Sunderland vs Leicester City reaction: Black Cats hope their lives aren't out after tense draw with safe Foxes

Sunderland 0 Leicester City 0: Foxes secure Premier League status

Click to follow
The Independent Online

If anyone can rip salvation from the jaws of oblivion, it’s this Sunderland side. For the Black Cats’ players, the art of escapology has become as natural as driving or riding a bicycle.

But the annual relegation scrap is increasingly difficult for Wearsiders to stomach. Even Dick Advocaat, the latest rent-a-manager to fight in their corner, hasn’t got the appetite to do it all over again next year.

“No, no, no I’ll get a divorce,” he said, when asked if he could see himself carrying on. “This is my last job.” It's a case of mission accomplished for the 67-year-old and he will happily take his memories and enjoy retirement.

The Black Cats started emphatically, albeit without a goal to show for their efforts, but the defensive frailties which saw them concede four against Crystal Palace last month remain.

In truth, Advocaat, the former Zenit Saint Petersburg and PSV boss, isn’t the man to repair the roof at the Stadium of Light – whatever the current climate in the North East.

The very fact Sunderland have fanned the fires of relegation so many times in the past makes their future even more uncertain.

If they are to enjoy a more prosperous campaign next year – whatever division they find themselves in – they will need to carry out major surgery this summer.

The ‘Little General’ is best advised to move to one side and allow a new man to carry out the procedure.

In the meantime, both Leicester and their hosts seemed willing to settle for a point - safe in the knowledge (at least in the second half) that Hull were falling to defeat to Tottenham.

A draw would have been enough to ease Sunderland nerves and confirm Leicester's safety.

But, as news of Newcastle's demise at Queens Park Rangers filtered through, the hosts were given a shot in the arm.

On came Adam Johnson, still fighting his own off-field controversies, as Advocaat went for broke. Likewise, Pearson threw on Andrej Kramaric in retaliation.

A decidedly scrappy and intensely competitive match eventually dwindled out, however, as both contingents of supporters kept their heroes in the loop about events elsewhere.

For Sunderland, this sort of escape is standard issue. It should be sorted in due course - unless Hull achieve an improbable victory over Manchester United.

Leicester, meanwhile, have achieved the impossible after 140 days at the foot of the table - with one match to spare.

Their stunning revival will be remembered for a long time in the East Midlands. Tonight's party on Wearside, mind you, is likely to be forgotten when morning comes.