Apr 12, 2014 at 3.07pm UK at ​Stadium of Light
Sunderland
0-1
Everton

Johnson (18'), Bardsley (54'), Larsson (88')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Brown (76')
Coleman (53'), Distin (90')

Live Commentary: Sunderland 0-1 Everton - as it happened

Gustavo Poyet the Sunderland manager looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Sunderland and West Ham United at the Stadium of Light on March 31, 2014
© Getty Images
Relive Sports Mole's commentary of the Premier League clash at the Stadium of Light where Everton beat Sunderland 1-0.

Saturday's Premier League clash at the Stadium of light pitted basement outfit Sunderland against fourth-place hopefuls Everton.

Both sides had chances in an end-to-end first period of football, but neither could break the deadlock.

It as a similiar story in the second 45 minutes, but Everton won it late on when Wes Brown turned into his own net.

Read how it all unfolded in Sports Mole's minute-by-minute live commentary of the action below.


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2.01pmAfternoon all! Our Premier League coverage continues from the Stadium of Light as basement-outfit Sunderland welcome top-four hopefuls Everton. The home side are currently rock bottom of the division, but have two games in hand over their relegation rivals. Everton, meanwhile, enter the match knowing that three points would move them above Arsenal and into fourth. We are expecting the team news in around five minutes.

2.04pmJust a reminder that kickoff will be at 3.07pm – seven minutes later than normal. As revealed last month, every match in the top five leagues in England will kick off seven minutes late to mark the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster. There will also be a minute's silence before all games from 11-14 April.

2.07pmIn terms of the recent meetings between the two sides, Everton have won three of the last five matches between the two sides, with Sunderland also winning twice. The Black Cats were 1-0 winners at Goodison Park earlier this season and also picked up a 1-0 victory in the corresponding match last season.

2.10pmFA Cup and League Cup commitments has meant that Sunderland have played just 31 league games this season, which is two less than fellow relegation rivals Cardiff City, Fulham and Norwich City and one less than West Bromwich Albion, who are 16th. As it stands, Sunderland are bottom on 25 points, seven points behind 17th-place Norwich and West Brom, who sit one spot above the Canaries.

2.13pmTEAMS:

SUNDERLAND: Mannone; Bardsley, Brown, O'Shea, Alonso; Cattermole, Ki, Colback; Johnson, Wickham, Borini

EVERTON: Howard; Coleman, Stones, Distin, Baines; McCarthy, Barry, Osman; Deulofeu, Lukaku, Naismith


2.16pmSo there we have it. Sunderland are still without the injured Steven Fletcher, meaning that there is a place in attack for Connor Wickham. Adam Johnson also returns to the Black Cats XI, while there are also starts for Jack Colback and Lee Cattermole in midfield. Everton, meanwhile, still have an injury list that includes Steven Pienaar, Phil Jagielka and Darron Gibson. Kevin Mirallas and Ross Barkley are both on the bench this afternoon, but Gerard Deulofeu and Steven Naismith both start in forward positions.

2.19pmIt might have been the case for some time, but Sunderland really are entering last-chance saloon. Granted, they have games in hand on their fellow relegation rivals, but it is points that are most important at this stage of the season. Home form certainly becomes vital, but they have really struggled on their own patch this season, winning just three times and losing nine. Everton are not exactly the ideal visitors.

2.22pmOnly Aston Villa and Fulham have lost more times on their own patch than Sunderland this season, while no side has won fewer at home (three). It is not too difficult to pinpoint why the Black Cats have struggled this season and in truth, the majority of their summer signings – of which there were many – have struggled.

2.25pmFinding the back of the net has been a problem for Sunderland this season with just 29 goals in their 33 matches, which is the third-lowest record in the league. Their top scorer with eight goals is Adam Johnson, but the England international has found himself out of the XI in recent weeks. Down the other end, Sunderland have conceded 53 times – the third-worst total in the league at this stage of the campaign.



2.28pmRemarkably, Sunderland have not won in the league since beating rivals Newcastle United at the start of February. That was their second three points in the space of a week after they had beaten Stoke City, but since then, it has been a real horror show for Gus Poyet and his side. They did beat Southampton in the FA Cup on February 15, but have lost seven of their last eight games in all competitions.

