Last season Sunderland produced a football miracle by staying in the Premier League, seemingly rising from the dead in the final few matches of the season.
Heading to Goodison Park to face Everton it seemed they needed a similar sort of scenario this season.
There was a sense of doom for most Black Cat fans, as everybody had written them off as cannon fodder for the much-improved Toffees. However, somehow they escaped Merseyside with a 2-0 win, only their third against Everton in the last 24 meetings.
For much of the game Everton dominated possession and seemed to create chance after chance, but could not find a way past Sunderland keeper Costel Pantilimon and his backline.
The second half started in familiar fashion, as the Toffees dominated possession. However, on 53 minutes the Black Cats opened the scoring with a huge slice of fortune.
Jordi Gomez fired in an effort from 20 yards, which looked to be heading wide, but hit Danny Graham on the leg and somehow found its way past Tim Howard in the Everton goal.
The Toffees could have had a penalty kick soon afterwards, as Seamus Coleman looked to have been fouled by Black Cats striker Jermain Defoe in the penalty area, but referee Lee Probert turned down the Toffees claim. James McCarthy came closest to an equaliser for the home side, hitting the base of the post from 15 yards.
The Toffees continued to press for an equaliser, but it was Sunderland who sealed the victory with just five minutes remaining, again with a touch of luck involved. Adam Johnson’s shot from an acute angle first hit Seamus Coleman, before hitting Defoe and beating Howard.
The victory moved the Black Cats out of the relegation zone and two points clear of safety in what has become an intriguing relegation battle.
Will Sunderland now survive the drop?