Sunderland’s great escape is remarkable, but they couldn’t give their home fans one more positive result as two early goals from Swansea put them through for all three points at the Stadium of Light.
Nathan Dyer and Marvin Emnes were the men to put the visitors up two inside 15 minutes, and Sunderland couldn’t pick up enough steam to get back level.
The three-point spoils for the Swans gives them a 12th-place finish, maybe not what they would have hoped for in the beginning of the season but better than things looked two months ago.
They also finish with an even goal differential, the only team below eighth place without a negative number.
Sunderland finish up 14th, five points off the drop and secure even before this match started. The loss certainly won’t knock the massive mountain the club climbed in the final few weeks, and Gus Poyet will covet the ending despite the loss.
The first came in the seventh minute off a beautiful through ball from Wayne Routledge found a streaking Nathan Dyer down the right hand side, who had cut past Phil Bardsley, and Dyer flicked the ball over Vito Mannone and home for the first goal.
They’d quickly bag another, as a pinpoint dink from Wilfried Bony to Marvin Emnes found the attacker one-on-one with John O’Shea, and a quality 180-degree turn from the on-loan striker and he blasted the ball top-corner for the finish and a 2-0 lead.
It’s Emnes’s first goal for Swansea in his seventh appearance, having come over on loan from Middlesborough in January.
Both teams had their pops on goal, but Swansea appeared to be comfortably finishing out the half. Sunderland had one big chance, just a minute before the break when a distance shot from Phil Bardsley locked onto the underside of the bar, but it was kept out by a spectacularly acrobatic save by Gerhard Tremmel.
After the halftime break, Sunderland looked a changed side, and they were rewarded very soon. Fabio Borini headed a corner past the near post just five minutes into the second half and Sunderland had a lifeline.
But their comeback was short-lived, as Swansea restored their two-goal lead. Emnes was brilliant down the left, and the ball trickled to Bony with space in the box, who took one step right and fired low for his 17th league goal of the season and a 3-1 lead.
Swansea City – Tremmel; Tiendalli (Davies 75′), Amat, Bartley, Taylor, Fulton (Britton 73′), Shelvey, Dyer, Emnes (De Guzman 55′), Routledge, Bony.
Goals – Dyer 7′, Emnes 14′, Bony 54′
Sunderland – Mannone, Vergini, Bardsley (Celustka 64′), Brown, O’Shea (Altidore 84′), Bridcutt, Larsson (Ba 71′), Colback, Johnson, Borini, Wickham.
Goals – Borini 50′