Sunderland shocked the city during the 2013/14 season when they were drawn both Chelsea and Manchester United in the Capital One Cup and still progressed to the final at Wembley Stadium.
They faced the Blues in an intense December clash that saw Frank Lampard hand the visitors the lead just after half-time, before a late goal from Fabio Borini and an 118th minute winner for Ki Sung-yeung handed Sunderland a place in the semi-finals.
The Black Cats then drew Manchester United who – while they weren’t as good as they once were – were definitely the favourites over Sunderland, who sat glued to the foot of the Premier League table.
Gus Poyet’s side were at home in the first leg and took a lead to Old Trafford, but it was the dramatic penalty shoot-out in Manchester that sent fans into hysterics.
Despite a late extra-time goal from Phil Bardsley, the Red Devils took the game to penalties thanks to an equaliser by Javier Hernandez two minutes later.
Sunderland never would have expected to miss three penalties and still win, but Manchester United’s Darren Fletcher was the only one to score for the home side and Marcos Alonso and Ki won it for the Wearside club.
The final between Sunderland and Manchester City was highly anticipated in the north-east and an early goal at Wembley from Borini set the stadium on fire. Fans began to believe they could actually win this as they went into half-time still 1-0 up.
However, Manchester City were Manchester City and a wonder goal from Yaya Toure, followed by goals for Samir Nasri and Keylor Navas confirmed the trophy was returning with the Sky Blues to Manchester.
A disappointing loss but what a journey it was for Sunderland and Gus Poyet.