London - Sunderland's 10-year stay in the Premier League is over
after Josh King's late strike gave Bournemouth a 1-0 victory that condemned the
Black Cats to relegation on Saturday.
David Moyes' side slumped out of the English top-flight with
a whimper as the latest dismal display in a wretched campaign ended with King's
winner in the 88th minute.
Moyes briefly thought there might be a reprieve when their
relegation rivals Hull conceded a late penalty at Southampton, but Dusan
Tadic's spot-kick was saved by Eldin Jakupovic to give the Tigers a 0-0 draw
that ended Sunderland's survival hopes.
In the bottom three since September 10, bottom of the table
Sunderland have gone 10 games without a win and are doomed with four games
still to play.
Sunderland's relegation caps another miserable season for
Moyes, who has endured a torrid time since leaving Everton to take charge at
Manchester United in 2013.
Sacked by United after less than a year and dismissed by
Real Sociedad following a disappointing spell in Spain, Moyes has been unable
to rehabilitate his reputation at Sunderland.
Moyes found his hands tied by a lack of financial backing
from Sunderland owner Ellis Short during the January transfer window, leaving
the Scot to publicly vent his frustrations.
Criticised by fans for his negative tactics and charged by
the Football Association following his crude comments to a television reporter,
it would be no surprise if Moyes parts company with Sunderland during the
With injuries ravaging his squad, Moyes had to make four
changes to the team that lost at Middlesbrough on Wednesday as Sunderland
chased a first home league win since December 17.
Moyes' men desperately needed an early goal to steady their
nerves and they went close when Fabio Borini's swerving effort drew a good save
from Artur Boruc.
Sunderland rode their luck when King was denied the opening
goal in freak circumstances as his curling shot hit the crossbar, rebounded
onto a post and then bounced into the grateful arms of goalkeeper Jordan
Jermain Defoe's failure to score since February has been
instrumental in Sunderland's downfall and the England forward was still out of
He blazed high over the bar midway through the half and
then, played in by Didier Ndong's header, he volleyed straight at Boruc from a
Sunderland were just as error-prone at the back and more
poor defending let in King for a shot that was cleared off the line by Donald
Love just before half-time.
Bournemouth wasted two chances to seal Sunderland's fate
early in the second half, with Marc Pugh firing wide with an opportunistic
effort before Steve Cook headed over from Ryan Fraser's cross.
There was little improvement from Sunderland as the minutes
ticked away and Moyes sent on young midfielder George Honeyman in a bid to
spark his moribund side into life.
Honeyman did have a sight of goal, but couldn't beat Boruc
and Sunderland's fate was confirmed when King raced onto Fraser's pass and
slotted home to put the seal on a season to forget on Wearside.