Derby day riots, Jermain Defoe’s stunner and title triumphs – Easter moments that could give Sunderland fans hope

Jermain Defoe celebrates his goal against Newcastle.
Jermain Defoe celebrates his goal against Newcastle.
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Sunderland travel to Derby today looking to resurrect their chances of Championship survival.

Historically, the Easter weekend has brought up many positive results for the Black Cats and Chris Coleman will be desperate to pull three points out of the bag.

We take a trip down memory lane to remember Sunderland’s nostalgic moments during the long weekend.

1: Sunderland 1-0 Newcastle: Defoe’s magnificent volley (2015)

Played on Easter Sunday, the Tyne-Wear derby was settled by a moment of brilliance from striker Jermain Defoe.

Defoe thumped home a looping volley from 22 yards to give the Black Cats their fifth successive win over their arch-rivals, moving up to 15th in the Premier League to ease their relegation fears.

2: Chelsea 1-2 Sunderland: The Great Escape (2014)

Going into Saturday’s evening game at title-chasing Chelsea, Sunderland were bottom of the Premier League, six points adrift of safety with five games remaining to survive.

After a midweek away draw against eventual league champions Manchester City, Sunderland went one better at Stamford Bridge as a Connor Wickham strike and a late Fabio Borini penalty gave Sunderland a 2-1 win to register a vital three points.

This was the first of four consecutive wins including an away win against Manchester United, their first at Old Trafford since 1968, as Gus Poyet’s men battled to complete the great escape.

3: Sunderland 3-0 West Brom: Title time (1999)

Sunderland claimed the First Division title with 105 points, then a record, losing just three league games all season.

A brace from Kevin Phillips and a Lee Clark strike gave Sunderland a comfortable victory over The Baggies on Easter Saturday as they went on towards a 17-game unbeaten streak, sealing a memorable return to the Premier League.

4: Sunderland 2-1 Manchester United: Team of the Future (1977)

Jimmy Adamson’s squad defeated Man Utd on Easter Monday in the Wearsiders’ third game in four gruelling days.

Fresh from a 2-2 draw with Newcastle on Good Friday followed by a 1-1 draw at Leeds the next day, they bolstered their survival hopes as goals from Kevin Arnett and Tony Towers saw Sunderland record a 2-1 win over the Red Devils at Roker Park.

After the game, United boss Tommy Docherty described the Sunderland team as “the team of the future”.

5: Newcastle 0-2 Sunderland: Good Friday riot (1901)

Known as the ‘Good Friday riot’, the rivalry between the two North East clubs stretches back for generations and the first major crowd disturbance certainly was not the last.

As 70,000 fans descended to St James’ Park, a 30,000 capacity ground at the time, chaos erupted on Tyneside. With the pitch impossible to clear, the match was abandoned before a ball was kicked.

The game was rearranged for April 25 where Sunderland won 2-0 and went on to finish runners-up in the First Division.