SUNDERLAND fell to a demoralising 5-0 defeat at Manchester City with hopes of Europe now long gone for the Black Cats.
Easington’s Adam Johnson set the ball rolling with an eighth-minute opener after City opened up the visitors’ defence too easily.
Phil Bardsley’s foul on Carlos Tevez produced a penalty on the quarter hour, and the Argentinian just managed to beat Simon Mignolet from the resulting spot kick.
It got no better after the break for a Sunderland side looking short of confidence and showing no creative spark.
David Silva, Patrick Vieira - with his first touch after coming on as a sub - and Yaya Toure goals piled on the agony in the second half.
And it could have been even worse as Mignolet’s brilliant save prevented Mario Balotelli from making it 6-0 with the last kick of the game.
Sunderland are now in their lowest league position since October and are badly in need of a lift at home to West Brom next weekend.
Steve Bruce’s side have not won since January.