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On This Day In Everton History: May 3rd

Worst fears are realised, a strong finish continues and another home win and clean sheet in today’s feature

Everton’s Steven Pienaar (R) celebrates
Everton won 2-0 at Sunderland on May 3, 2009
Photo credit should read GRAHAM STUART/AFP via Getty Images

May 3 is a bittersweet day in Everton’s history, with a mixture of emotions to choose from various games.

Today, we look back at four of their most memorable matches on this date, including one defeat and three wins, though only two of which are remembered fondly. Let’s go:

1930 - Sunderland win in vain as Everton relegated

It is 90 years ago today that every Evertonian’s worst nightmare became reality, as the Blues suffered the first of only two relegations in their history out of the First Division despite a final day 4-1 home win over Sunderland.

The season hadn’t started terribly for Everton; they lost none of their first four games, one of which was a memorable 3-0 win at Liverpool. But by the end of 1929, with Dixie Dean becoming more injury-prone, the Blues had just five victories from 24 games, propping up the table.

And despite the later signings of Jock Thomson and Ben Williams in defence, goalkeeper Ted Sagar and striker Tommy Johnson, the tide could not be turned. Indeed, even a remarkable run of four wins and a draw from their final five games could not save Everton, who finished bottom, one point adrift of safety.

2009 - Another Sunderland win, this time to move Blues fifth

Much happier circumstances surrounding a win over Sunderland arrived on this day in 2009, when Steven Pienaar and Marouane Fellaini were both on target in a professional performance and victory over the relegation-threatened Black Cats.

The ideal response to the home defeat to Manchester City the previous weekend - just Everton’s third loss of 2009 - it moved David Moyes’ side up to fifth above Aston Villa, and continued their preparations for the FA Cup final against Chelsea in the perfect manner.

2014 - Hectic City defeat leaves Liverpool on back foot

Another Manchester City home defeat arrived in 2014, though if there is one loss that Evertonians won’t have lost much sleep over, this was surely it.

Everton came in to this clash four points adrift of the Champions League places with two games to play, so if they have any regrets, it will be that this ended their hopes of joining Europe’s top table. But a fifth-placed finish in Roberto Martinez’s first year, with a record points total to boot, still represented huge strides of progress.

City were made to work for victory here, after Ross Barkley’s stunner gave Everton an early lead and Romelu Lukaku halved the deficit after the visitors had gone 3-1 up.

But in doing so, they overtook Liverpool to go top of the table, before going on to win the title at Everton’s neighbours’ expense.

2019 - Another home win, another clean sheet

Today marks a year since Everton rounded off their Goodison Park campaign for 2018-19 with a fourth successive home win and fifth consecutive clean sheet on their own turf.

In stark contrast to the porous outfit they often appeared to be midway through the campaign, Marco Silva’s side seemed to be striking the right balance by now, beating Burnley 2-0 here with relative ease to record their fifth win in seven games.

Richarlison netted an early opener, firing in from long range, deflecting off Ben Mee en route to goal, before Seamus Coleman headed a second soon after to lift Everton to eighth and keep their faint Europa League hopes alive.