Relive Sports Mole's minute-by-minute report of Sunderland's 4-0 win at home to fellow strugglers Cardiff in the Premier League.
By Jack Prescott, Rugby Editor Filed: Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 11:00 UK
Last Updated: Wednesday, July 16, 2014 at 12:51 UK
Sunderland moved out of the Premier League relegation zone on Sunday thanks to a 4-0 win at home to fellow strugglers Cardiff City.
Connor Wickham gave the hosts the lead on 26 minutes, before a Fabio Borini penalty doubled their advantage on the stroke of half time.
Emmanuele Giaccherini came off the bench to make it 3-0 on 76 minutes, while a second goal for Wickham completed the rout late on.
Read Sports Mole's minute-by-minute report below to find out how all of the action unfolded at the Stadium of Light.
1.56pmThat's all from our live text coverage of this match, but you can follow minute-by-minute updates of Chelsea's crucial trip to Liverpool right here. That one is due to get underway in around 10 minutes. Thanks for your company, and we hope to see you again soon. Goodbye!
1.54pmPhil Down blows the final whistle, bringing an end to a great afternoon for Sunderland. They've beaten fellow strugglers Cardiff 4-0 to move out of the relegation zone. However, defeat for Cardiff means that the Bluebirds are now bottom of the table with just two games remaining.
88 minCardiff try to create something late on as Bellamy runs down the left to cross towards Jones. The substitute gets above Wes Brown, though he can only head high over the crossbar.
85 minSunderland have a fourth goal as Connor Wickham finds the net for the second time this afternoon. It's all too easy for the hosts as a corner from the left is whipped into the heart of the Cardiff penalty area before Wickham nods home.
85 minThere's a real party atmosphere inside the Stadium of Light now as Sunderland cruise towards three points that could well mean survival for another season. Barring a sensational Cardiff comeback, they will be moving out of the relegation zone as things stand. Cardiff will be slipping to the bottom of the table, while Norwich will be entering the bottom three.
83 minSUBSTITUTIONS: A double change for Sunderland as Liam Bridcutt and Craig Gardner replace Jack Colback and Adam Johnson. Meanwhile, Fabio Borini goes into the book for an earlier foul.
78 minOle Gunnar Solskjaer looks dejected down on the touchline. His side have been well below par this afternoon. With so much at stake, it's hard to believe that lack of commitment that the Cardiff players have shown.
76 minHe's only been on the pitch for a few minutes, but Emmanuele Giaccherini looks to have sealed three vital points for Sunderland! The midfielder was slipped in by fellow Italian Fabio Borini before firing past Marshall at his near post. Giaccherini then goes into the book for taking his shirt off.
74 minSUBSTITUTION: A swap for Cardiff now, with Craig Bellamy entering the action in place of Fraizer Campbell. As a former Newcastle player, Bellamy gets a spicy reception from the Sunderland fans.
71 minCHANCE! Another great opportunity falls Sunderland's way as Colback's powerful cross from the left is diverted towards goal by Borini from point-blank range. However, Cardiff goalkeeper Marshall somehow gets something on it to deflect the ball behind. Sunderland make a change soon after as Emmanuele Giaccherini replaces Seb Larsson.
68 minCHANCE! Sunderland threaten again as the ball breaks for Borini inside the penalty area, only for Theophile-Catherine to block the Italian's shot heroically. The French defender threw himself at that.
66 minWhile Cardiff have improved up front in this half, there's still little to suggest that they're going to take something from this match. Sunderland have been more purposeful in attack and remain the bigger threat.
63 minSAVE! That's a great stop from Mannone to keep Sunderland's two-goal lead intact. Whittingham's free kick from 25 yards took a wicked deflection on its way through, but the goalkeeper was able to get down and push away the danger. Meanwhile, Cardiff make a change as Kenwyne Jones replaces Fabio.
60 minSunderland are being allowed far too much time on the ball at the moment. Cardiff really need to hustle them for possession a bit more if they want to take control of this game. As it is, the hosts look on course for a fairly simple three points.
57 minCHANCE! That should have been a goal for Cardiff! A corner was swung in from the left, allowing Mutch a free header from close range. However, he could only nod off target when he should have done better.
55 minA bit of a worry for Sunderland here as O'Shea goes to ground with what looks to be a hip injury following a collision with Mannone. The captain looks okay to continue though. Not too much action to report on in the last few minutes. The hosts are still looking comfortable, while Cardiff are showing maybe a bit more attacking intent than they did in the opening half.
