Hull City 0 Sunderland 2
Relegated Sunderland secured a first win in three long months with a two-goal victory over Hull City to drag the Tigers closer to the drop.
Marco Silva's side simply got it all wrong, with an odd overconfidence prior to kick-off giving way to a growing nervous panic at the KCOM Stadium on which Sunderland were able to capitalise.
David Moyes' team played reasonably well and with an apparent refreshed air about them having been so dreadful for so long.
Ultimately it was too little too late, and whilst there are positives to ponder taking into the summer, the three points do little more than salvage a tiny piece of pride and gave the long-suffering travelling Mackems an afternoon of some fleeting cheer for once.
Those waking from a rare victory hangover will do so with the nagging pain of relegation lodged in the rear of their brain and still acutely aware of the fresh challenges that life in the Championship is soon to present.
Here's how the national press reflected on the game.
The Mail - Tigers plunged further into relegation mire as Billy Jones and Jermain Defoe secure win for already-relegated Black Cats
A special mention for many people's man-of-the-match Jordan Pickford from a watching Joe Bernstein writing for the Mail on Sunday:
While David Moyes and Sunderland will be in the Championship next season, their outstanding young goalkeeper Jordan Pickford might not be.
Pickford underlined why Premier League clubs will be chasing him this summer with a number of top-class saves that not only plunged Hull into further relegation bother but also ended Marco Silva's unbeaten home run stretching three years.
But David Moyes - who this week repeated his warning to clubs circling Sunderland's assets-with-value - scoffed at reports suggesting Everton will land Pickford for £17m:
'I had a joke with Jordan afterwards, I told him I didn't think any of those saves were difficult,' said a mischievous Moyes.
'I think it gives you an idea of where I think Jordan is. When I looked at a young Joe Hart with his build and size, I think Jordan is on that road at the moment. I think he is the best newcomer in the Premier League this season by a mile.'
Clubs like Everton want a new No 1 but Moyes scoffed at a reported valuation of only £17million. 'Rubbish figures,' he said. 'He is under contract, and a good English player. It will need to be a good price.'
The Guardian - Billy Jones strikes for Sunderland to dent Hull City’s survival hopes
Perhaps David Moyes had a point to prove in salvaging a modicum of pride - no matter how futile in the grand scheme of things - by beating Hull City who have performed exactly how Sunderland sides of old have done to launch an improbable survival bid of their own this season.
Louise Taylor certainly thinks so writing in the Guardian:
David Moyes was recently asked if he felt “shown up” by Marco Silva’s impressive stewardship of Hull City. Sunderland’s manager gave a bland answer, yet the flintiness in his eyes suggested he was both inwardly seething and particularly keen to end his East Yorkshire counterpart’s proud record of having not lost a home League game in Portugual, Greece and England since March 2014.
And a wry smile perhaps aimed at Sunderland's travelling fans who had a remarkably enjoyable afternoon considering how dismal this season end had become. With the pressure off, the Mackems enjoyed the rare respite of watching someone else squirm on their own turf desperate for a result:
Accustomed to sitting back at home before hurting visitors on the counter-attack, Hull were suddenly supposed to be dominant but did not seem to have entirely got the hang of it. Almost imperceptibly, such uncertainty spread to an initially noisy home crowd, prompting chants of “Is this a library?” from Sunderland’s large, vocal and surprisingly cheerful, travelling support.
The Independent - Marco Silva loses unbeaten home record at the worst time for Hull as doomed Sunderland fight comes too late
James McCath was at the KCOM for the Independent, and reflecting on the football considered that Sunderland's game plan was ready-made to capitalise on a Hull City side who had seemed to believe three points was theirs before kick-off, and were then unable to readjust when David Moyes' side performed for once:
The visitors stood firm to Hull’s attacks and had bright moments of their own on the break.
And as for the goals:
O’Shea flicked on Honeyman’s corner at the near post to allow Jones a diving header into the bottom corner with 21 minutes left.
This was supposed to be Hull’s home banker but they were making a mess of it.
Sunderland added their second in stoppage time when Defoe moved ahead of Andrea Ranocchia to apply a scrappy finish to Sebastian Larsson’s free-kick, as the Hull defence appealed for offside.
‘Two-nil to the Championship’, sang the away fans.
The Telegraph: Marco Silva's team slump to surprise home defeat against relegated Black Cats
Luke Edwards was the Telegraph's man on Humberside:
And he didn't have anything interesting to say.
The Times - Sunderland strike back to leave Hull on the edge
Swansea may have Jordan Pickford to thank if the Welsh club can survive at Hull's expense according to Nick Townsend for The Times:
Jordan Pickford pulled off two splendid saves and dominated his area throughout.
And the correspondent has a note for the Swans who are next up at the Stadium of Light and desperate for win to build on the helping hand Sunderland gave them yesterday:
Swansea, whom the Black Cats host on Saturday and have benefited hugely from this outcome, should beware. The manner in which Marco Silva’s splendid record was ended — he was unbeaten in 41 home matches as a manager stretching back to his days at Estori — was no stroke of fortune.
As for the future, The Times consider that David Moyes remains only partially committed to the Sunderland job next season:
Moyes has not yet been provided with firm guarantees that the money they [Sunderland] expect to recoup from saleable assets such as Jordan Pickford, the England Under-21 goalkeeper who has drawn interest from Everton, will be reinvested.