Sunderland secured a ninth straight season in the Premier League after a 0-0 draw with Arsenal at the Emirates stadium.
This was a huge result for new manager Dick Advocaat, who had come to the club only a few months ago to replace Gus Poyet. Sunderland have been only narrowly avoiding relegation for the last couple of years and they were in danger of going into the last day of the season as one of the three clubs that could join QPR and Burnley into the championship. This was avoided after a draw with Arsenal brought them the desired points to keep them in the league for another season.
This means that Newcastle United and Hull City will be fighting out each other for the final relegation spot at the end of the campaign. Newcastle undoubtedly go in with a much better position since they are two points ahead of Hull and they have a home match against West Ham. Steve Bruce’s team, however, are up against Manchester United on the final day of the season. Sunderland went into the Arsenal match with a highly defensive oriented mentality. Midfielder Jack Rodwell had just returned to the squad after overcoming an injury problem. Rodwell, though, was not used in the 90 minutes.
“I am really proud of the group. The group has come so far, they have given everything. Organisation wise it was brilliant. I had a tear in my eye, I have to be honest. Second half we had three or four 100% chances. Until the end it was a nervous breakdown. The most important thing is the players start believing, the good thing is I do things in the past and they know that and know I don’t talk nonsense,” said the manager who has recently spent time in the Russian league.