.

A final day 3-1 loss at White Hart Lane to Tottenham Hotspur meant Sunderland missed out on overhauling Aston Villa in the league table in the final reckoning. Nevertheless, a seventh place final position had most definitely exceeded expectations from the start of the season.

Going down in 1997 had hurt everyone connected with Sunderland Football Club but they had learned lessons from that experience which made them better and more knowledgeable for the experience. The 1999-2000 season had been an enjoyable campaign for the club and most especially, for Kevin Phillips who won England international recognition for his goalscoring heroics in this campaign.

FINAL 1999-2000 TABLE – 6th to 11th

6 Aston Villa 38 15 13 10 46 35 +11 58
7 SUNDERLAND 38 16 10 12 57 56 +1 58
8 Leicester City 38 16 7 15 55 55 0 55
9 West Ham United 38 15 10 13 52 53 -1 55
10 Tottenham Hotspur 38 15 8 15 57 48 +8 53
11 Newcastle United 38 14 10 14 63 54 +9 52

Great Goals: Jermain Defoe – SUNDERLAND vs. Newcastle United (April 2015)

After a spell playing for Toronto FC in the MLS, Jermain Defoe returned to the Premier League in January 2015, signing for Sunderland. He scored this memorable goal in his first Tyne & Wear Derby against Newcastle United.

On a weekend of great goals in the Premier League which had already seen world-class strikes from Charlie Adam and Bobby Zamora, Defoe’s effort ranked right up with these two goals. There seemed nothing on from the long punt up the pitch by goalkeeper Vito Mannone. Steven Fletcher won his aerial battle against Mike Williamson and his header fell into Defoe’s reach. He produced a clean connection on the volley and the ball flew into the top corner of the net.

It was the only goal of the contest as Sunderland continued their winning streak over their bitterest rivals, which means this effort was even sweeter for the Black Cats supporters.

Premier League Files: Steven Fletcher

Premier League Career: Burnley (2009-2010), Wolverhampton Wanderers (2010-2012), Sunderland (2012-2016)

Steven Fletcher has often been a standout player in teams that have often struggled in the Premier League. The Scotsman has finished as top scorer for his clubs in relegation campaigns with both Burnley and Wolverhampton Wanderers. However, his most impressive spell was arguably his four-year stint at Sunderland which came to an end at the start of 2016. Fletcher now plays in the SkyBet EFL Championship for Sheffield Wednesday.

Born in Shrewsbury, Fletcher spent much of his early childhood living in army bases in both Germany and England. His father was a soldier but died in 1997 after a battle with cancer. It was decided that he should relocate to Scotland with his Scottish mother and he was spotted by John Park, who was a youth coach at Hibernian. He joined the club’s youth network at the age of 13.

Fletcher made his club debut with the Edinburgh side in April 2004, coming on as a substitute in a 3-0 win over Kilmarnock. He scored 43 goals in 156 Scottish Premier League games for Hibs, netting his first professional hat-trick in a win over Gretna during the 2007-2008 campaign. He also won Young Player of the Year honours during his time at Easter Road two years in a row.

In January 2009, Hibs blocked a January move to Celtic which left the striker unamused. He argued: “For the development of my career, it is time to move to a bigger club.” In June 2009, he did leave the club – not for Celtic but for Premier League new boys Burnley in a club-record fee of £3 million. He had to wait until October for his first goal in England’s top-flight which came in a 2-1 victory at home to Birmingham City. He was voted Burnley’s Players’ Player of the Season and ended as the club’s top goalscorer, netting eight times. However, the Clarets’ lack of quality was evident after Owen Coyle vacated the managerial post for Bolton Wanderers and they were relegated from the Premier League in April 2010.

Soon after Burnley’s demise back to the Championship, Steven was transferred to Wolverhampton Wanderers, who forked out £6.5 million for his services. He made a dream start, scoring on his home debut on the opening weekend of the season as Wolves edged out Stoke City 2-1. Near the end of his first full season, he made himself a real fan favourite with the club after scoring twice in a priceless Black Country Derby triumph over West Bromwich Albion. They were vital goals as Wolves just about avoided relegation on a dramatic final day.

Personally, he improved even further in 2011-2012, scoring 12 goals but the club struggled once again and failed to win another league game after Mick McCarthy’s sacking in mid-February. With Wolves going down, Fletcher was a prized asset who had to be sold to reduce the wage bill and Martin O’Neill was very interested in bringing him to Sunderland.

