Lee Cattermole

Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

Sunderland reaches final as Portsmouth fan kicks player (video)

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Sunderland held off Portsmouth to advance to the League One promotion playoff final, and the testy 0-0 second leg really kicked off in the second half.

Black Cats midfielder Luke O’Nien tumbled into the seating area after a tussle with Pompey’s Tom Naylor in the 64th minute.

[ MORE: Jovic to Real Madrid ]

But as O’Nien was kicked by a fan in the front row during his attempt to return to the pitch, setting off a scene with Sunderland’s Lee Cattermole.

The usually ornery and understandably more so Cattermole looked as if he was ready to tangle with the Portsmouth fan before things settled down.

With no goals scored in the second leg, Chris Maguire’s first leg marker at the Stadium of Light sends Sunderland to the precipice of a return to the Championship. The Black Cats will meet with Charlton Athletic or Doncaster Rovers in the final.

Sunderland 2-2 West Ham: Not enough for battling Black Cats

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  • West Ham took lead through Ayew, Collins
  • Sunderland equalized through Khazri, Borini
  • Black Cats bottom on 21 points
  • 1 win in 7 for West Ham

Sunderland drew 2-2 with West Ham United at the Stadium of Light on Saturday but David Moyes‘ men still looked destined for relegation.

West Ham, who had Sam Byram sent off in second half stoppage time, twice took the lead through Andre Ayew and James Collins, but Sunderland dug deep as Wahbi Khazri scored directed from a corner and Fabio Borini netted a late equalizer.

Sunderland stay bottom on 21 points with the draw, while West Ham’s poor run continues as they have 37 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays

The Hammers took the lead early on through Ayew as Andy Carroll‘s shot fell into his patch and the Ghanaian finished superbly. 1-0 to West Ham and the worst possible start for Sunderland.

Robert Snodgrass then curled a wonderful bending effort just wide from the edge of the box as West Ham threatened to go further ahead.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Darron Gibson smashed an effort wide as Sunderland tried to battle back into the game and they scored a freak equalizer to give them hope.

Khazri’s corner from the left missed everyone and nestled into the far corner as Darren Randolph couldn’t get past Victor Anichebe. 1-1.

Buoyed by that equalizer the Black Cats pushed on and Billy Jones fired an effort just wide and Lee Cattermole went down in the box under a challenge from Snodgrass but no penalty kick was awarded.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Just two minutes into the second half Collins put West Ham ahead with a header from close range as he nodded home Snodgrass’ corner. 2-1 to the Hammers.

The Black Cats pushed hard to get back into the game with Didier Ndong‘s shot going way over the bar, then Jermain Defoe‘s effort was blocked from close range.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score

Late on there was a nasty collision which involved Jones and the Sunderland man was stretchered off the pitch with a serious looking injury. His replacement Borini soon had Sunderland level in the 90th minute.

Randolph tried to clear a cross but he got it all wrong as the ball fell to Borini who finished calmly with his first contribution on the pitch. 2-2.

Byram was sent off in stoppage time for a second yellow after fouling Adnan Januzaj and despite plenty of balls into the box the Black Cats could break through.

Despite Sunderland playing well, Moyes’ men came up short and relegation from the Premier League seems like a forgone conclusion at this point despite a battling display.

Premier League AT HALF: Man Utd, West Brom trail (video)

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Premier League midweek!

[ STREAM: Every PL game live here ]


Manchester United 0-1 Everton [STREAM]

David De Gea had a disappointing series of plays that began with allowing a Kevin Mirallas-prodded corner and ended with him tentative while Phil Jagielka made a cute finish.

The Everton defender was being held by Chris Smalling and stuck his leg out to push the ball past De Gea.

Watford 1-0 West Bromwich Albion [STREAM]

M’Baye Niang picked up a Troy Deeney flick, dribbled toward the edge of the 18 and smashed a shot side panel to give the hosts a surprising early lead.

Leicester City 0-0 Sunderland [STREAM]

Lee Cattermole has returned from a long lay-off and — wouldn’t you know it — has a yellow card to his credit.

Burnley 0-0 Stoke City [STREAM]

Tom Heaton has kept the hosts in it, which is a sentence that can be applied to many of Burnley’s recent matches.

