Sunderland come from behind to stun Chelsea, get out of relegation zone

  • AFP, London
  • Updated: May 07, 2016 23:32 IST
Sunderland players celebrate at the end of the match. (REUTERS)

Sunderland climbed out of the Premier League relegation zone by coming from behind to beat Chelsea 3-2 on Saturday as Leicester City got ready to celebrate their stunning title success.

The Black Cats were 2-1 down at home to Chelsea, last season’s champions, before two goals in three second-half minutes from Fabio Borini and Jermain Defoe dramatically turned the match their way.

Sunderland fell behind in the 14th minute through striker Diego Costa. But they were level four minutes before the break when Tunisia’s Wahbi Khazri struck a brilliant 20-yard volley.

However, there was still time for Chelsea to regain the lead before half-time through Nemanja Matic.

Borini then turned in Patrick van Aanholt’s cut-back in the 67th minute and Defoe made it 3-2 when he seized on a cross into the box.

Chelsea’s defeat was made worse when skipper John Terry was sent off late on.

Victory saw Sunderland go a point in front of Newcastle, who have played one game more than their north-east rivals and could only manage a goalless draw with already-relegated Aston Villa on Saturday.

If Sunderland win at home to Everton on Wednesday, they will stay up and relegate both Newcastle and Norwich City in the process.

“Our destiny is in our hands and a win against Everton will secure our Premier League future,” Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce told Sky Sports. “It will be difficult but we have an opportunity to achieve it, let’s hope we can.

“Since the turn of the year we’ve been so near yet so far from so many victories, but today, for a change, we’ve come from being behind twice and come back to win the game and it shows the character of the players.”

Second-bottom Norwich moved closer to the drop after a 1-0 loss at home to Manchester United, with Juan Mata’s 72nd-minute goal proving decisive at Carrow Road.

United’s victory saw Louis van Gaal’s fifth-placed side close to within a point of local rivals Manchester City, who currently occupy fourth spot and the last qualifying position on offer to English clubs for next season’s Champions League.

City, looking to bounce back from their Champions League semi-final defeat by Real Madrid in midweek, play third-placed Arsenal at Eastlands on Sunday.

Van Gaal the Arsenal ‘fan’

“I am indeed a Gunners fan tomorrow. After losing to Real Madrid, it is not easy for Manchester City to revive,” United manager Louis van Gaal told BT Sport.

Norwich’s defeat meant they had lost four league games in a row -- all without scoring a goal.

“We have to stop making errors but it is a bit late in the day,” said Norwich manager Alex Neil.

Dwight Gayle’s two goals gave Crystal Palace a come-from-behind 2-1 win at home to Stoke City that secured the FA Cup finalists Premier League status.

The Eagles were a goal behind at Selhurst Park when Charlie Adam gave Stoke a 26th-minute lead.

But Gayle equalised early in the second half before making it 2-1 with a 25-yard free-kick.

Swansea beat West Ham 4-1 to all but end the London club’s hopes of Champions League qualification.

Wayne Routledge volleyed in Ki Seung-Yueng’s cross in the 25th minute at Upton Parl and six minutes later Andrew Ayew’s close-range finish made it 2-0

Ki’s volleyed in Swansea’s third goal in the 51st minute.

Stephen Kingsley’s 68th-minute own-goal gave the home side hope but Swansea then saw Bafetimbi Gomis score in stoppage time.

Bournemouth, already assured of Premier League survival after promotion last season, drew 1-1 at home to West Bromwich Albion.

Former Bournemouth boss turned Albion manager Tony Pulis saw Baggies club-record signing Salomon Rondon head the visitors into a 16th-minute lead at Dean Court.

South coast club Bournemouth were then indebted to Artur Boruc when the Poland goalkeeper tipped Craig Gardner’s penalty onto the crossbar.

Bournemouth equalised when substitute Matt Ritchie headed in eight minutes from time.

Leicester, confirmed as champions after second-placed Tottenham could only draw with Chelsea on Monday, will be presented with the Premier League trophy after Saturday’s late kick-off at home to Everton.

As well as the City-Arsenal match, Sunday also sees Liverpool -- fresh from reaching the Europa League final -- at home to Watford, while Tottenham face manager Mauricio Pochettino’s former club Southampton.

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