Wolves drove a hard bargain and it took a transfer request from the player to eventually force the move through. It cost Sunderland £12 million but it looked money well-spent when he scored in his first four matches for the club, winning the Premier League Player of the Month award for September 2012 for his flying start in a Black Cats jersey.

He was handed the no.9 shirt for the 2013-2014 season and after an injury ruled him out of the previous season’s run-in, he returned instantly with a goal away at Crystal Palace, although it came in a losing cause. Fletcher had a knack for popping up with crucial goals throughout his career against local rivals. He did it for Sunderland against Newcastle United, scoring in home victories over the Magpies in October 2013 and 2015.

By now, injuries were restricting his goalscoring threat, as was the form of Jermain Defoe which was often keeping Fletcher out of the team. His goalscoring exploits were now being saved for international representation with Scotland. In 2015, he became the first player since Colin Stein against Cyprus in 1969 to score a hat-trick for The Tartan Army, seven years after making his international bow against Croatia.

After scoring 23 goals in 108 matches for Sunderland, he finished the 2015-2016 season with a loan spell in France with Marseille, scoring twice in matches against Toulouse and Troyes. He did start the 2016 Coupe de France final which ended for Marseille in a 4-2 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain.

Sunderland released the Scotsman on his return to these shores and he joined Sheffield Wednesday on a four-year deal in July 2016, still remaining with the Owls today. The closest he has come to playing Premier League football again was the Championship play-offs of 2017 where Wednesday lost their semi-final to eventual winners Huddersfield Town on penalties.

Great Goals: Fraizer Campbell – SUNDERLAND vs. Norwich City (January 2012)

On the face of it, Sunderland’s 3-0 victory over Norwich City in January 2012 looks like a routine scoreline but it produced one of the best goals of the entire campaign from Fraizer Campbell.

Just less than 20 minutes had been played when the forward who had struggled with injuries over the past 18 months reminded everyone of the qualities he’d first displayed in the youth ranks at Manchester United.

Campbell received the ball after James McClean had been stopped in trying to shoot himself. He controlled the ball superbly, allowing the ball to sit up before providing a delicious, looping volley on his second touch into the top corner of the net beyond John Ruddy.

It a moment richly deserved for a player who has been very unfortunate to not quite fulfil the talent that was clearly evident at such a young age.

Seasonal Records: 2013-2014

For all the statistical fans out there, here are some of the season’s records from the 2013-2014 Premier League campaign. The title remained in Manchester again but it was City’s turn to finish as kings of the top-flight, pipping a stern challenge from Liverpool FC on the final day of the season.


Position Team P W D L F A GD PTS
1 Manchester City 38 27 5 6 102 37 +65 86
2 Liverpool FC 38 26 6 6 101 50 +51 84
3 Chelsea 38 25 7 6 71 27 +44 82
4 Arsenal 38 24 7 7 68 41 +27 79
5 Everton 38 21 9 8 61 39 +22 72
6 Tottenham Hotspur 38 21 6 11 55 51 +4 69
7 Manchester United 38 19 7 12 64 43 +21 64
8 Southampton 38 15 11 12 54 46 +8 56
9 Stoke City 38 13 11 14 45 52 -7 50
10 Newcastle United 38 15 4 19 43 59 -16 49
11 Crystal Palace 38 13 6 19 33 48 -15 45
12 Swansea City 38 11 9 18 54 54 0 42
13 West Ham United 38 11 7 20 40 51 -11 40
14 Sunderland 38 10 8 20 41 60 -19 38
15 Aston Villa 38 10 8 20 39 61 -22 38
16 Hull City 38 10 7 21 38 53 -15 37
17 West Bromwich Albion 38 7 15 16 43 59 -16 36
18 Norwich City 38 8 9 21 28 62 -34 33
19 Fulham 38 9 5 24 40 85 -45 32
20 Cardiff City 38 7 9 22 32 74 -42 30



Goals Scored 1052
European qualifiers Manchester City (UEFA Champions League)

Liverpool FC (UEFA Champions League)

Chelsea (UEFA Champions League)

Arsenal (UEFA Champions League)

Everton (UEFA Europa League)

Tottenham Hotspur (UEFA Europa League)

