Sunderland 1 Everton 0 match report: Stephane Sessègnon strike brings reward for Paulo Di Canio’s battlers

 

Stephane Sessegnon's second goal in a week handed Paolo Di Canio victory in his first home game as Sunderland eased themselves further clear of relegation trouble.

There was no knee slide this time, and the pants stayed clean. Nevertheless, Paolo Di Canio was more than satisfied in the wake of trousering another precious three points.

The mud-stained strides of the new Sunderland head coach have been framed and take pride of place at the Stadium of Light after his athletic antics to mark last week’s historic victory at Newcastle. Yesterday the effervescent Italian kept it more low key, leaving his revitalised players to take the plaudits with a second win in three to lift them six points clear of danger. It forced David Moyes to write off Everton’s slim hopes of qualifying for the Champions’ League.

Stéphane Sessègnon scored the only goal in first-half stoppage time to end Sunderland’s three-month wait for a home victory, in the process halting a 12-year, 19-game winless run against a team who only came to life in the final quarter of an hour.

Everton almost levelled in bizarre circumstances with 10 minutes left, Simon Mignolet earning a caution for a fine save to prevent Seb Larsson’s unfathomable 40-yard backpass finding the top corner.

Leighton Baines had a particularly frustrating day, surrendering possession in the lead-up to Sessègnon’s pivotal strike. Larsson fed the Benin forward, who held off Darron Gibson to find the bottom corner from 20 yards. The home crowd wanted another patella pirouette from Di Canio (right), but the Italian made do with a vigorous fist-pump.

“I didn’t go for the knee slide when we scored, even though it was another vital goal,” he revealed, describing the win as his best moment in a career spanning 27 years. “Anyway, it’s been difficult to find another pair of trousers since the other ones ended up being framed.

“The tailor measured me up for some new ones, but at first they were too short, then too long, and then not soft enough before I found the right ones.

“There’s still a lot of hard work to be done, and we’re not safe yet. It could take over 40 points to make sure, and we’re not there yet. It’s another win and that’s vitally important. I’m happy for my players. We deserved it because we put a lot in. It’s one step forward, but that’s all it is.”

Larsson had already gone close with three long-range free-kicks, the Swede denied by Howard and the crossbar while a third, curling effort was just wide in a first half in which Howard did well to block at the feet of Danny Graham.

Man of the match Danny Rose came close to doubling the lead early in the second half, as did Adam Johnson at the death, but in between came the expected Everton rally, though it proved insufficient to prevent a six-match run without defeat from ending.

Mignolet’s fine reaction save denied Nikica Jelavic when the substitute applied a touch to Marouane Fellaini’s 20-yard shot, and Moyes said his side merited a penalty for a Rose foul on Jelavic, but as for Everton’s top-four challenge, the Scot said: “Every game has become a must-win, so I can’t see that happening.”

He added: “Paolo’s got to be delighted with his good start, with two wins out of three. His arrival has helped with the atmosphere in the ground, it was incredible, and when they were hanging on at the end, it gave them a bit of energy. We put them under an awful lot of pressure but we didn’t have the quality where it counted.”

Sunderland (4-4-1-1): Mignolet; Colback, Cuellar, O’Shea, Rose; Johnson, Larsson (Vaughan, 81), N’Diaye, McClean; Sessègnon (Mangane, 90); Graham.

Everton (4-4-1-1): Howard; Coleman, Distin, Heitinga, Baines; Mirallas, Osman (Barkley, 77), Gibson (Jelavic, 46), Pienaar; Fellaini; Anichebe (Naismith, 77).

Referee: Phil Dowd

Man of the match: Rose (Sunderland)

Match rating: 6/10

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk