Sunderland Under-23s fell to a 4-0 defeat at relegation rivals Manchester United in last night’s Premier League 2 clash.
The Black Cats would have climbed out of the bottom two with a win, but they remain second-bottom, with only two games left.
Two sides will be demoted.
Manchester United’s victory moved them a point behind Sunderland, who handed a debut to impressive 16-year-old Bali Mumba.
Tahith Chong made the breakthrough in the 24th minute, firing past Max Stryjek after working an opening despite the presence of Owen Gamble and Brandon Taylor.
Zak Dearnley made it 2-0 just before the break, after good work from Chong.
United extended their advantage 10 minutes into the second half, with Indy Boonen firing right-footed beyond Stryjek at the Pole’s near post.
It was all over at 4-0 soon after, with Joe Riley curling his effort over Stryjek and into the corner of the net.
Sunderland’s final two matches come this month.
They entertain leaders Leicester City at the Stadium of Light next Sunday before visiting fourth-placed Swansea on Monday, April 23.
Manchester United U23s: O’Hara, Riley, R. Williams, Borthwick-Jackson, O’Connor, Redmond, Hamilton; Chong, Gribbin, Boonen (Buffonge), Dearnley. Subs: Richardson, Warren, Kehinde, Whelan.
Sunderland U23s: Stryjek, Hume, Gamble, Storey, Taylor, Embleton, Mumba, Molyneux (Kimpioka), Shields, Connelly (Wright), Diamond Subs: Hickey, Talbot, Bale