David Moyes’ sorry Sunderland side were finally relegated from the Premier League on Saturday after losing 1- 0 to Bournemouth at the SOL thanks to a late goal from Joshua King. The defeat coupled with Hull’s point at Southampton means Sunderland are now mathematically relegated from the top flight although in reality we have been hurtling towards the Championship for some time.
David Moyes hinted for the first time in his pre match press conference that he would review his position at the end of the season after a torrid season at the helm. The under fire manager was booed throughout the defeat at Middlesbrough on Wednesday as his Sunderland side effectively guaranteed 20th position in the league with a feeble showing against a fellow relegation rival.
Moyes reign has been dreadful and the scot has been shown up by the turnaround in fortunes at Hull City where a virtual unknown has transformed a side that looked destined for the drop when we beat them at the SOL in November. Man for man you can make a case that Sunderland’s squad is as good if not better than Hull yet despite selling their best two players in January Marco Silva has galvanised and organised a squad who now look on course for survival.
Sunderland on the other hand are unorganised and seemingly go into games without any sort of game plan. With Moyes making comments to the media that Sunderland just need to stop conceding and score more it’s not surprising that we find ourselves rooted to the bottom of the table. When he was appointed I wasn’t expecting free flowing exciting football but thought we would at least be difficult to beat yet we were undone on Wednesday with a straight ball down the middle.
There were injury doubts over Cattermole, Rodwell, Gibson and Denayer as Sunderland went in search for a first victory since February. The visitors were almost full strength with only Dan Gosling missing out with a calf strain. Moyes made four changes to the side that lost against Middlesbrough with Kone, Love, Pienaar and Borini all starting.
The visitors started the game stronger and had the lion’s share of possession and we were almost caught out early but Fraser put a chance wide from a corner before Pickford had to do well to smother danger after some sloppy Sunderland defending. The lads did get a foothold into the game midway through the first half and Defoe found space on the edge of the box after good work from Khazri but he fired wide.
At the other end King almost gave Eddie Howe’s side the lead with a great effort after beating the offside trap on the right flank and clipping a shot off the bar. The lively forward broke at pace and beat Pickford with a clinical curling dipping strike but the ball rebounded off the crossbar and to safety fortunately for Sunderland. Sunderland responded and should have taken the lead almost immediately when N’Dong looped a header into the box for Defoe who could only fire down the throat of Boruc. Bournemouth almost went in at the break a goal up but were denied when Love got back onto the line to deny king.
Neither side made any changes at the break and it was Sunderland who had the first effort of the second period when Borini fired a shot which Boruc parried. Sunderland made an early change ten minutes into the second half with Steven Pienaar replaced by George Honeyman to a good ovation. The youngster almost got on the score sheet after Defoe and Borini combined to create an opening but Honeyman’s shot was palmed away.
There was then a bit of a mêlée after a late tackle from behind by Fabio Borini which incensed the Bournemouth players and bench but riled the crowd after at least seeing a bit of fight for a change. The ref dished out a few yellow cards as Sunderland pressed to try and win the game with Moyes even sending up both centre half’s when we won a late free kick but the goal just wasn’t coming.
To cap things off the visitors snatched all three points and condemned Moyes’ side to Championship football at the death when King was played in unmarked to slot past Pickford. Boos immediately rang out and the SOL which had looked half empty anyway at three o’clock started to empty. “We want Moyesy out” was the cry from the stands as the full time whistle went and the manager hot footed it down the tunnel whilst his beleaguered side trudged off the pitch.
Final Score: Sunderland 0 Bournemouth 1
ALS Man of the Match: Didier N’Dong
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