Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere has praised Sunderland and said they deserve their status as a Premier League side.
The Black Cats managed a 0-0 draw with Arsenal at The Emirates despite having only 27 per cent possession, gaining the point they needed to guarantee survival.
Manager Dick Advocaat was tearful at the final whistle, but for Arsenal it was a feeling of frustration for not making their pressure count.
Wilshere was positive about Sunderland, admitting their point was well earned.
He told Arsenal's official website: "We created some chances but we have just got to put them in next time. Fair play to Sunderland, they came here to do a job and they needed a point and they did it.
"They are a big club and they deserve to be in the Premier League and I am happy for them."
Wilshere's kind words will be well received on Wearside, while Sunderland's local rivals Newcastle United are still sweating on their survival.
The Arsenal midfielder was making his first start in the Premier League since November, when he picked up an ankle injury against Manchester United.
He had made two prior substitute appearances ahead of last night, which was a positive step for him in his quest to earn a place in the FA Cup Final against Aston Villa at the end of the month.