Photo: The moment Sunderland's players knew they were safe

Sunderland thrashed Everton 3-0 at the Stadium of Light to ensure their Premier League safety, relegating two rivals in the process.

After Saturday's comeback win against Chelsea, Sunderland knew exactly what was required of them as Everton visited the Stadium of Light last night.

A win would not only secure the Black Cats' survival, but consign their two remaining relegation rivals - one of which being prime adversaries Newcastle United - to the drop.

On paper, Everton could not have been better opponents for Sam Allardyce's men, having won one of their previous nine league matches.

Though 38 minutes in coming, Patrick van Aanholt's opener settled any nerves, before another defender Lamine Kone doubled Sunderland's advantage shortly before half-time.

After the break, Kone, a January signing from Lorient, added his second of the game to all but end any uncertainty.

The players' elation was palpable as the Ivorian was held aloft by teammates, Younes Kaboul, Yann Mvila and Fabio Borini.

And Allardyce was unable to contain his own delight at the end, having preserved his record of never having suffered relegation from the Premier League.

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