PL Sunday preview: Spurs host Everton; Man City visit Sunderland

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Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City need wins to strengthen their respective positions in the top-four race, while Everton are looking to keep their hopes of such a finish a live, and Sunderland are… well, just hoping to get off the bottom of the table.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

Tottenham Hotspur vs. Everton — 8:30 a.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com

Six games — that’s all that stands between Tottenham and an unbeaten season of home fixtures in the Premier League, a most delightful send-off in 118-year-old White Hart Lane’s final season. The last time Spurs lost a league game to Everton, it was December 2012, at Goodison Park (eight PL games unbeaten — three wins, five draws). Harry Kane bagged a hat trick — his third in nine games across all competitions — in Spurs’ demolition of Stoke City, and is now level with Alexis Sanchez (17 goals) in his bid for a second straight PL Golden Boot; Everton’s Romelu Lukaku completes a three-way tie atop the goalscoring charts.

Spurs would go six points clear of fifth-place Arsenal with a victory on Sunday, setting themselves up with a surely insurmountable advantage (as if we haven’t heard that before) heading into the season’s final 11 games. Everton, meanwhile, would move to just three points back of the Gunners with a win, and just two points back of Manchester United for sixth (having played one more game than each).

INJURIES: Tottenham — OUT: Danny Rose (knee); QUESTIONABLE: Harry Kane (knock), Toby Aldeweireld (groin), Jan Vertonghen (hamstring) | Everton — OUT: Yannick Bolasie (knee), Muhamed Besic (knee)

[ MORE: Saturday’s PL roundup — As the kids would say, it was “lit” ]

Sunderland vs. Man City — 11 a.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com

There existed a brief period — five whole days, as it may have been — where Sunderland looked to be on their way to yet another late-season miracle, staving off relegation from the PL in the process. A draw against Tottenham, followed by a 4-0 thrashing of Crystal Palace, and David Moyes‘ side look to be surging. But, back-to-back losses, to Southampton and Everton, by a combined score of 6-0, and the Black Cats are once again bottom of the league with high-flying Man City (three straight wins, by a combined score of 8-1) visiting the Stadium of Light on Sunday.

If the 2016-17 season turns out to be Sergio Aguero’s final one at the Etihad Stadium, he looks determined to go out in style. The Argentine superstar has scored twice and assisted once in each of City’s last two games (all competitions). “I have three months to give my best and, as I always said, in June it will be seen,” Aguero said, when asked about recent praise from his club and manager. “One thing is that the club officially says it and another thing is to tell me. My intention is to stay.”

INJURIES: Sunderland — OUT: Jack Rodwell (hamstring), Jan Kirchoff (knee), Victor Anichebe (knee), Paddy McNair (knee), Lee Cattermole (hip) | Man City — OUT: Gabriel Jesus (ankle), Vincent Kompany (knock), Ilkay Gundogan (knee)

Ahead of critical Hull visit, Sunderland loses Cattermole for four months

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My goodness, does Sunderland need this Saturday’s match against Hull City.

It’s 20th place versus 18th place, and the bottom-dwelling Black Cats welcome the Tigers with the hopes of closing its six-point gap from safety. Hull’s a point back as well, and looking to lowly Sunderland as a prime place to leap ahead.

[ MORE: Mourinho rues lack of respect ]

The Black Cats could use any boost at this time, and instead are finding more bad news.

Midfielder and longtime club servant Lee Cattermole will not be available for at least four months after suffering a major hip injury.

And he joins a decent list of absences for Saturday’s match (from the BBC):

It had been hoped midfielder Jan Kirchhoff would return from injury but the German will not feature.

Midfielder Jack Rodwell is also out through injury while forward Fabio Borini is still sidelined and Steven Pienaar is suspended.

Despite the injuries, David Moyes will hope his Black Cats can build on a 2-1 win at Bournemouth.

“We need to give the supporters something to shout about and we haven’t done enough of that this year,” he said. “Hopefully we can tomorrow.”

Important players Jermain Defoe, Patrick Van Aanholt, and Wahbi Khazri remain healthy. Could that be enough to beat the Tigers?