2.31pmWhat's more, Sunderland have a horror run from now until the end of the season. Following this match, they travel to Manchester City during the week, before facing Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. They then host Cardiff City, before travelling to Manchester United one week later. Their season ends with two home clashes against West Brom and Swansea City, which could be vital in terms of their safety.

2.34pmEverton, meanwhile, enter the match this afternoon off the back of a stunning run of form. The Toffees have won their last six games in the league, with that run of results moving them to within one point of fourth-place Arsenal, with a game in hand. Another victory this afternoon would see them move into a Champions League position with just five games of the campaign remaining. It is very much within their grasp.

2.37pmAs it stands, Everton have taken 63 points from their 32 league games this season. Should they win this match, it will already be their highest points total in a single Premier League campaign. Their previous highest total arrived in the 2007/08 campaign, when they collected 65 from 38 games.

2.40pmLast week's performance against Arsenal was arguably Everton's finest showing of the season. Roberto Martinez's side were 3-0 winners at Goodison Park, with that victory continuing a stunning run of home form, which has seen them win 12 of their 16 matches, drawing three times and losing just once in the process.

2.43pmTheir away form this season has also been strong with six wins, six draws and just four defeats. No team in the league has lost fewer games than the Toffees this season, which is an indication of their progress under Martinez. The Spaniard would surely have to be considered for the Manager of the Year Award if he does indeed lead his side into the Champions League. It would be a seriously impressive achievement.

2.46pmEverton haven't just won games in recent weeks, but won in style. They put three past Swansea on March 22, three past Newcastle on March 25, three past Fulham on March 30 and three past Arsenal last weekend. Martinez will now be drilling into his players that their hopes of Champions League football is now in their own hands.

2.49pmEverton's game in hand is against Crystal Palace on Wednesday. With Arsenal in FA Cup action against Wigan Athletic this weekend, the Toffees could firmly consolidate fourth by the next time that the Gunners take the field. Next weekend, Everton welcome Manchester United, while they also host Manchester City at the start of next month. Exciting times at Goodison Park that is for certain.

2.52pmFinding the back of the net has not been a problem for Everton this season, meanwhile, with 52 strikes in their 33 matches, 13 of which have come from Romelu Lukaku. Down the other end, Everton's defensive record is the third-best in the division with just 31 conceded, keeping 12 clean sheets in the process.

2.55pm

2.58pm"I've said since I came back from my injury I'll do everything that I can to help the club qualify for the Champions League and do well in the cup. We didn't succeed in winning the cup but in the league I think we're all good," Lukaku, who is currently on loan at Everton from Chelsea, told reporters last week.

3.01pmPREDICTION: Sunderland have certainly enjoyed recent success against Everton - winning each of the last two matches 1-0. However, things have changed at both clubs since then. The away side enter the match in a stunning run of form and I expect that to continue this afternoon. I think Sunderland will score, but I am backing a 3-1 Everton victory, which would move them into a Champions League position.

3.04pm

3.06pmHere we go then. Both sets of players join us on the pitch ahead of the first period. The pre-match handshakes have been undertaken and the flags have been exchanged. Just a reminder that there will be a minute's silence prior to kickoff to mark the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster.

1 minYou just get the feeling that the first goal - if there indeed is one - will be vital in this type of contest. Can Sunderland really afford to go one down against an Everton team in this kind of form? Right, the home side get the first 45 minutes underway at the Stadium of Light. Let's hope for a real cracker!

2 minIt must be said that there is a sensational atmosphere inside the stadium this afternoon. Bright start from Everton as Coleman drives down the right, but Borini is across to fell the Scottish right-back. Baines is the target from Stones's set-piece, but it drifts out of play for a Sunderland throw. Strong Everton start.

4 minNot too much for the home supporters to get excited about in the opening four minutes as Wickham loses his aerial battle with Distin, with referee Lee Probert allowing the play to continue. It is Everton that are in control of the possession, but no real attacking moments for either side thus far.

