Saturday 04 May 2013
Premierleague.com rifles through the annals of the Barclays Premier League to find significant events.
The sigh of relief from the Stadium of Light could be heard across the land as Sunderland avoided the ignominy of becoming the first team in English league history to complete a season without a home victory.
The Black Cats faithful had endured a miserable campaign in 2005/06 and relegation had been confirmed with five matches to go.
Only two victories had been recorded all season but both of them had been on the road and Sunderland's final home match against Fulham, rearranged after the original contest was abandoned, represented the last chance to prevent an unwanted record.
Sunderland took the lead on 32 minutes when Anthony Le Tallec headed home George McCartney's cross and the home side doubled their lead when Chris Brown stabbed home with 33 minutes to go.
Fulham pulled a goal back through Tomasz Radzinski's curling shot and although the visitors had chances to equalise, Sunderland hung on to claim a memorable victory.
"From a selfish point of view, it's nice but what's most important is our fans, players and everyone connected with the club," said Sunderland caretaker manager Kevin Ball.
"Beforehand, I said 'Let's send people home with smiles on their faces'. I'm pleased to be able to report they did. The supporters were magnificent and got behind us when we needed them to."