Sunderland are promoted to the Premier League after years of darkness

Sunderland earned a promotion to the Premier League with a 2-0 victory against Wycombe in the League One play-off final on Saturday at Wembley Stadium.

With goals from Elliot Embleton and Ross Stewart, Alex Neil’s team reversed their club’s terrible record of seven unsuccessful play-off campaigns.

The promotion of the Black Cats vindicated the decision to remove Lee Johnson in January and replace him with former Preston manager Neil.

Sunderland is finally on the rise after four years in the third-tier wilderness, as the sleeping giants awaken from their slumber.

While a return to the Premier League will be difficult for Neil’s squad next season, it will be the objective for a club with enormous potential that last competed at the top level in 2017.

After taking over London icon Trafalgar Square on the night of the match, nearly 45,000 Sunderland supporters converted Wembley into a cauldron of noise.

Wycombe’s bid for an immediate return to the Championship faltered at the last hurdle, ending Adebayo Akinfenwa’s 755th and final appearance of his career.

“I’ll be honest with you: the most pressure came from inside. “It wasn’t about who owned the club; it was simply ‘How can you repair it?'” Neil said.

“I corrected the parts that needed to be fixed.” I didn’t want to manage in League One, therefore I had to pull the team out of League One and back into the Championship under intense criticism.

“It’s not an issue when you have a bunch of guys like that.”

Sunderland came to Wembley haunted by the ghosts of previous failures, given their dreadful history in the playoffs, where they had lost three finals and three semi-finals.

But they matched Wycombe’s combative attitude and delivered the better offensive play to come out on top.

Sunderland took the lead in the 12th minute when Embleton justified his return with a brilliant move and twisting strike from 25 yards that escaped David Stockdale’s feeble attempted save.

In the 79th minute, the influential Alex Pritchard found Stewart, who hammered a precise finish into the bottom corner from the outside of the area.

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