5 matches that shaped the Premier League relegation battle


While all eyes were on Leicester's remarkable title win, at the other end of the Premier League there was nothing approaching a fairytale for Newcastle or Norwich.

Here's a look at five of the key games in the battle which saw Sunderland stay up at their expense.

Norwich 3 Newcastle 2

April 2

Aleksandar Mitrovic looks dejected after Newcastle's loss to Norwich
(Chris Radburn/PA)

Newcastle did not even benefit from a dead cat bounce as new boss Rafael Benitez, having collected his first point from a derby draw with Sunderland the previous weekend, saw his team fight back twice to level, only to concede again in stoppage time on a day when defeat was not an option.

Norwich 0 Sunderland 3

April 16

Sunderland players celebrate
(Chris Radburn/PA)

Fabio Borini's first-half penalty and further goals from Jermain Defoe and Duncan Watmore not only eased Sunderland out of the drop zone, but boosted the Magpies' survival hopes by dragging the Canaries back into the thick of the fight.

Sunderland 3 Chelsea 2

May 7

Jermain Defoe celebrates scoring for Sunderland
(Owen Humphreys/PA)

Defoe's priceless winner in a five-goal thriller left Sunderland, who had twice come from behind to equalise, on the brink of safety and Newcastle and Norwich deep in trouble.

Aston Villa 0 Newcastle 0

May 7

Dejected Newcastle fan
(Clint Hughes/PA)

Benitez's men headed for already relegated Villa knowing victory over a side which had lost their previous 11 games would keep them firmly in the survival race, but their lack of firepower came back to haunt them once again to leave them staring down the barrel.

Sunderland 3 Everton 0

May 11

Sam Allardyce celebrates
(Owen Humphreys/PA)

From the moment Patrick van Aanholt fired the Black Cats into a 38th-minute lead on a night when victory would prove decisive, Newcastle and Norwich were doomed and a double from central defender Lamine Kone sparked mass celebrations at the Stadium of Light.