Writer: Micheal Briggs
Date:Saturday April 17 2010
Safe and sound
Sunderland will be playing premiership football for the third year in a row after they edged past a doomed looking Burnley side 2-1 at the Stadium of Light.
Frazier Campbell scored his seventh goal of the campaign after fantastic work from on loan defender Alan Hutton.
Campbell would then turn provider, when his downward header found the high flying Bent who was unmarked and left to tap in.
The game would have a nervy end however when Robbie Blake put through substitute Steven Thompson who finished with a fine 25-yard finish.
It looks to be all a little too late for a Burnley team who look set for life in the Championship.
Steve Bruce will now want to make a belatedly push to try secure a place in the top half of the table by May 9th.
The black cats started as if they had a point to prove after the defeat West Ham last week.
John Mensah and Michael Turner came very close to taking an early lead but Brian 'the Beast` Jensen done well to keep both attempts out.
The returning Kenwyne Jones then hit the post before Campbell put the home side up by a goal to nil.
Bent held the ball up for the onrushing Alan Hutton, who crossed for the former Manchester United and Hull player to finish with aplomb.
Burnley look to be in dismay with the constant threat of The Lads and they suffered yet again from man of the moment, Bent.
David Meyler's delightful chip found Campbell and the forward stretched every sinew to head the ball back across goal for the unmarked Bent to volley home left-footed.
In the second half the tables would be turned and it would be Burnley who would begin to worry and dominated Sunderland, to the annoyance of the home fans.
Penalty kick king Graham Alexander's daisy cutter was just proof of the advance that the away side were beginning to make.
But the black cats did have their chances and really should have killed the game off; Kieran Richardson, Hutton and Bent all had efforts on target but failed to test Jensen.
Jones later looked to have ease the home fans with a fantastic curling shot but again Jensen was equal to it.
But it would be travelling side that would punish the wasted chances by Sunderland when Thompson scored.
Almost a minute after being introduced to the game, Blake fed fellow substitute Thompson, whose driving shot from outside the box gave the diving Craig Gordon no chance.
That goal put the Black Cats slightly on edge, but anything other than a win would have been unjust for a Sunderland side who remain unbeaten at home since December.
Manager Steve Bruce called it 'Job done` after mathematically securing another season in the premier league.
Reflecting on the game he said, "We should have been out of sight in the first half, when we were wonderful.
"To be fair to Burnley, they never gave up and got a goal back which made it edgy, but overall I thought some of our football was terrific.
"It could have been five or six but we got sloppy. Tenth place is within our grasp - it's been a good day.
"There's been progress this season. Our home form has been fantastic but I have to analyse us away from home and try to change something, starting with the next couple of games.
"At home we have two attacking full-backs and two wide players who can beat teams.
"For 80 minutes I was delighted. Of course, it wouldn't be Sunderland without conceding one, would it?
"We were a constant threat, but all credit to Burnley. They stuck at it.
"Having 41 points gives us a chance of tenth with three games to go. It's not a bad return. We'll take where we are and go again."
Date:Saturday April 17 2010
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|12. Leicester City||4||1||2||1||-1||5|
|13. West Ham||4||1||1||2||-1||4|
|17. Crystal Palace||4||0||2||2||-3||2|
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