SUNDERLAND 4 CARDIFF CITY 0
Sunderland - Wickham 26', 86', Borini (pen) 45', Giaccherini 76'
Red cards - Juan Cala (Cardiff)
Man of the match - Connor Wickham (Sunderland)
Gus Poyet hailed the best refereeing decision he has ever seen after seeing Sunderland drag themselves out of the Premier League relegation zone.
The 46-year-old Uruguayan was full of praise for match official Phil Dowd, who sent off Cardiff City defender Juan Cala for pulling back Connor Wickham and awarded a penalty late in the first half after initially allowing play to continue.
Poyet said the decision was a direct result of the debate sparked by West Ham United midfielder Matt Jarvis’s attempts to stay on his feet under the challenge of Arsenal defender Bacary Sagna earlier this month that ultimately went unrewarded.
“It’s the best decision I have ever seen from a referee in my life, it’s as simple as that,” said Poyet, the Sunderland head coach. “If we really want to stop players going down easily, this is the way. So all the credit to Phil today, because he did what we all wanted, but it was for some reason not possible.
“Definitely, Jarvis helped us a lot, because after that incident with Jarvis, we have been talking about these actions for the last two weeks.”
Fabio Borini converted the penalty to make it 2-0 after Wickham had opened the scoring for Sunderland.
Goals in the second half from Emanuele Giaccherini and Wickham completed the victory, moving them into the 17th spot and above Norwich City on goal difference.
“Let’s not think we have done everything because we have done nothing,” Poyet said. “There are still games to play and everything can change ... I talked about miracles, let’s see if in two weeks’ time I am here telling you that miracles happen.”
The result leaves Cardiff at the bottom of the table with two games remaining. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the club’s manager, said: “We have got two games. We have got to win those two.”
Follow us on twitter at @SprtNationalUAE