52 minYELLOW CARD! A silly booking for Cardiff defender Fabio there after pushing Larsson in the back when he was trying to retrieve the ball. That was stupid from the Brazilian full-back. Larsson has also been booked for his reaction.
50 minPENALTY APPEAL! Sunderland want another penalty as Johnson is barged over inside the box by Theophile-Catherine, but Phil Dowd is having none of it. That would have been soft had he pointed to the spot.
49 minIt's been a bright start to the second half for Sunderland, who would surely seal the win if they score the next goal. Cardiff aren't out of this yet, but they need to find the net soon to stand a chance to taking something from this match.
46 minSECOND HALF UNDERWAY! The teams are back out for the second half, and it will be Sunderland to kick us off. Cardiff have made a change during the interval, with Wilfried Zaha on for Don Cowie.
12.57amAsk anyone who watched that first half and they will tell you that Sunderland deserve to be ahead. Gus Poyet's side have looked hungrier from the first whistle. It's not always worked for them in the final third against a determined and organised Cardiff defence, but they've shown plenty of energy and enthusiasm.
12.52pmThe big talking point is the awarding of the penalty for Sunderland. Wickham tried to stay on his feet following a tug from Cala, but he was pushed wide of goal after Mannone had come off his line. Phil Dowd wanted to play the advantage, though the lack of a goal-scoring opportunity for Wickham saw the referee bring play back. Bold stuff from Down because it looked as if the tug on Wickham may even have been outside of the box.
12.49pmIt's all gone very well for Sunderland in that opening 45 minutes as they currently lead Cardiff 2-0. However, it looks to be a long way back for Cardiff now.
45 minWhat drama at the Stadium of Light at the end of the first half! Cardiff have been reduced to 10 men with the dismissal of Juan Cala, and Sunderland are 2-0 up thanks to a penalty from Fabio Borini. The red card came about when Cala was tugging at the shirt of Connor Wickham, who was through on goal. Phil Dowd played the advantage before bringing play back to send of Cala and award Sunderland a spot kick.
42 minCardiff, who have been second best for much of the first half, are finishing with a bit of a flourish. There have been no chances of note for the visitors, but they're enjoying a lot more of the ball than previously.
38 minYELLOW CARD! Another booking now, this time for Cardiff midfielder Gary Medel. The Chilean took out Colback after a decent run by the youngster. The match has had a bit of spice added to it in these last few minutes.
36 minYELLOW CARD! The first booking of the match goes the way of Cardiff's Jordon Mutch following a scuffle with Lee Cattermole. Sunderland's Santiago Vergini is cautioned soon after for a foul on Mutch.
35 minCHANCE! Almost a second goal for Sunderland as Colback goes close! The youngster got on the end of a long ball upfield before firing inches wide from the edge of the penalty area. Marshall looked well beaten there.
34 minSunderland looking in firm control at the moment as we approach the final 10 minutes of the half. Cardiff are offering very little right now, while the hosts are asking all of the questions. Wickham gets a half-chance inside the box, but his effort is deflected into the hands of Marshall.
29 minThe hosts really have the wind in their sails now. If there were one or two nerves before the match then they should be a lot more calm after that goal. Where do Cardiff go from here? They need a response, but another goal for Sunderland would be devastating.
26 minSunderland make the breakthrough as Connor Wickham continues his fine run of form in front of goal! Larsson's corner from the left evaded everyone before Wickham popped up at the back post to head the ball into the top corner. The Stadium of Light is rocking!
25 minOne or two moans and groans can be heard among the home fans as Sunderland continue to huff and puff to no avail. The hosts are trying hard to mount some sustained pressure, only to be met time and again by Cardiff's backline.
22 minIt's still Sunderland who are controlling most of the ball in this match, but they can't find a way past Cardiff's organised defensive unit. The Bluebirds have been impressive in that department so far today. It looks like patience will be the name of the game for now.
19 minBoth teams are struggling to create any meaningful chances in front of goal right now, though it's not through a lack of trying. Campbell goes down inside the box under a challenge from Brown, but the visitors don't appeal for a penalty.
16 minThe visitors are finding their way in this match more and more following a subdued opening. Another corner ends with Cowie lashing a volley towards goal, but he can only hit his effort high and wide. A bit more composure there could have seen a different outcome.
13 minCardiff win their first corner of the match, but nothing comes of it as Phil Dowd blows for a foul on Mannone. Many were predicting that it would be a cagey opening to the match, though Sunderland have dispelled that theory with a decent attacking display so far.
