Stewart Donald watches on as Sunderland end season by thumping Wolves
Stewart Donald was there to watch on as Sunderland thumped champions Wolves.
Ovie Ejaria, Ashley Fletcher and Paddy McNair got the goals in an emphatic win that ended an utterly miserable season on something of a high.
Bouyed by the news of a takeover in the offing, the home support sang defiantly throughout as a group of young players showed their talents again.
There were debuts for Luke Molyneux, Denver Hume and Bali Mumba, while Elliot Embleton also made a composed appearance.
Sunderland were utterly dominant in the first half and their two goal lead was the least they deserved.
They had their first opportunity just 11 minutes into the game, the lively Luke Molyneux, only added to the team due to a late injury for Kazenga LuaLua, just missing a chance to shoot from a low cross. Joel Asoro met the ball at the far post but his shot was blocked.
Molyneux quickly made amends when Paddy McNair drove the ball across goal. The youngster saw his effort saved by Will Norris in the Wolves goal, but Ovie Ejaria was there for the simplest of tap-ins.
Wolves were utterly abject, the hosts completely dominant as McNair, Ashley Fletcher and Ejaria all went close. The visitors, so dominant in the league this seaosn, created only one opening, Ruben Neves advancing from the left and firing over the bar.
Sunderland got the second their play warranted with the last kick of the half, as Fletcher raced onto a long ball and stabbed it goalward. Norris was caught out and the ball crept home.
Wolves began the second half much livelier, with Morgan Gibbs-White and Ruben Neves both going close.
Sunderland, though, were far from done and Ejaria arguably should have had a penalty when Norris tried to bring him down as he advanced on goal. The midfielder stayed on his feet and so the referee gave no foul, but within minutes it was three. McNair picked up the ball in the box and twisted away from three defenders, firing confidently into the net.
From there they coasted to victory, with Robbie Stockdale giving a number of youngsters their first taste of the Stadium of Light, while John O'Shea, playing here possibly for the last time, was given a standing ovation as he left the field late on.
Sunderland XI: Steele; Matthews, O'Shea (Mumba, 87), Wilson, Oviedo (Hume, 70); Robson, McNair (Embleton, 75), Ejaria; Molyneux, Asoro, Fletcher
Subs: Camp, Maja, Clarke-Salter, McManaman
Wolves XI: Norris (Burgoyne, 70); Doherty, Coady, Batth, Miranda, Douglas; Neves, Saiss, Costa (Enobakhare, 55), Gibbs-White (Bonatini, 55); Silva
Subs: N'Diaye, Afobe, Vinagre, Hause