Vote for your Performance of the Season

Published:
by Stuart Vose

Latest fan poll now open - take your pick from our fab half-dozen!

Sunderland’s 2013-14 campaign was full of memorable moments, but which display was your favourite?

We’ve pulled together a super half-dozen of unforgettable matches - and one of them will be crowned your Performance of the Season.

Watch the video above and read our summaries before casting your vote at the bottom of this article. Voting closes at 12 noon on Monday 23rd June.

The nominees are:

SUNDERLAND 2 NEWCASTLE UNITED 1: Gus Poyet tasted derby delight in his first home game in charge as Sunderland secured a second successive win over their local rivals.

Steven Fletcher had given Sunderland an early lead five minutes in when he stole in at the back post to head Adam Johnson’s clipped cross past a helpless Tim Krul in front of an ecstatic South Stand.

Mathieu Debuchy levelled from close range in the second half, but substitute Fabio Borini sealed his place in Wearside folklore with the first goal of what would be a hugely successful loan spell.

The Italian fired a rising drive into the top corner from the edge of the box six minutes from time – a sublime strike which would later be voted Goal of the Season by supporters.

SUNDERLAND 1 MANCHESTER CITY 0: Title-chasers Manchester City arrived on Wearside having tasted defeat in each of their last three previous visits to the Stadium of Light - and it turned into four as Sunderland made it three home wins in a row under new head coach Gus Poyet.

The Black Cats defended superbly against a City side featuring the menacing Sergio Aguero and Alvaro Negredo up front.

There was no way through for the visitors, who suffered defeat thanks to Phil Bardsley’s 21st-minute goal.

With Sunderland counter-attacking, the full-back powered beyond James Milner on the left and dispatched a clinical angled drive beyond Costel Pantilimon to send Wearside wild.

FULHAM 1 SUNDERLAND 4: The trip to Craven Cottage was a big one for Sunderland, who were looking to transfer their form in the cups into precious league points.

Adam Johnson, who would later win the Barclays Player of the Month award for January, kicked things off when he curled a sublime free-kick into the top corner after being fouled by Steve Sidwell just before the half-hour.

The lead was doubled soon afterwards as Ki Sung-Yueng rifled home a low ball from Johnson, but Sidwell pulled a goal back when he headed in from close range early in the second half.

But Sunderland stormed back as Johnson supplied a super finish to make it 3-1, racing in behind John Arne Riise to slide Ki’s through ball underneath keeper David Stockdale.

And the former Manchester City man walked off with the match ball, sealing his hat-trick late on with a cool penalty after Jozy Altidore was fouled in the box.

NEWCASTLE UNITED 0 SUNDERLAND 3: Having suffered two straight defeats to their rivals, the pressure was on Newcastle in the Tyne-Wear derby at St James Park – and it was Sunderland who came out on top again.

The Black Cats dominated on Tyneside and could have won by a wider margin, with Adam Johnson hitting the post in the second half.

Vurnon Anita’s foul on Phil Bardsley gave Fabio Borini the chance to score from the spot early on, and the Italian took full advantage before celebrating with his trademark move.

Johnson made it two inside the opening stages, knocking the ball in from close range after Tim Krul tipped away Jack Colback’s shot.

And it was Colback who sealed a second successive 3-0 win at St James’ Park, blasting the ball into the top corner following a flowing counter-attack.

CHELSEA 1 SUNDERLAND 2: A draw at eventual champions Manchester City gave Sunderland a boost as the Black Cats headed to Stamford Bridge.

Samuel Eto’o gave the hosts an early lead as the Blues eyed victory, but Sunderland hadn’t read the script and soon levelled when Connor Wickham scooped the ball home from close range.

The hosts became increasingly frustrated and Sunderland prospered, winning a late penalty when Jozy Altidore was fouled by Cesar Azpilicueta.

Fabio Borini stroked the ball home to stun Stamford Bridge and deliver Jose Mourinho’s first defeat in 78 home league games as Chelsea boss.

SUNDERLAND 4 CARDIFF 0: Having seen his side perform brilliantly at the Etihad Stadium and Stamford Bridge, Gus Poyet described the home game against Cardiff as the biggest match of the season.

The Black Cats responded with a comprehensive win, with Connor Wickham leading the way. The striker settled any early nerves with a laser-guided header into the top corner from Seb Larsson’s corner to give his side the lead.

Cardiff’s Juan Cala then saw red for a pull on Wickham just before the break, with Fabio Borini successfully converting from the penalty spot.

And Sunderland ran away with it in the second half, moving further ahead when Emanuele Giaccherini raced clear to score with a cool finish.

A close-range Wickham header was an apt way to round off a fine afternoon as Sunderland took a big step towards top-flight survival.