Hull City (UEFA Europa League)

Longest winning run 11 games (Liverpool FC)
Longest unbeaten run 16 games (Liverpool FC)
Longest winless run 9 games (Sunderland, West Bromwich Albion & Fulham)
Longest losing run 7 games (Crystal Palace)
Highest attendance 75,368 (Manchester United vs. Aston Villa)
Lowest attendance 19,242 (Swansea City vs. Stoke City)



PFA Players’ Player of the Year Luis Suarez (Liverpool FC)
PFA Young Player of the Year Eden Hazard (Chelsea)
Football Writers’ Award Luis Suarez (Liverpool FC)
PFA Team of the Year Petr Cech, Gary Cahill, Vincent Kompany, Seamus Coleman, Luke Shaw, Steven Gerrard, Yaya Toure, Adam Lallana, Eden Hazard, Daniel Sturridge, Luis Suarez
Manager of the Year Tony Pulis (Crystal Palace)
Premier League Goal of the Season Jack Wilshere (ARSENAL vs. Norwich City)



Player Teams Score Date
Luis Suarez Liverpool FC vs. West Bromwich Albion 4-1 26th October 2013
Luis Suarez (4) Liverpool FC vs. Norwich City 5-1 4th December 2013
Adam Johnson Fulham vs. Sunderland 1-4 11th January 2014
Samuel Eto’o Chelsea vs. Manchester United 3-1 19th January 2014
Eden Hazard Chelsea vs. Newcastle United 3-0 8th February 2014
Andre Schurrle Fulham vs. Chelsea 1-3 1st March 2014
Yaya Toure Manchester City vs. Fulham 5-0 22nd March 2014
Luis Suarez Cardiff City vs. Liverpool FC 3-6 22nd March 2014



Position Player Teams No of Goals
1 Luis Suarez Liverpool FC 31
2 Daniel Sturridge Liverpool FC 22
3 Yaya Toure Manchester City 20
4= Sergio Aguero Manchester City 17
4= Wayne Rooney Manchester United 17
4= Wilfried Bony Swansea City 17
7= Edin Dzeko Manchester City 16
7= Olivier Giroud Arsenal 16
9= Romelu Lukaku Everton 15
9= Jay Rodriguez Southampton 15
11= Eden Hazard Chelsea 14
11= Loic Remy Newcastle United 14
13= Steven Gerrard Liverpool FC 13
13= Rickie Lambert Southampton 13
15 Robin van Persie Arsenal 12
16 Emmanuel Adebayor Tottenham Hotspur 11
17= Aaron Ramsey Arsenal 10
17= Christian Benteke Aston Villa 10
19= Alvaro Negredo Manchester City 9
19= Raheem Sterling Liverpool FC 9
19= Samuel Eto’o Chelsea 9
19= Danny Welbeck Manchester United 9
19= Adam Lallana Southampton 9
24= Oscar Chelsea 8
24= Lukas Podolski Arsenal 8



Manchester City 7-0 Norwich City 2nd November 2013
Manchester City 6-0 Tottenham Hotspur 24th November 2013
Chelsea 6-0 Arsenal 22nd March 2014
Hull City 6-0 Fulham 28th December 2013
Manchester City 5-0 Fulham 22nd March 2014
Tottenham Hotspur 0-5 Liverpool FC 15th December 2013
Tottenham Hotspur 1-5 Manchester City 29th January 2014
Liverpool FC 5-1 Norwich City 4th December 2013
Liverpool FC 5-1 Arsenal 8th February 2014
Tottenham Hotspur 5-1 Sunderland 7th April 2014



No of Goals Teams Date
9 Manchester City 6-3 Arsenal 14th December 2013
9 Cardiff City 3-6 Arsenal 22nd March 2014
8 Stoke City 3-5 Liverpool FC 12th January 2014
7 Manchester City 7-0 Norwich City 2nd November 2013
7 Liverpool FC 4-3 Swansea City 23rd February 2014
7 Sunderland 3-4 Chelsea 4th December 2013
7 Aston Villa 4-3 West Bromwich Albion 29th January 2014
6 Manchester City 6-0 Tottenham Hotspur 24th November 2013
6 Chelsea 6-0 Arsenal 22nd March 2014
6 Hull City 6-0 Fulham 28th December 2013
6 Tottenham Hotspur 1-5 Manchester City 29th January 2014
6 Liverpool FC 5-1 Norwich City 4th December 2013
6 Liverpool FC 5-1 Arsenal 8th February 2014
6 Tottenham Hotspur 5-1 Sunderland 7th April 2014
6 Newcastle United 5-1 Stoke City 26th December 2013
6 Fulham 2-4 Manchester City 21st December 2013
6 Manchester City 4-2 Cardiff City 18th January 2014
6 Southampton 4-2 Norwich City 15th March 2014
6 Everton 3-3 Liverpool FC 23rd November 2013
6 Crystal Palace 3-3 Liverpool FC 5th May 2014



