Preston 0-3 Sunderland: Black Cats pounce on Play-Offs position after an electrifying final-day win
Following a drama filled final day in the Championship, Sunderland are set to compete in the play offs in back-to-back seasons, following a 3-0 victory over Preston.
Sunderland came into the game unbeaten in eight games, and with a sold out away end of 6,000 fans, and other games else where needing to go their way, the odds were stacked against the Black Cats.
Sunderland got off to a slow start, and Preston took full advantage with a bombardment of early crosses into the 18-yard-box, however they were unable to score.
Sunderland slowly crept back into the game, implementing a high line, and keeping possession of the ball.
Patrick Roberts responded to Preston’s early pressure with a curling shot from his signature left foot, but Freddie Woodman made an excellent save to deny Roberts a stunning goal.
Late into the first half, Preston had the best chance of the match, with Liam Delap racing onto a Preston counter attack and missing a one-on-one opportunity, poking his shot wide.
The Black Cats came out with intent in the second half, knowing that they needed a victory to have any chance of making the play-offs.
They put Preston under immense pressure, eventually breaking through via a perfectly placed shot from Amad Diallo into the top left-hand corner.
The game opened up again with end-to-end football being played by both sides, and if it wasn’t for an acrobatic goal-line clearance from Jack Clarke, Preston would have equalised.
Sunderland eventually increased their goal lead to two, after the ball fell to Alex Pritchard on the edge of the box, and he then passed into into the back of the net.
The away-support were begging their team to push for a third goal. Clarke, gave it to them, creating space on his right hand side to slot the ball into the bottom right corner.
The Black Cats then controlled the rest of the game, and the away fans grew louder and louder after hearing about Blackburn’s comeback win over Millwall.
The full-time whistle sent them crazy, after having all the odds stacked against them, Sunderland finished sixth on goal difference.
If Sunderland succeed in their play-off campaign, they will become the fourth team in history to achieve back-to-back promotions from League one to the Premier League.