Sunderland defeat leaves them in danger

LONDON (Reuters) - Sunderland face an anxious final day of the Premier League season after a 3-1 defeat at Portsmouth Monday left them in serious danger of relegation.

Needing a win to guarantee their safety, Sunderland went ahead through Kenwyne Jones just before the hour mark but Portsmouth hit back immediately through John Utaka.

A terrible mistake by Anton Ferdinand let in Utaka after 68 minutes resulting in an own goal by defender Phil Bardsley who was attempting to clear.

Armand Traore added a third for Portsmouth late on to leave Sunderland, who are at home to Chelsea Sunday, just two points above Newcastle United and with a marginally worse goal difference.

Newcastle, who are third from bottom, have 34 points with Hull City above them on 35 and Sunderland on 36, setting up a nail biting finale to the season.

Defeat at Aston Villa would relegate Newcastle although they would survive if they draw and Hull lose at home to champions Manchester United who are set to field a weakened side as they prepare for next week's Champions League final.

West Bromwich Albion are definitely down while Middlesbrough, who have 32 points, need to beat West Ham United comfortably and hope that Hull and Newcastle both lose.

(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by John Mehaffey

Article Published: 19/05/2009