Sunderland have earned a huge win over Everton at the Stadium of Light, with Sunderland’s new manager Paolo Di Canio earning his second win as manager in as many games. The Black Cats started the match very energetically, but Danny Graham’s effort from the center of the box was just saved by Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard. Sunderland continued to pressure Everton, and Sebastian Larsson almost put Di Canio’s side in front in the twelfth minute when Marouane Fellaini brought down Danny Rose twenty-five yards out from goal. Larsson stepped up to take the kick, and his curling shot just skimmed of the top of the bar. Everton slowly started to settle into the match, with Kevin Mirallas’s low shot goal-bound from the edge of the box deflected behind by John O’Shea.
The Black Cats slowly began to dominate, and Larsson curled a free-kick from the left inches wide of the far post in the thirty-ninth minute. Seconds later Larsson forced Howard into a good diving save with another free-kick from a similar position, before Leighton Baines gifted Sunderland a goal right before the end of the first half. The England international played the ball straight to Rose inside his own half, and after charging through the Everton half, Rose slammed an effort into the bottom left corner from the edge of the box.
Everton started the second half on the front foot, and the Toffes almost went up in the sixty-first minute when Fellaini hit a tame shot towards goal from the left. But Nikica Jelavic poked the ball right in front of goal, forcing Sunderland keeper Simon Mignolet to react quickly to make the save. Everton continued to pressure, with Victor Anichabe hitting a shot just over the bar in the seventy-third minute. David Moyes’ almost went up seven minutes later, when a horrible lobbed back-pass forced Mignolet to catch the ball when it was almost certainly flying in. Mignolet was yellow carded for handling the back-pass, and Baines took the indirect free-kick, but the mass of Sunderland players on the goal line did their job, with the Englishman’s low shot cleared off the line. Although they had not won at home since January, the Black Cats were purring, and managed to hold on to their crucial 1-0 lead to take them six points above the relegation zone.
Man of the Match: Sebastian Larsson