10 minSunderland carve out the first proper chance of the afternoon, with Larsson heading straight at Marshall following a cross from Johnson. The home side are definitely looking more up for it at the moment. They're showing more intent and ambition going forward, while Cardiff are happy to soak up the pressure and hit them on the break.
7 minThis is better from Cardiff as Daehli begins to spring into life. The Norwegian has been lively in the last few moments, running at the Sunderland defence with purpose. However, it's the Black Cats who are still firmly on top.
4 minThis has been a really positive start from Sunderland, who are looking to attack Cardiff early on. The hosts win two corners in quick succession, but the visitors do enough to clear the danger on both occasions. Cardiff have hardly been out of their own half in the opening few minutes.
1 minKICKOFF! The players are out, the pre-match handshakes have been done, and it will be Cardiff to kick us off. Here we go!
11.56amThe teams are beginning to filter out in the tunnel, ready to step out into the white-hot atmosphere at the Stadium of Light. Plenty of stern, focused faces among the starting lineups.
11.53amBefore we get properly underway, there's still time to look at the Premier League table as it stands. You can follow the link here to see just how tight it is down at the bottom.
11.50amAround 10 minutes until kickoff at the Stadium of Light and there's a real sense of anticipation among the supporters. The players should be emerging the tunnel very soon. For the record, it's a fairly grey day in the North East.
11.44amREFEREE WATCH: The man in charge of today's game is Phil Dowd, who has dished out 104 yellow cards and three red cards in 24 matches this season.
11.41amPREDICTION TIME: It's sure to be a tense contest at the Stadium of Light this afternoon as defeat for either side would be a disaster. However, considering Sunderland's recent form against the might of Man City and Chelsea, we here at Sports Mole can see Gus Poyet's side edging out Cardiff 2-1.
11.38amIt's been fairly even in their recent encounters, with Sunderland winning three matches, Cardiff winning two and one draw. The reverse fixture in South Wales earlier this season heralded an entertaining 2-2 draw.
11.35amHEAD TO HEAD: It's Cardiff who have the better record when it comes to previous matches between these teams. The Bluebirds have won 23 times compared to 19 triumph for the Black Cats. There have also been 15 draws since their first meeting back in 1921.
11.30amSunderland goalkeeper Vito Mannone: "Of course we know that we have got four massive games. We did really well in the last two but from now we need to show what we've got at home and it's time.
"There can be no more excuses, there's no more waiting time; it is time to do it. It's in our hands, it's our job to go out there and give 100% on Sunday and be better than our opponents."
11.27amOle Gunnar Solskjaer speaking with reporters on Friday: "If you look at the league table, it's just as big for both of us.
"It is still so tight down at the bottom that a win will be hugely needed for both of us, while a draw is probably no good for either of us.
"I wouldn't be in football if I was nervous. You have to look forward to games. I used to do that as a player, and I do that now. The waiting time is the worst."
11.24amBoth of these teams have been resurgent in recent weeks, with each taking four points from their last two games. Cardiff got some much-needed points on the board two weeks ago when they beat Southampton 1-0 at St Mary's Stadium before drawing 1-1 with Stoke last weekend. Sunderland's recent form has been even more impressive thanks to a 2-2 draw with Manchester City and that 2-1 win at Chelsea.
11.16amAs it stands, Sunderland are at the bottom of the table while Cardiff are one place above them. The Black Cats start the day three points adrift of safety, but a win would see them exit the bottom three because their goal difference is better than 17th-placed Norwich. Meanwhile, Cardiff are two points from safety.
11.13amCardiff manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has opted to make just the one change after last weekend's 1-1 draw with Stoke City as Don Cowie returns to the side in place of Kim Bo Kyung. Wilfried Zaha and Craig Bellamy are among the substitutes for the Bluebirds.
11.11amCARDIFF SUBS: Lewis; Turner, Jones, Eikrem, Zaha, Bellamy, John
11.08amAs expected, Sunderland boss Gus Poyet has named an unchanged side following last weekend's miraculous 2-1 win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Incidentally, Lee Cattermole will be playing his 100th Premier League game for the Black Cats.
11.03amQuite simply, today's match between these teams is absolutely huge. Both Sunderland and Cardiff are fighting for their lives at the bottom of the table, and whoever wins will take a giant step towards securing their top-flight survival.
11amHello there and welcome to Sports Mole's live text coverage of this afternoon's crucial Premier League encounter between Sunderland and Cardiff City at the Stadium of Light. We'll have team news through for you in the next few moments.