Sunderland won 2-0 away at Hull in a bizarre Premier League fixture where we actually looked half-decent in spells, despite already being relegated. Billy Jones netted a diving header and Defoe bundled home late on to seal the 2-0 victory, giving SAFC fans a laugh on Humberside. Typical Sunderland.
And so relegation is confirmed. Ten years in the Premier League seems so utterly pointless after how brazenly we were dumped from it. The Bournemouth match didn’t feel like an ‘all or nothing’ fixture as much as a mere formality. Relegation was all but confirmed a long time ago — the manager said as much.
SAFC fans could be forgiven for passing up on the chance to travel down to Hull. That wasn’t the case, however, as ALS towers has been full of insane Sunderland supporters who are still up for a grand day out on Humberside.
Needless to say, the Hull away team selection caused a few stirs.
Jones, Kone, O'Shea (C), Manquillo,
Ndong, Denayer, Honeyman, Borini,
Fans were disappointed with Moyes’ decision to drop Khazri, as well as the lack of youth in the first team and on the bench. The only youth player in the first team (Honeyman) is actually out of contract in the summer and there are no signs to suggest we’ll keep him on.
With both sides lacking quality, the game didn’t as much explode out of the starting blocks as it did trickle tediously towards the half-hour mark. I struggled to find a single highlight in the first half, to be honest, apart from a Hull player being booked after he lost his loaf following a fluffed chance.
Hull had a penalty shout turned down after John O’Shea appeared to handball it. It would have been a harsh penalty, but replays showed his arm was in an unnatural position, which is usually grounds for a pen.
Sunderland forced the first chance of the second half after a pinpoint long ball from Pickford found the run of Defoe, who went one-on-one with Hull’s Jakupovic. The veteran striker seemed to get his feet wrong and ended up tamely poking the ball towards goal; an easy save.
Defoe’s misery continued after some brilliant work from Anichebe allowed Defoe to get another shot off, but this time he couldn’t keep it down. Somewhere along the way it reached 1,000 minutes since Defoe last scored a goal, which is astonishing considering his career record. Terrible period for an otherwise brilliant professional.
Alfred N’Diaye missed a golden chance, to the delight of the SAFC fans who began to sing his name. I feel N’Diaye will always be a one that got away, but in truth he probably wasn’t here long enough to determine whether he was actually any good or not.
Sunderland broke the deadlock in the 69th minute, after a Honeyman corner was flicked on by O’Shea into the path of Super Billy Jones. Jones pulled a diving header out of nowhere, and the ball flew past the helpless Hull City goalkeeper. A hilarious time for Sunderland to score a good goal, and a hilarious player to score it. Love Billy, me.
Jordan Pickford pulled off another one of his impossible saves, this time keeping a snapshot out from close range. His reactions are nothing short of freakish, and this save will no doubt make the comprehensive highlights package when we sell him to Barcelona for £60m.
Seb Larsson came on for Honeyman, and took a free kick from around 5 yards outside the box. Weirdly, the Swede actually tested the goalkeeper. I don’t think Larsson has hit the target from a free kick since 2015. What a day for Sunderland fans; we should get relegated more often.
Despite the misery surrounding the situation at Sunderland and the drab first half, the game actually elevated to a reasonable standard in the last 20 or so minutes. Hull were playing with purpose and Sunderland matched their urgency.
Defoe could finally breath a sigh of relief after bundling home a chance in the 91st minute, sealing a 2-0 win for Sunderland, despite the game meaning nothing. With a cross in from the right-hand side, Jermain appeared to be offside when he netted with his groin, but the linesman didn’t flag and Sunderland fans could begin their journey home laughing in disbelief at why we decided to start playing football after we’d already been relegated.
Final Score: Hull 0-2 Sunderland
ALS Man of the Match: Jordan Pickford
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