Sunderland Survival: The key moments as the Black Cats do it again

Jermain Defoe has been in inspired form for Sunderland
Jermain Defoe has been in inspired form for Sunderland
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The Stadium of Light was rocking on Wednesday night as a comprehensive victory over Everton secured Premier League football for another season. But just how did the Black Cats do it? Here are the key moments...

A difficult start to the season saw Dick Advocaat depart the club on October 5, at which point Sunderland were rated as a [1.3] chance to get relegated.

But the price saw an immediate bump - up to [1.44] - when Sam Allardyce was appointed as his replacement on October 9, with the Betfair layers recognising Big Sam's Premier League track record.

After just two weeks at the Stadium of Light, Allardyce presided over a thumping win over Newcastle - a record sixth successive derby victories over their north-east rivals - sending the price out to [1.55].

Back-to-back wins over Crystal Palace and Stoke City at the end of November saw the Black Cats pushed out to [1.72] to get relegated.

But no-one ever said the road to recovery was going to be without its bumps and a series of tough results over Christmas sent Sunderland as low as [1.15] in the relegation market.

It was time for Allardyce to take action in the transfer market, and a number of new players arrived, including Lamine Kone and Jan Kirchhoff, whose influence was to prove vital in the run-in.

Sunderland had a tricky run of fixtures at the start of 2016, but a battling point at Anfield and a home win over Manchester United were vital, and saw the price edge back up to [1.6].

The Black Cats then struck a seismic blow in the battle for survival, defeating Norwich City 3-0 at Carrow Road on April 16, pushing their relegation odds out to even money. It was well and truly on.

Allardyce's troops then finally moved out of the relegation zone as they twice came from behind against a Chelsea side who boasted the top flight's best away record in 2016, inspired by a superb Jermain Defoe performance. This combined with relegation rivals Newcastle drawing to struggling Villa saw the price of them to get relegated drift out as far as [8.2].

Survival was sealed with a thumping win over Everton. But don't say we didn't tell you - speaking to Betfair ahead of the Chelsea game, Defoe was in no doubt Sunderland would do it...


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