Player Teams Age at the time Date
Adam Armstrong Fulham 1-0 Newcastle United 17 years, 1 month, 5 days 15th March 2014
Patrick Roberts Manchester City 5-0 Fulham 17 years, 1 month, 17 days 22nd March 2014
Moussa Dembele West Ham United 3-0 Fulham 17 years, 4 months, 18 days 30th November 2013
Chuba Akpom Sunderland 1-3 Arsenal 17 years, 11 months, 5 days 14th September 2013
Tom James Cardiff City 1-2 Chelsea 18 years, 26 days 11th May 2014
Luke Shaw West Bromwich Albion 0-1 Southampton 18 years, 1 month, 5 days 17th August 2013
Declan John West Ham United 2-0 Cardiff City 18 years, 1 month, 18 days 17th August 2013
Jordon Ibe Liverpool FC 5-1 Arsenal 18 years, 2 months 8th February 2014
Serge Gnabry Arsenal 3-1 Stoke City 18 years, 2 months, 8 days 22nd September 2013
Sam Gallagher Newcastle United 1-1 Southampton 18 years, 2 months, 29 days 14th December 2013



Player Teams Age at the time Date
Brad Friedel Tottenham Hotspur 0-1 Newcastle United 42 years, 5 months, 23 days 10th November 2013
Mark Schwarzer Cardiff City 1-2 Chelsea 41 years, 7 months, 5 days 11th May 2014
Ryan Giggs Manchester United 3-1 Hull City 40 years, 5 months, 7 days 6th May 2014
Kevin Phillips Crystal Palace 1-4 Fulham 40 years, 2 months, 26 days 21st October 2013
Steve Harper Aston Villa 3-1 Hull City 39 years, 1 month, 19 days 3rd May 2014
Jussi Jaaskelainen Fulham 2-1 West Ham United 38 years, 8 months, 13 days 1st January 2014
Thomas Sorensen West Bromwich Albion 1-2 Stoke City 37 years, 10 months, 29 days 11th May 2014
Kelvin Davis Southampton 0-3 Chelsea 37 years, 3 months, 3 days 1st January 2014
Georgios Karagounis Tottenham Hotspur 3-1 Fulham 37 years, 1 month, 13 days 19th April 2014
Sylvain Distin Hull City 0-2 Everton 36 years, 4 months, 25 days 11th May 2014



Position Player Teams No of Clean Sheets
1= Petr Cech Chelsea 16
1= Wojciech Szczesny Arsenal 16
3 Tim Howard Everton 15
4= Hugo Lloris Tottenham Hotspur 14
4= Artur Boruc Southampton 14
6 Joe Hart Manchester City 13
7= David de Gea Manchester United 12
7= Julian Speroni Crystal Palace 12
7= John Ruddy Norwich City 12
10 Vito Mannone Sunderland 11

Memorable Matches: Everton 6-2 Sunderland (November 2015)

Goalscorers: Gerard Deulofeu 19, Arouna Kone 31, 62, 76, Jermain Defoe 45, Steven Fletcher 50, Sebastian Coates 55 OG, Romelu Lukaku 60


Everton: Tim Howard, Seamus Coleman, Ramiro Funes Mori, Bryan Oviedo (Brendan Galloway 25), John Stones, Gareth Barry, James McCarthy, Ross Barkley, Gerard Deulofeu (Kevin Mirallas 65), Arouna Kone, Romelu Lukaku (Leon Osman 78)

Sunderland: Costel Pantilimon, Wes Brown, Sebastian Coates, Billy Jones, Patrick van Aanholt, DeAndre Yedlin (Sebastian Larsson 64), Lee Cattermole (Jack Rodwell 38), Yann M’Vila, Adam Johnson, Jermain Defoe, Steven Fletcher (Duncan Watmore 75)

Referee: Andre Marriner, Attendance: 36,617

Everton came into this match against Sunderland needing to find some consistency in the Premier League. Roberto Martinez’s side were one of the best counter-attacking teams in the division but were struggling to put teams away. Sunderland were coming off the back of a morale-boosting Tyne & Wear Derby victory seven days earlier. This was Everton’s first home match since the funeral of their most successful manager, Howard Kendall and in his memory, both teams put in a magical match.