6 minFirst half-chance of the match comes to Everton as Coleman finds the head of Lukaku inside the Sunderland box, but Brown just does enough to force the Belgian to place his effort wide of the post. Sunderland just cannot get out of their own half at the moment as the one-way traffic continues. Brilliant from Everton.

8 minHalf-chance for Sunderland as Borini finds some space inside the Everton box before firing one towards goal, but it was always moving high and wide of the crossbar. Borini is again involved moments later following smart work from Wickham, but Distin is across to clear the danger. Much better from the home side.

10 minPlenty of challenges in the middle of the park in the last few moments as referee Probert becomes more involved. That has raised the atmosphere inside the stadium as Sunderland break forward with Ki once more, but Distin clears the cross from the right. The resulting corner is delivered towards the head of O'Shea, but Barkley is on hand to clear the danger at the vital moment.

10 minCHANCE! Wonderful chance for Deulofeu on the counter as the Everton forward drives into the Sunderland box before working the ball onto his left foot, but his final effort is straight at Mannone.

13 minMuch better from Sunderland in the last few moments as the home side continue to enjoy possession in the final third. Everton, meanwhile, remain a threat on the counter attack. Wickham remains a strong target man for the Black Cats, but his through pass towards Borini is cleared by Everton goalkeeper Howard.

15 minCHANCE! Incredible chance for Naismith as the Everton forward turns inside the Sunderland box before striking towards goal, but his effort is high and wide of the crossbar. The Scottish forward might not get a better chance all afternoon. End-to-end football with 15 minutes on the clock.

17 minPlenty happening in terms of challenges in the last few moments as referee Lee Probert continues to become more involved than he would have liked. Both sides continue to threaten as Wickham delivers a low cross into the Everton box, but Distin clears before Osman has a powerful shot blocked by O'Shea.

19 minBooking for Johnson as the Sunderland winger fells Baines just outside the home side's box. The resulting set piece is delivered by Baines, but Borini is on hand to clear the danger. It falls to Osman, but his effort is high and wide of the crossbar. Plenty happening at the Stadium of Light with 19 minutes on the clock.

21 minEverton continue to threaten in wide areas as Baines delivers a low cross towards Lukaku, but Brown is on hand to clear the danger. Sunderland are down the other end moments later, but Wickham cannot hold off Distin, who has been heavily-involved thus far. Still goalless, but chances have arrived at both ends.

23 minSlightly untidy period of the match in the last couple of moments as the free kicks continue to arrive. Everton have another chance to threaten from a set piece as Alonso pulls Deulofeu to the ground, but O'Shea is on hand to clear under pressure from Lukaku. Little over 20 minutes of the first period remaining.

26 minLukaku takes matters into his own hands for the away side as he strikes one from outside the box, but Cattermole is on hand to make the block. Both sets of supporters are creating a wonderful noise inside the stadium, while both managers are extremely animated. The end-to-end period of the match continues.

28 minOpportunity for Sunderland to threaten from a set piece as Johnson delivers from the right, but Wickham cannot make contact and it goes out of play for a goal kick. The challenges continue to arrive in the middle of the park, but the referee is allowing the play to continue whenever possible. Still goalless.

30 minStrong work from Lukaku as the Everton forward drives into the Sunderland box, but O'Shea is across to clear the danger for a corner. The resulting set piece is delivered towards the near post, but this time Borini is across to clear. Positive defending from the home side, but the pressure continues from the Toffees.

32 minThe set pieces continue to arrive as Johnson fells Deulofeu just outside the Sunderland box. The resulting set piece is delivered by Baines, but O'Shea clears with a powerful header. It does fall to Deulofeu outside the box moments later, but his effort is high and wide of the crossbar. It remains goalless in Sunderland.

33 minCHANCE! Incredible chance for Sunderland as Wickham feeds Borini, who rides two challenges before rounding Howard, but Stones is across to clear off the line. Sunderland's best chance of the match.

36 minHalf-chance for Everton as Lukaku finds some space inside the Sunderland box before striking towards goal, but Brown is on hand to make a fine block at the vital moment. Brilliant defending from the centre-back. The resulting corner is delivered by Baines, but this time Mannone is up early to punch clear of his area.

