Premier League: Black Cats escape the drop zone

Julian Harris
Follow Julian

SUNDERLAND manager Gus Poyet believes his side has a chance of pulling off a Premier League survival “miracle” after the Black Cats leaped off the bottom of the table and out of the relegation zone with a comprehensive trouncing of Cardiff City.

The north-eastern club were propping up the division until yesterday, when a brace from Connor Wickham combined with goals from Italians Fabio Borini and Emanuele Giaccherini to consign Cardiff to bottom spot.

“Now if we want to be in a great situation, we have put ourselves in the best position possible in football because it didn't look good [a few weeks’ ago],” Poyet said.

"I talked about miracles – let's see if in two weeks' time I am here telling you that miracles happen.”

A fortnight ago Sunderland were seven points adrift of safety, facing the daunting task of consecutive trips to Manchester City and Chelsea. But Poyet’s men drew to City and beat Chelsea, before returning to the Stadium of Light with yesterday’s victory.

Wickham opened the scoring mid-way through the first half, heading a loose ball high into the net from a corner.

Just before the break the lead was doubled when Wickham was pulled back by Juan Cala in the penalty area. Referee Phil Dowd played advantage but then gave a penalty when Wickham could not capitalise on the chance. Borini side-footed home from 12 yards.

With 15 minutes to go Borini turned provider, a slide-rule pass finding second-half substitute Giaccherini who slotted home.

And as the clock ticked down Cardiff’s misery was compounded by Wickham, who again headed in straight from a corner.