More misery for Moyes as Sunderland relegated

Premier League

Sunderland’s 10-year stay in the Premier League is over after Josh King’s late strike gave Bournemouth a 1-0 victory on Saturday that condemned the Black Cats to relegation.

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.

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Sunderland players Jermain Defoe and Victor Anichebe show their disappointment after their club were relegated. Photo: Lee Smith, Action Images via ReutersSunderland manager David Moyes and Bournemouth assistant manager Jason Tindall. Photo: Lee Smith, Action Images via ReutersSunderland fans look dejected after confirmation that the club are relegated. Photo: Scott Heppell, ReutersJoshua King scores the winner for Bournemouth. Photo: Scott Heppell, Reuters

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 close-season.

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 on to a post and then bounced into the grateful arms of goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.

Sunderland manager David Moyes and Bournemouth assistant manager Jason Tindall. Photo: Lee Smith, Action Images via Reuters

Jermain Defoe’s failure to score since February has been instrumental in Sunderland’s downfall, and the England forward was still out of sorts.

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 good position.

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 halftime.

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 on to Fraser’s pass and slotted home to put the seal on a season to forget on Wearside.

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