Premier League: Sunderland earn crucial victory at Newcastle


New manager Paolo Di Canio brought Sunderland's first victory at St James' Park in 13 years to give their Premier League survival hopes a huge boost while pulling Newcastle into the relegation battle. It was the second game in charge of Sunderland for the Italian manager but it surely is one to remember. Stephane Sessegnon put the Black Cats ahead before half time, then Adam Johnson and David Vaughan wrapped up the proceedings with second-half goals. Sunderland moved three points clear of the relegation zone and just two points behind Newcastle.

Sunderland seemed determined to pull off a great result right from the start and they had two penalty claims denied before Sessegnon fired home a fine low drive that went past Tim Krul and into the back of the net. Newcastle reacted through Papiss Cisse but Sunderland goalie Simon Mignolet did well to deny him on two occasions. The visitors could have doubled their lead before the interval as Carlos Cuellar jumped highest on a corner kick but his header was saved by Krul.

Newcastle were determined to push for an equaliser after the break and they did get it after the hour mark through Cisse but the goal was wrongly ruled out for offside. The Magpies had to replace injured goalkeeper Krul with Rob Elliot and the reserve goalie was beaten by Johnson with a beautiful curled shot into the top corner. The game was decided by then but Sunderland added even more panache to the victory as substitute Vaughan fired another delightful shot into the top corner with eight minutes left on the clock.

The survival battle in the Premier League is getting fierce, with eight teams fighting to stay up with five games left in the season. Here are the "to get relegated" odds at SkyBet:

QPR - 1/50
Wigan - 6/4
Aston Villa - 3/1
Stoke - 7/2
Sunderland - 5/1
Norwich - 9/1
Newcastle - 20/1
West Ham - 66/1

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