Sunderland completed another improbable Barclays Premier League survival mission and relegated north-east rivals Newcastle in the process after cruising to a 3-0 victory over woeful Everton at the Stadium of Light.
Two goals from Lamine Kone followed a Patrick Van Aanholt free-kick as the hosts sealed survival with a game to spare – an achievement lent extra sweetness for the celebrating home fans by the fact it consigned the Magpies, as well as Norwich, to the Championship.
From looking down and out after losing five straight league games at the end of 2015, the Sam Allardyce-inspired drive to safety was made to seem strangely comfortable by another simply abject performance from Roberto Martinez’s visitors.
Elsewhere Liverpool striker Christian Benteke snatched an added-time equaliser as Jurgen Klopp’s managerial magic continued at Anfield with a late 1-1 draw against Chelsea.
Having inspired comebacks against Borussia Dortmund and Villarreal in recent weeks, the German achieved it again as one substitute Sheyi Ojo crossed for another to nod home in the second minute of added time.
Up to that point the visitors appeared set to register their third successive Anfield victory as a rejuvenated Eden Hazard scored his fourth goal in as many matches.
Also Norwich were relegated from the Premier League despite Nathan Redmond inspiring a 4-2 win overWatford at Carrow Road.