38 minBrown continues to stand up to the challenge of Lukaku as the Sunderland centre-back gains a free kick just outside his own box, when it looked as if the Everton forward would be through on goal. Slightly untidy period of the match in the last couple of moments as referee Probert continues to become involved.

40 minImpressive defending from Sunderland once more as Alonso denies Deulofeu, who had driven into the box following a smart piece of skill. Everton have another free kick outside the Sunderland box moments later, however, when Colback brings Osman to the ground. It appears that Baines will take...

41 min... Baines does indeed strike from outside the box, but his effort smashes into the wall. Sunderland break moments later with Wickham, but Distin is on hand to intervene once more as the score remains goalless.

41 min... Baines does indeed strike the set piece from outside the box, but it smashes into the wall. Sunderland break down the other end with Wickham, but Distin is on hand to intervene once more.

44 minCHANCE! Wonderful chance for the home side as Sunderland work the ball into the box before Johnson finds some space, but McCarthy is across to make a stunning challenge at the vital moment. The resulting set piece finds Ki at the far post, but his header is wide of the post. Still goalless.

45 min+1HALF-TIME: Sunderland 0-0 Everton

3.55pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the first period to an end with the two sides level at 0-0. That does not tell the whole story, however, with both sides creating a number of chances. Naismith has had the best chance of the afternoon, but the Everton forward somehow fired high and wide from barely six yards out.

3.55pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the first period to an end with the two sides level at 0-0. That does not tell the whole story, however, with both sides creating a number of chances. Naismith has had the best chance of the afternoon, but the Everton forward somehow fired high and wide from barely six yards out.

4pmSTATISTICS: Everton have had more of the ball with 60%, while they have had 10 attempts to Sunderland's two. However, there has been just three attempts on target, with Everton having two to Sunderland's one. Just the one yellow card, meanwhile, with Johnson in the book for the home side.

4.05pmBENCH WATCH: The home side have a number of attacking options on their bench this afternoon in the shape of Gardner, Giaccherini, Larsson and Scocco. Meanwhile, Everton have the likes of Barkley, McGeady and Mirallas in reserve. Plenty of talent on both benches that is for certain.

46 minHere we go then. Both sets of players join us on the pitch for the second 45 minutes. Neither manager will be too unhappy with that they have seen thus far, but you just get the feeling that the first goal - if there indeed is one - could be vital. Everton get the second period underway at the Stadium of Light.



48 minIronic cheers from the crowd at the Stadium of Light as referee Probert awards Colback the first free kick of the second period following a challenge with Barry. Not too much to report in the early stages of the second 45 minutes, while there have been no changes from either manager at the interval, which is not surprising.

50 minHalf-chance for the home side as Alonso delivers a low cross into the Everton box, but Distin is on hand to clear at the vital moment. The danger to Everton continues with Alonso, but Wickham's cross is straight into the arms of Howard. Sunderland have made the brighter start to the second 45 minutes that is for certain.

52 minHalf-chance for Everton this time as Deulofeu dances into the Sunderland box before driving a low cross towards the far post, but Mannone is on hand to collect under pressure from Lukaku. Naismith has possession outside the Sunderland box moments later, but is pulled up for a push on Cattermole.

55 minAnother opportunity for Sunderland to threaten from a free kick as Coleman brings Borini to the ground. Johnson delivers from the left, but once more Distin is on hand to clear the danger. Moments later, Bardsley has his name taken for a late challenge on Naismith, who has been more involved in the second period.

57 minWe are getting to the stage of the match where both managers will be considering changes. Both have attacking options in reserve that is for certain. You just get the feeling that one goal could be enough to claim all the points. At the moment, it is the Everton fans making the noise inside this packed Stadium of Light.

59 minAnother half-chance for Naismith as the Everton forward finds some space inside the Sunderland box, but his effort is straight into the arms of Mannone. End-to-end football as Sunderland break with Johnson, but the final pass is poor once more. Little under 30 minutes remaining as Borini has one deflected wide of the post.

60 minCHANCE! Wonderful chance for Sunderland as Alonso meets a Johnson corner, but his header is cleared off the line by Stones. Moments later, Everton make their first change of the match as Barkley enters the field in place of Osman, who has faded in the second period.

