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Oviedo, Gibson join Sunderland from Everton

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David Moyes loves going back to his former club to pick up players…

He’s getting the band back together, so to speak.

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Sunderland signed Everton duo Bryan Oviedo and Darron Gibson on Monday as they both joined on permanent deals at the Stadium of Light and could feature against Tottenham on Tuesday (Watch live, 2:45 p.m. ET online via NBCSports.com).

Their arrival means that out of the 14 new players Moyes has signed since arriving at Sunderland in the summer, five are former Everton players and three are former Manchester United players.

Oviedo, 26, has found chances hard to come by since Ronald Koeman took charge and the Costa Rican international was allowed to leave to play regularly after his promising career was halted following a horrendous leg break in January 2014 in a FA Cup game at Stevenage. Moyes signed Oviedo from Copenhagen back in 2011 when he was in charge of Everton and he has signed a deal until 2020 at Sunderland.

Gibson, 29, is a Republic of Ireland international who has also struggled with injuries in recent seasons and has signed an 18-month contract. The Manchester United product was also signed by Moyes when he was in charge at Everton in 2012 but has made jut 69 appearances in all competitions for the Toffees over a six-season stint.

Speaking about the duo, Moyes was delighted to bolster his squad after losing left back Patrick van Aanholt to Crystal Palace on Monday.

“Bryan is a very good player and he’ll help us get forward. He’s quick and overall he’s a decent left-back,” Moyes said. “I signed him for Everton from Copenhagen as cover for Leighton Baines at the time, and he’s only not getting in because of how well Leighton’s done. He’s 26 which is a good age for us and I think he’s a really good character – a good boy – and I’m hoping he’s someone who will help us over the years.”

“We’ve got Darron on an 18-month contract and I think he’s a very good footballer; he’ll add a bit of quality with his passing and his play and I’d love him to add goals. He has a really good strike and if he can add goals from midfield it would be a big bonus.”

When Everton host Sunderland on Feb. 25, the Toffees fans will spend most of the time applauding Moyes and their former players with Steven Pienaar, Joleon Lescott and Victor Anichebe also on board at the Stadium of Light.

For Moyes, it’s a case of having people he trusts around him to try and help lift struggling Sunderland off the bottom of the Premier League table as they currently sit three points from safety.

Burnley 4-1 Sunderland: Gray hat trick drubs Black Cats

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  • Gray nets hat trick
  • Barnes adds PK
  • Defoe ruins clean sheet

Andre Gray and Burnley emphatically defeated Sunderland to move nine points clear of the drop zone with a 4-1 win at Turf Moor on Saturday.

Ashley Barnes added a penalty as Burnley moved to 23 points.

Jermain Defoe scored a consolation goal for Sunderland, which remains 18th with 14 points.

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Burnley had some early chances, with Ashley Barnes tempting goal even before his mate atop the 4-4-2 found the back of the goal.

Gray hit his shot through Vito Mannone, whose arm merely got a piece of the ball after John O'Shea and Papy Djilobodji both went for a 50-50 long ball with Barnes, allowing Gray unfettered access to the Sunderland goal.

 

Gray made it 2-0 after the break, busting through Djilobodji’s pullback to move around Mannone and push a long pass home. It wasn’t long before he sealed his hat trick, Burnley snaring the ball off a Steven Pienaar slip and Gray stroking home on the break.

Sebastian Larsson chopped down Canadian international Scott Arfield in the box, and Barnes converted the PK to make it 4-0.

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Defoe pulled one back for Sunderland in the 71st minute off an inch-perfect feed from Adnan Januzaj.

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Sunderland 2-1 Leicester City: Black Cats buzzing, Luck running out for Leicester

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  • Black Cats up to 18th
  • Own goal, Defoe the markers
  • Leicester two points clear of drop
  • Okazaki pulls one back

Sunderland looked left for dead; Now the Northeast club’s Premier League survival hopes very much alive.

The Black Cats knocked off Leicester City for a third win in four games, kicking the Foxes firmly into the relegation mix after a 2-1 match at the Stadium of Light on Saturday.

Jan Kirchhoff hit the header than turned into a Robert Huth own goal, making a much-needed return to the Sunderland side.

Demarai Gray found Shinji Okazaki to make it 2-1 with 12 minutes to play.

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Victor Anichebe is a striker in form, barely missing with an early laser before seeing a sure goal deflected away from goal to set up a fifth minute corner. The hosts were humming at the Stadium of Light.

Anichebe had a shout for a penalty in the 14th minute while Wes Morgan jostled with him in the box, but his cries were unheard and the big man didn’t go down.

Scary before the break, as Marc Albrighton and with Black Cats midfielder Steven Pienaar came together in an inadvertant collission. Pienaar was left the worse for it.

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Islam Slimani didn’t see a seeing-eye pass through the 18 before it struck his shin, and Sunderland dodged an early bullet.

But oh boy. Kirchhoff won a free header by beating Huth to a corner kick, and his effort hit the defender on the way into the goal.

Defoe buttressed the lead with a fine goal, and it was one Sunderland would need following Okazaki’s finish.

Young goalkeeper Jordan Pickford got the job done for the Black Cats down the stretch, and Moyes can puff out his chest for yet another week after a miserable start to the season.

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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?

Zlatan Ibrahimovic apologizes for yellow card suspension…sort of

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Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has earned himself a yellow card suspension just 11 matches into the season, and it couldn’t have come at a worse time.

The Swedish attacker was booked in the 76th minute of the 3-1 win over Swansea after toppling Leroy Fer. That’s Ibrahimovic’s fifth yellow card of the season, meaning he will miss the next Premier League match – a home date with Arsenal.

Ibrahimovic apologized to Manchester United fans for seeing himself forced off for such a big match, although he did not do so without adding a teaspoon of shade along with it.

“I am sorry I am suspended for the next game,” Ibrahimovic said after the match. “I wish I wasn’t as it’s a game I really wanted to play in. But I have trust in my team-mates and the team and I know they can do fine also without me.”

That was the extent of Ibrahimovic’s apology, as he made sure to include that he was just playing his usual style. He was clearly frustrated, saying in a postmatch interview, “I thought in England we play rough, no? That’s what I heard. Every time I play rough I get a yellow card.”

“Every time I try to play my game by being strong, and going into the tackles, or whatever it is, I get a yellow card,” Ibrahimovic continued later. “I don’t know what the explanation was [from Sunday’s referee] because I think I was too tired and I didn’t hear him. It is what it is.”

Zlatan will next be available for a home Europa League match against Feyenoord on November 24th, and will return to Premier League action on November 27th agianst West Ham United. Other players suspended for the upcoming Premier League matchweek are Adam Smith, Gareth Barry, Steven Pienaar, Jose Holebas, and Mark Noble.