It was Sunderland who made the brighter start and on his recall to the side, Patrick van Aanholt was desperately unlucky after just three minutes, striking the post. The visitors continued to do the early pressing with Tim Howard making quick saves to deny Jermain Defoe and Steven Fletcher, whilst the woodwork saved the home side from going behind for a second time. On 19 minutes, the Toffees were infront. Gerard Deulofeu scored his first goal since returning to the club from Barcelona. Arouna Kone’s excellent pass found him in space and he calmly slotted the ball into the net.

Kone doubled the lead with his third goal of the season just past the half-hour. Exchanging passes with strike partner Romelu Lukaku, Kone’s left-footed drive found the roof of the net. Right on the stroke of half-time though, Sunderland got back into the game. Sebastian Coates’ long-ball found Defoe who was braver to win the challenge against John Stones. He showed great composure to avoid Ramiro Funes Mori’s sliding tackle and via a deflection off Stones, his shot beat Howard.

Sunderland deservedly levelled the scores five minutes into the second half. Van Aanholt’s right-footed cross was inch-perfect and Fletcher wanted it more than Funes Mori, planting his header into the bottom corner of the net. There always looked like more goals would come and Everton regained their lead on 55 minutes. Deulofeu’s teasing ball into the box was diverted into his own net by Uruguayan defender Coates, who was attempting to stop Lukaku from reaching the cross.

Deulofeu was having a brilliant game, despite being booked for a daft dive. His superb pass on the hour mark found Lukaku who sped past Wes Brown and the Belgian rounded Costel Pantilimon to register his fourth goal in his last five matches.

Sunderland’s ambition had now caught up with them. James McCarthy’s devastating reverse pass found Kone and the striker found the net for his second of the afternoon. Everton had now scored three goals in the space of seven second half minutes. There was still time for Kone to complete his hat-trick. Lukaku’s brilliant ball into the six-yard box found the head of Kone who scored his first treble for Everton and became one of the more unlikely hat-trick heroes in Premier League history. He deserved it for an all-round action performance.

Sunderland did gain revenge later in the season with a 3-0 victory over the Toffees in May which ensured their Premier League safety and condemned Roberto Martinez to the sack. This though was Everton and Arouna Kone’s day on a goal-filled afternoon.

Iconic Moments: Sunderland’s own goal treble (February 2003)

In February 2003, Sunderland looked to be in serious relegation trouble. The Black Cats were in the bottom three and hadn’t won since surprising Liverpool FC two months earlier. However, the home faithful still believed they could record three points against Charlton Athletic. No side had recorded more away wins in the 2002-2003 season at this stage than Charlton. They had every reason to be confident of chalking up another three points on Wearside. However, they were about to get a huge helping hand from their opponents.

There were four goals scored in the match and all of them were scored by Sunderland. Unfortunately, three of them were for Charlton! A horrific eight-minute spell saw the Addicks into a 3-0 lead without them needing to score themselves past Sunderland goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen.

Charlton took the lead after 24 minutes. Mark Fish’s weak effort took two deflections on its way into Sorensen’s net. The right heel of defender Stephen Wright got the final touch. One own goal in a match can be considered as unfortunate. Two own goals look rather silly. Five minutes later, Chris Powell’s shot was stopped by Sorensen but came off Michael Proctor and trickled into the net. Worse was to come.

Sunderland’s horrific treble was completed by Proctor again. From another Charlton corner, a flick-on at the near post came off Proctor’s back who had turned his back away from the ball. It spun into the net to complete a hat-trick of own goals.

Some of the crowd already started to leave before half-time. Howard Wilkinson’s side did score one at the right end but lost 3-1. They wouldn’t win again all season and with misfortune like this, it wasn’t a surprise that Sunderland were relegated, having recorded just 19 points.