62 minCHANCE! Incredible chance for Ki as the Sunderland midfielder meets a cross from Johnson, but somehow his header is just wide of the post. Down the other end, Deulofeu fires wide from close range.

64 minCHANCE! Oh my word how has he missed? Wonderful chance for Naismith as the Everton forward meets a poor clearance from Sunderland goalkeeper Mannone, who had departed his goal. However, Naismith clips wide of the post in front of an open goal. The Scot just had to score.

66 minHardly time to take a breath at the moment as the end-to-end period of the match continues. Sunderland want a penalty as Baines clashes with Johnson inside the Sunderland box, but referee Probert is not interested. Meanwhile, former Everton midfielder Tim Cahill has had his say on Twitter in the last few minutes...



69 minThe end-to-end period of the match continues as Alonso fires one into the arms of Howard, before Everton break with Barkley, but Cattermole is across to foul the England international. Neither side is too interested in defending at the moment as attacks continue to occur. It is pulsating viewing!

71 minA point would move Everton into fourth, but they would have picked out this match as one that they really need to win if they are to finish in a Champions League position at the end of the season. Another free kick for Sunderland as Barry fells Ki, but once more the delivery of the set piece is poor and Everton clear.

73 minHalf-chance for the home side as Johnson strikes one from outside the box, but his effort is wide of the post. Moments later, Sunderland make their first change of the match as Larsson replaces Colback. Both managers have made one change thus far this afternoon. Little over 15 minutes of football remaining.

75 minSunderland continue to force the issue as Cattermole finds some space on the edge of the Everton box before finding Johnson, but Barry is across to clear the danger. The away side are down the other end with Baines moments later, but his cross is headed clear. You just get the feeling that a late goal is on its way.

75 minGOAL! Sunderland 0-1 Everton (Brown, OG)

76 minOh my word! Everton lead with 75 minutes on the clock as Deulofeu's low cross is turned into his own net by Brown. It so unlucky for the home side, who have been the better side in the second period.

78 minWhen your luck is out, it is out. Sunderland have had a number of chances this afternoon, but now trail in the latter stages after Brown turned into his own net from close range. Little over 10 minutes of football remaining, but the home side are not finished as Borini carries possession down the right once more.

81 minEverton make their second change of the match as Deulofeu is replaced by McGeady, who will provide pace and movement in the latter stages of this contest. It is the Everton fans that are in full voice, but Sunderland are still right in this match as Johnson finds Ki, but Howard is on hand to make a fine save.

83 minCHANCE! Another chance for the home side as Ki finds some space in a crowded box before striking towards goal, but his effort is high and wide of the crossbar. Chances continue to arrive.

85 minAnother chance for the home side as Wickham strikes one from outside the box, but Howard is on hand to make the save. The one-way traffic continues as Borini cuts inside before curling one towards the far post, but it just moves wide of the goal. Little under five minutes remaining and Everton still lead by one goal.

88 minCHANCE! Brilliant work from McGeady as the Everton midfielder drives into the Sunderland half before finding Barkley on the edge of the box, but his effort is blocked by Brown. Sunderland break moments later with Wickham, but the powerful forward concedes a free kick as Everton survive once more.

90 minSunderland need to be really careful here as Everton continue to cause problems on the counter attack. However, it is all or nothing for the home side. They would rather lose this game 2-0 and have a real go in the final couple of minutes. Can Everton hold on? They are under serious pressure.

90 min+2The fourth official indicates that we will play an additional three minutes and we are indeed into the second of those. Sunderland have another chance from a free kick, but Johnson fires straight into the body of Howard.

90 min+3Time is just about up for the home side as Everton drop deeper and deeper. Wickham attempts to feed Borini inside the box, but Stones, who has been brilliant, clears once more. Everton are almost there.

90 min+4FULL-TIME: Sunderland 0-1 Everton

5pmSo there we have it. Everton move into fourth in the table following a 1-0 win over Sunderland, who remain bottom. It is tough on the home side, but Everton's winning run continues. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for the action and be sure to stick around the site for all the reaction. Good afternoon!

Sunderland manager Gus Poyet looks on before the Barclays Premier League match between Fulham and Sunderland at Craven Cottage on January 11, 2014
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