Darkness descended on the Stadium of Light halfway through Sunderland’s game with Hull City.
But for once, it was nothing to do with the football as David Moyes’s side negotiated a tricky 10-minute stoppage for a power failure to beat their fellow strugglers 3-2 and move off the bottom of the table for the first time this season.
There was certainly no dimming Victor Anichebe, who scored twice to take his tally to three goals in two games. “I thought he was immense today – probably even better than he was at Bournemouth (when he scored in a man-of-the-match display),” said Moyes.
“Victor has got this capability. He needs to be loved, and I think the supporters will help him because he is enjoying it at the moment.
“He is a handful on his day. He is a really powerful boy and we just have to keep him fit.
“If he adds goals to it, as he is just now, he is a terrific player.”
With Jermain Defoe also weighing in with his seventh goal of the season, Sunderland have a strike force which might once again spring the sort of relegation escape act with which their supporters are so familiar.
But Moyes was just as grateful for the action at the other end, where keeper Jordan Pickford denied Hull with another assured display.
“I thought he was just about average today. It was just what I expect from him,” joked Moyes.
“His performances and some of the saves he’s made in the last two games have been unbelievable. And we’ve needed him.
“We needed him today as much as we needed the two centre forwards.”
The win was particularly welcome after a difficult week, in which influential midfielder Lee Cattermole was ruled out until well into 2017 following surgery on a persistent hip injury.
After Sunderland’s last win, over Bournemouth before the international break, Moyes spoke of the need to build momentum and Saturday’s victory against their fellow strugglers shows his players have been listening.
Next stop, Liverpool. Any sort of result there and everyone else will start to take notice, too.
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