Hull City’s hopes of avoiding Premier League relegation suffered a body blow after goals from Billy Jones and Jermain Defoe condemned them to a 2-0 home defeat by already axed Sunderland on Saturday.
The result left Hull one place above the drop zone in 17th on 34 points from 36 games, two more than 18th-placed Swansea who were hosting Everton later in the day.
Right back Jones headed in a 69th-minute opener against the run of play and Defoe bundled in the second goal in stoppage time, although video replays showed he was offside when a free-kick from the right was delivered into his path.
Sunderland keeper Jordan Pickford enjoyed a superb afternoon as he pulled off a string of excellent saves, denying Sam Lucas, Lazar Markovic and Abel Hernandez as Hull pressed forward relentlessly but were let down by poor finishing.
The defeat was also Hull manager Marco Silva’s first at home in the league since March 2014, 42 games ago.
With the shackles off, relegated Sunderland played with more freedom in the first half, and went close earlier on as George Honeyman headed just wide from Jones’ cross.
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