Sunderland’s pitiful season finally ended today, with a 5-1 defeat at Premier League Chelsea.
Here’s what we learned from the afternoon at Stamford Bridge.
Sunderland team to be ripped up:
The team that faced Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the glorious May sunshine will bear no resemblance to the team that kicks off the Championship in August.
Jordan Pickford likely to be sold this summer, loanees Adnan Januzaj and Javier Manquillo will be sent back.
Fabio Borini will almost certainly be sold, with John O’Shea, Seb Larsson and Joleon Lescott all out of contract, although it seems likely at least the skipper O’Shea will earn a new deal.
Question marks also over Jack Rodwell. Pickford aside, will any of them be missed should they depart?
After this season, no. This Sunderland squad needs ripping up and starting all over again.
Jermain Defoe’s Sunderland career ends with a hamstring strain:
David Moyes’ options for the club’s final Premier League appearance had been hit hard in the run-up to the game with Didier Ndong and Lamine Kone adding to the late injury woe.
Jermain Defoe was the other big notable absentee from the Sunderland squad, the striker having failed a late fintess test after suffering from a hamstring strain.
A sad way for his Sunderland career to come to an end, with the 34-year-old moving on as a free agent this summer.
He was at Stamford Bridge but suited and booted.
Fans will never see him wear the red and white of Sunderland again.
Surprise goal for Javier Manquillo but loan players won’t be missed:
Sunderland sprung an early surprise, taking the lead after just three minutes through Atletico Madrid loanee Javier Manquillo.
The right-back hasn’t done too badly since returning to the Sunderland fold in recent weeks and he capped it off with a fine finish, volleying home from close range.
Overall, though, the loanees won’t be missed. Manquillo hasn’t done enough to make his move permanent, while Adnan Januzaj has been a disaster.
Moyes would have been better off playing one of the younger lads up front. Jason Denayer was hit and miss this season. Time for all parties to move on.
Reinforcing midfield has to be one of the summer priorities:
With Jordan Pickford and Jermain Defoe inevitably set for pastures new this summer, replacing those pivotal figures will be key.
But reshaping the Sunderland midfield must also be high on the agenda. It has been a major problem all season and while Chelsea are champions for a reason, Sunderland didn’t lay a glove during the game.
Lee Cattermole was his usual combative self, but he needs help around him. Jack Rodwell and Seb Larsson are no longer the answer. Too slow, too pedestrian. The ball needs to be moved quicker.
Didier Ndong missed out through injury and Sunderland will do well to keep hold of him. Bringing in midfield reinforcements must be a key priority.
Carnival atmosphere at the Bridge but nothing to celebrate for Sunderland:
Free programmes for fans, marching band around the stadium before kick-off plus the traditional guard of honour for the league winners.
It was party time at Stamford Bridge.
Sunderland, who respectfully paid their tributes to Chelsea’s league win with the guard of honour, were mere bystanders in the celebrations though.
The 2016-17 campaign has been dire pretty much from the off, with the brief flurry of wins in November and December the only thing to briefly lift spirits.
Chelsea fans, players and coaching staff made the most of their success in the sunshine.
For Sunderland, a huge summer awaits as they bid to rebuild in the second tier.
The game has officially gone.
Has the world gone mad?
In the 26th minute of the game, Chelsea skipper and legend John Terry was substituted by Antonio Conte - his final appearance for Chelsea.
Terry, who wears the number 26 shirt, was then widely hugged and applauded by both sets of players before making his way off the Stamford Bridge turf for the final time.
So far, not much wrong with that even if it was a tad over the top. But then his Chelsea teammates proceed to form a guard of honour to salute their captain.
A guard of honour mid-match. The game has gone.