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Chelsea, Sunderland show injuries matter

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Contrast between top and bottom clear

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David Moyes' future in doubt

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Last Rites for Sunderland

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Sunderland continue to bow out of the Premier League with a whimper

Sunderland's last home game of a 10-year Premier League stay ended in a dismal 2-0 defeat that gave no cause for optimism in the Wearsiders' Championship struggles to come.

Mercifully there was no lap of honour from Sunderland at the end -- Moyes had said previously that players ought to be hanging their heads in shame instead -- following what was one of their most embarrassing, turgid performances of a rotten season.

Referee Andre Marriner added to Sunderland's misery by denying a clear penalty when Gylfi Sigurdsson stuck out his arms to block a Sebastian Larsson free kick. Aside from that and a bad miss by Billy Jones, though, Sunderland never looked like taking anything from a game controlled with ease by Swansea.

If Moyes stays in charge at Sunderland, his unavoidable overhaul of the squad will need to be radical and imaginative. Before then, he must try to work out how to escape humiliation in the two remaining games, away trips to Arsenal and champions Chelsea.

SunderlandSunderland
Swansea CitySwansea City
0
2
FT
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Positives

The sight of Bradley Lowery, the desperately ill five-year-old Sunderland supporter who has won millions of hearts, in the arms of his hero Jermain Defoe as the teams took the field.

Negatives

Sunderland looked inept from the start, beaten from the moment Swansea took the lead in the 10th minute and lacking in all the necessary attributes of the modern, top-class game.

Manager rating out of 10

3 -- Irrespective of budgetary constraints and injuries, Moyes can take no personal pride from this season. He once again failed to motivate his players just when the Stadium of Light needed an encouraging farewell to the Premier League.

Players' ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating).

GK Jordan Pickford, 6 -- Has had a magnificent season but showed poor judgement when rushing from his line for Sigurdsson's free kick, giving Fernando Llorente a free header for the first goal.

DF Billy Jones, 5 -- A routine mixture of willing forward surges and less than convincing defending, he also missed Sunderland's best chance, when Wahbi Khazri's free kick was parried by Lukasz Fabianski.

DF John O'Shea, 5 -- Rarely showed the leadership Sunderland have come to expect from him and was partly at fault as Llorente rose to head home.

DF Lamine Kone, 5 -- Not sufficiently commanding in central defence, despite a couple of important interceptions.

DF Javier Manquillo, 5 -- Nowhere to be seen when Kyle Naughton sprinted through the defence for Swansea's second. Otherwise ordinary at best.

Seb Larsson was the best player for Sunderland, not that he had much competition.

MF Jason Denayer, 5 -- Shared blame with O'Shea and Pickford for the opener and never impressed before injury forced him off.

MF Didier Ndong, 4 -- Plenty of effort but all too easily dispossessed.

MF Fabio Borini, 4 -- Produced one good first-half cross, perhaps the only positive memory of an uninspired performance.

MF Sebastian Larsson, 7 -- Showed more passion than most and should have had a penalty but, instead, was booked for an understandable if pointless dissent.

MF Victor Anichebe, 5 -- Another first-half injury casualty, having had little chance to make an impact.

FW Jermain Defoe, 6 -- Had one reasonable shot on target and contributed customary industry, but could not score the goal he dearly wanted in what was almost certainly his last home game for the club.

Substitutes

MF Darron Gibson, 4 -- Once again, he offered little evidence of the midfield authority Sunderland expected when he signed from Everton in January.

MF Wahbi Khazri, 5 -- Offered a hint of urgency and one threatening free kick, but no more.

Colin is ESPN FC's Sunderland blogger. Follow him on Twitter at @salutsunderland

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