Sunderland’s 20th anniversary celebrations at the Stadium of Light turned out to be a damp squib as they were trounced 5-0 by Scottish champions Celtic.
Simon Grayson’s side played their final pre-season game ahead of Friday’s first Championship game at home to Derby County.
Thousands of Celtic fans made the trip to Wearside for the match, and they were in fine voice all the way through the encounter.
But Black Cats fans were left disappointed but the performance from their team and the deflating scoreline.
David Anderson, 47, of Grangetown, said: “Celtic were much, much better than us from the first whistle.
“I thought when I saw the teams we would do OK, but I didn’t see a 5-0 defeat coming.
“Sunderland were terrible really.
“You just hope that we get some new players in between now and the end of the transfer window.
“It’s a shame that the game has turned out the way it has because they just played too well for us to cope with.”
Supporter Sharon Jones, 53, of Durham, said: “I couldn’t believed how easy it was for Celtic.
“Even though we’ve been relegated, you’d expect the team to do better.
“I’m not very optimistic for the rest of the season but maybe we can just write it off as a bad mismatch and start the season well.”
Barry Lawson, of Easington, added: “I felt sorry for our goalkeeper (Jason Steele) because he didn’t have a lot of chance with some of the goals, the defence should be protecting him more.
“I haven’t got a lot of confidence for this season and we need to try and come straight back up if possible.
“But we haven’t spent a lot of money and I can see more of our players who are bigger money leaving.”
Many Celtic fans were seen enjoying themselves in Sunderland city centre ahead of the game, and some paid tribute to SAFC fan Bradley Lowery, who passed away earlier this month after battling childhood cancer neuroblastoma, by taking time to look at the scores of football shirts left at the Stadium of Light following his death.
Celtic fan Arthur Richardson, 56, was one of those who attended the game and said: “It’s the first time I’ve been to the stadium and it’s quite impressive.
“It was a bit of an unfair match from watching it, but that’s just one of those things.”