Everton 0 Sunderland 1 match report: Gus Poyet takes heart from late present as Ki fits for Sunderland’s escape attempt

Capital One Cup hero Ki Sung-yueng tucked home a first half penalty to give Black Cats further hope that they can avoid the dreaded drop this season

Goodison Park

Christmas is usually a time when you can catch The Great Escape on some satellite channel and Sunderland’s might start here.

The odds are still against them. Only three members of Richard Attenborough’s party made it across the German frontiers and only one team, West Bromwich Albion in 2004, has been bottom at Christmas and survived. This was an afternoon on which every team in the relegation zone won but on Wearside they will feel differently about the new year.

Everton were Sunderland’s great hoodoo team and very few making the journey to Merseyside would have contemplated a win against a side that had not lost at Goodison Park for 363 days. “Three points is the best present you can give me,” said Gus Poyet, who since inheriting the chaos left behind by Paolo di Canio has engineered victories over Newcastle, Manchester City, Chelsea, in the Capital One Cup quarter-final, and now Everton. Critically, however, he has been unable to oversee a win against the teams around him.

“I have no explanation for that,” the Sunderland manager said. “We cannot blame anybody but ourselves for that. Against the teams we have to beat, we always do something wrong - we get players sent off, we defend badly, their keeper is man of the match. We have to change that if we are to stay up. There can be no more excuses.”

Poyet remarked that he preferred games that were “not decided by accidents”. This was a case in point only this time the accident was Everton’s and it proved fatal.

Goalkeper Tim Howard took a while to choose where to place his goal-kick and for some reason passed to Leon Osman, who had the tall figure of Ki Sung-yueng bearing down on him. Osman almost trod on the ball, slipped and Howard suddenly found Ki taking the ball past him and, as he did so, took his feet from underneath him.

The moment he did so, Howard punched the turf, he knew precisely what the consequences would be. Osman was immediately substituted, Howard was dismissed. 

Because Ki is married to an actress, Han Hye-jin, they have inevitably been referred to as “South Korea’s Posh and Becks”. They have not yet launched their own brand of perfume but Ki’s penalty carried a Beckham-like certainty about it.

It was Sunderland’s first goal away from home since August and they had not beaten anyone outside the North East since January when they won at a Wigan side managed by Roberto Martinez.

For a time Everton were seized by panic and for about four minutes they were down to nine men when Kevin Mirallas disappeared to the dressing room, probably to go to the loo. 

 Martinez brought on Ross Barkley and with every shot he came closer to breaking through a Sunderland defence that coped manfully without the former Manchester United pairing of Wes Brown and John O’Shea.

 The key figure was Vito Mannone, who palmed away a shot at full stretch from Bryan Oviedo and then denied Barkley, while Fabio Borini cleared off the line. By the time the final whistle went, the game resembled another film from the 1960s, not The Great Escape but The Alamo.

Sport
Thiago Silva pulls Arjen Robben back to concede a penalty
world cup 2014Brazil 0 Netherlands 3: More misery for hosts as Dutch take third place
Sport
Robin van Persie hands his third-place medal to a supporter
Van Persie gives bronze medal to eccentric fan moments after being handed it by Blatter
News
Ian Thorpe had Rio 2016 in his sights
people
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
scienceScientists have developed a material so dark you can't see it...
News
Monkey business: Serkis is the king of the non-human character performance
peopleFirst Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Arts and Entertainment
Blackman: Landscape of children’s literature does not reflect the cultural diversity of young people
booksMalorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Voices
Mrs Brown's Boy: D'Movie has been a huge commercial success
voicesWhen it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Arts and Entertainment
Curtain calls: Madani Younis
theatreMadani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Life and Style
Douglas McMaster says the food industry is ‘traumatised’
food + drinkSilo in Brighton will have just six staple dishes on the menu every day, including one meat option, one fish, one vegan, and one 'wild card'
Life and Style
Once a month, waistline watcher Suran steps into a 3D body scanner that maps his body shape and records measurements with pinpoint accuracy
techFrom heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Sport
Mario Balotelli, Divock Origi, Loic Remy, Wilfried Bony and Karim Benzema
transfersBony, Benzema and the other transfer targets
News
Soft power: Matthew Barzun
peopleThe US Ambassador to London, Matthew Barzun, holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence. He says it's all part of the job
Sport
Joe Root and James Anderson celebrate their record-beaking partnership
cricketEngland's last-wicket stand against India rewrites the history books
News
Gavin Maxwell in Sandaig with one of his pet otters
peopleWas the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?
News
Rowsell says: 'Wearing wigs is a way of looking normal. I pick a style and colour and stick to it because I don't want to keep wearing different styles'
peopleThe World Champion cyclist Joanna Rowsell on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?