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So here we are at the final month of the season with three games left and a very slim chance of qualifying for the 2015/2016 Champion’s League. Our final three games are against teams battling it out with three very different reasons. Everton, like us, are gunning for a Champion’s League spot, Leicester City are on the blink of relegation and Chelsea are fighting it out with Manchester City for the Premier League title. On the eve of the Everton game, Vito Mannone stunned us all by handing in a transfer request. Talk about a hammer blow!
Monday 4th May 2015: Barclays Premier League
Everton 2 Sunderland 0
Pantilimon/ Obita/ Ake (Dixson)/ O Shea/ Byram (Jones)/ Cattermole/Huddlestone/ Borini (Coman)/ Rodwell/ Johnson/ Fletcher
Goals: Baines 45’ (P) Eto’o 89’
Red Card: Pantilimon 45’
MOTM: Gibson (Everton)
And there goes our Champion’s League ambitions. It’s not because we played bad far from it. It’s because of a questionable penalty which saw Pantilimon getting his marching orders. Had that not have happened I honestly thought we would have won the game and that incident cost us greatly!
Saturday 16th May 2015: Barclays Premier League
Sunderland 5 Leicester City 0
Mannone/ Van Aanholt/ Ake (Ayhan)/ O Shea/ Jones/ Cattermole/ Huddlestone/ Coman (Wickham)/ Alvarez (Rodwell)/ Johnson/ Borini
Goals: Huddlestone 23’ Johnson 60’ Borini 69’ Coman 74’ O Shea 78’
MOTM: Coman (Sunderland)
The Foxes made a quick return to the Championship after we ran riot over them at the Stadium of Light. Leicester put up a fight throughout but once Johnson made it 2-0 in the second half, the floodgates opened and notched up our highest win of the season. A great way to end our final home game of the season.
Sunday 24th May 2015: Barclays Premier League
Chelsea 1 Sunderland 2
Mannone/ Van Aanholt/ Ake/ O Shea/ Jones/ Cattermole/ Huddlestone/ Borini/ Rodwell (Alvarez)/ Johnson/ Fletcher (Coman)
Goals: Fletcher 23’ Matic 45’ Alvarez 85’
MOTM: Alvarez (Sunderland)
Chelsea had already won the league at this point and rested a lot of their big name players so we took full advantage of that. Alvarez was excellent this season and ends his loan spell at the club by scoring the winner.
End of Season wrap up
Barclays Premier League
UEFA Champion’s League Qualifiers: Chelsea/ Manchester City/ Manchester United/ Arsenal
UEFA Europa League Qualifiers: Everton/ Newcastle United/ Sunderland
Relegated: West Ham United/ Leicester City/ Hull City
Sky Bet Championship
Champions: Cardiff City
Runner up: Norwich City
Playoff winner: Watford
Relegated: Charlton Athletic/ Ipswich Town/ Brentford
Sky Bet League One
Champions: Coventry City
Runners up: Bristol City
Playoff winner: Doncaster Rovers
Relegated: Fleetwood Town/ Gillingham/ Swindon Town/ Crew Alexandra
Sky Bet League Two
Runners up: Plymouth Argyle
3rd Place: Oxford United
Playoff winner: Shrewsbury Town
FA Cup: Manchester United
Capital One Cup: Sunderland
FA Community Shield: Manchester City
UEFA Champion’s League: Bayern Munich
UEFA Europa League: Bayern Leverkusen
For the first time since 2001, we finish 7th in the league. I can’t help but feel that if we got the result against Everton we could possibly have secured Champion’s League football for next season. Nonetheless, it has been a terrific season with us winning for first piece of silverware since that memorable FA Cup win of 1979 and we will be competing in the Europa League next season for the first time ever. As soon as the season was over, we signed up Fabio Borini and Kingley Coman for a combined total of £5 million, what a bargain! Borini’s goals were key this season and as for Kingley, I’m excited for him. I believe we’ve yet to scratch the surface with the guy. He’s going to huge! Vito Mannone handed in a transfer request recently but he joins Steven Fletcher in the Premier League team of the year. Hopefully that could generate a hefty transfer fee for him. Overall, it has been a fantastic season. The seeds have been planted for the future for us to go on to bigger and better things. After all the shit we’ve suffered in recent years, Sunderland are a sleeping giant on the rise.