Date:Thursday April 13 2006
Sunderland have been relegated in all but points and official recognition as far back as Christmas! So much so the bookies shut up shop on them.
But, after two weeks of 'if Pompey, or Brum, or Albion win ... the Wearsiders will be relegated', it is up to Man Utd to finally bring down the sword.
And if the Mackems were honest - they want it to happen on Friday at Old Trafford - rather than have the dreaded Black And Whites do it in their own back yard on Monday!
It was perhaps fitting that the day which could have sealed Sunderland's destiny ended in farce last Saturday!
Kevin Ball sent his side out at the Stadium of Light looking for a first home win of the season in the Premiership against a Fulham team which had not won away in 17 attempts.
He did so knowing that even three points might not be enough to keep them in the top-flight if either Portsmouth or Birmingham were victorious.
Twenty-one minutes later, he returned to the dressing room having seen an April snowstorm play a part in denying the Londoners a win, but suspended in an uncomfortable limbo.
Referee Mike Riley initially inspected the pitch at 2.30pm yesterday as heavy rain started to turn to snow, and with surface water gathering he decided to get proceedings under way.
But from early on, it became apparent that his hopes that conditions would improve would be dashed, and concern grew when Sunderland midfielder Rory Delap was left with a suspected broken nose and a head wound after a clash with team-mate George McCartney.
Sunderland's horror season will resume at Old Trafford on Friday evening when that axe is sure to fall.
2005/2006 Sat 15 Oct Sunderland 1 - 3 Man Utd. Premiership
2002/2003 Wed 01 Jan Man Utd. 2 - 1 Sunderland Premiership
Sat 31 Aug Sunderland 1 - 1 Man Utd. Premiership
2001/2002 Sat 02 Feb Man Utd. 4 - 1 Sunderland Premiership
Sat 13 Oct Sunderland 1 - 3 Man Utd. Premiership
2000/2001 Wed 31 Jan Sunderland 0 - 1 Man Utd. Premiership
Tue 28 Nov Sunderland 2 - 1 Man Utd. League Cup
after extra time, 90 minutes 1-1
Sat 09 Sep Man Utd. 3 - 0 Sunderland Premiership
1999/2000 Sat 15 Apr Man Utd. 4 - 0 Sunderland Premiership
Tue 28 Dec Sunderland 2 - 2 Man Utd. Premiership
1996/1997 Sat 08 Mar Sunderland 2 - 1 Man Utd. Premiership
Sat 21 Dec Man Utd. 5 - 0 Sunderland Premiership
1995/1996 Tue 16 Jan Sunderland 1 - 2 Man Utd. F.A. Cup
Sat 06 Jan Man Utd. 2 - 2 Sunderland F.A. Cup
Date:Thursday April 13 2006
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