The first half was dominated by Everton, though the scores remained level at zero after 45 minutes. Everton had the majority of possession and chances, but a combination of lack of finishing and bad luck kept the Toffees off the scoreboard in the first half.
The second half began with Everton taking five consecutive corners, then minutes later, another one where Romelu Lukaku had a clear chance on Costel Pantilimon's goal but headed wide. Sunderland finally opened the scoring on a 53rd minute breakaway when Danny Graham (who had never before scored for the Black Cats) stuck out a leg on a Jordi Gomez shot and it flew over Tim Howard's outstretched hands to make it 1-0 to the visitors.
Kevin Mirallas was brought on for Gareth Barry in the 62nd minute in an attempt to jumpstart the Blues offense. The change resulted in a flurry of chances on Pantilimon's goal, but Everton failed to equalize. Seamus Coleman had a penalty shout when he was taken down in the Sunderland box, but the referee waved it off.
Sunderland made it 2-0 on a fortuitous Jermaine Defoe deflection from an Adam Johnson cross, and the Black Cats have drastically improved their chances of staying in the Premier League next season.
Everton travel to London to take on West Ham United next Saturday.