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2017-18 English League Championship, Regular Season
  • Matej Vydra (42')
  • George Honeyman (10')
  • Ashley Fletcher (36')
  • Aiden McGeady (50' PEN)
  • John O'Shea (76')

Sunderland stun Derby to move off bottom of table

Sunderland climbed off the bottom of the Championship table after stunning promotion-chasing Derby 4-1 at a rain-lashed Pride Park
Chris Coleman's team ended a 10-match winless run with first-half goals from George Honeyman and Ashley Fletcher setting them on their way before Matej Vydra replied with his 18th Championship goal of the season.
But Derby never looked like ending their seven-game run without a victory as an Aiden McGeady penalty and a John O'Shea close-range finish boosted Sunderland's chances of avoiding relegation.
The visitors had a goalscoring opportunity as early as the second minute when George Thorne gave the ball away to McGeady who put Fletcher through and Derby goalkeeper Scott Carson's clearance hit the striker and looped just over.
Derby responded with Andreas Weimann firing narrowly over but Sunderland shocked the home side by taking the lead in the 10th minute. A corner was played out to Honeyman just outside the area and his shot took a big deflection off Craig Forsyth to leave Carson stranded.
A poor pass gave Cameron Jerome the chance to break into the box in the 24th minute but he could not pick out a white shirt, and Sunderland doubled their lead in the 36th minute.
Derby skipper Richard Keogh played the ball straight to Fletcher inside his own half and the striker held off two challenges before firing into the bottom left corner.
Fletcher almost set up a third with a ball that flashed across the area but Derby were back in it in the 42nd minute when Weimann headed down a cross and Vydra hooked a fine finish past former Derby keeper Lee Camp from 12 yards.
Sunderland should have restored their two-goal cushion in stoppage time when Curtis Davies missed a header, but Fletcher miskicked from eight yards.
That looked a big moment but there was another in the 50th minute when Sunderland were awarded a penalty. Forsyth tripped Lynden Gooch as he cut inside and, from the resulting spot-kick, McGeady drove his shot into the bottom right corner.
Derby made another attacking change by bringing on David Nugent but Sunderland almost scored a fourth in the 66th minute when McGeady released Fletcher whose shot from 15 yards came back off a post.
The Black Cats hit the woodwork again four minutes later when Paddy McNair headed a corner against the bar but the home side also had their chances, with Vydra blazing a Jerome cross over from 10 yards out.
A goal then would have tested Sunderland's nerve but in the 76th minute the Championship strugglers scored a fourth when a corner was played back by Lamine Kone and O'Shea turned the loose ball in, sealing a victory that lifts them above Burton.

English League Championship Standings

POS Team GP GD PTS
1 Leeds United 21 +22 46
2 West Bromwich Albion 20 +21 45
3 Fulham 21 +10 35
4 Bristol City 21 +4 35
5 Nottingham Forest 20 +10 34
6 Preston North End 21 +7 34
7 Sheffield Wednesday 20 +9 32
8 Cardiff City 20 +3 31
9 Brentford 20 +14 30
10 Blackburn Rovers 20 0 30
11 Swansea City 20 0 30
12 Millwall 21 -1 30
13 Hull City 21 +3 29
14 Birmingham City 20 -4 28
15 Queens Park Rangers 20 -7 28
16 Derby County 20 -6 25
17 Charlton Athletic 21 -2 23
18 Reading 19 -2 21
19 Huddersfield Town 21 -10 21
20 Middlesbrough 21 -10 21
21 Luton Town 21 -17 20
22 Stoke City 21 -11 17
23 Wigan Athletic 20 -15 16
24 Barnsley 20 -18 12