Late heartache for Middlesbrough plus Swansea woe is some consolation for Sunderland
Sunderland's manager David Moyes' day could have got a lot worse - and he has his old club Manchester United to thank.
With Sunderland stinking out Turf Moor in a 4-1 defeat against Burnley, they will end 2016 in the Premier League relegation zone.
But with just five minutes left at Old Trafford, it looked a lot worse as relegation rivals Middlesbrough led Manchester United 1-0 thanks to a goal from ex-Sunderland midfielder Grant Leadbitter.
But two goals in a minute from Anthony Martial and Paul Pogba turned the game on its head and left Boro just four points above Sunderland, who occupy the final relegation spot.
Another of Moyes' former clubs, Everton, had done him a similar favour last night by grabbing a late equaliser against Hull City to keep them below the Black Cats.
Swansea remain bottom of the table after they were thumped 3-0 at home to Bournemouth.
However, Islam Slimani eased any growing relegation pressure at Leicester as the champions held on to beat West Ham 1-0.
Crystal Palace, now managed by former Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce, have a game in hand which they will use tomorrow when they travel to Arsenal.