LONDON - Sunderland climbed out of the Premier League's bottom three and applied heavy pressure to the teams fighting for survival around them with a gritty 2-0 victory at Everton on Saturday.
Danny Graham put Sunderland ahead after 54 minutes when the striker was in the right place to deflect Jordi Gomez's shot past Tim Howard and record his first goal for the club he joined over two years ago.
Everton pushed for an equaliser but Sunderland made sure of the three points when Jermain Defoe turned in Adam Johnson's deflected shot with five minutes remaining.
Sunderland climbed to 14th on 36 points from 35 matches and have a game in hand on all the teams around them. Everton remained 11th with 44 points from 36 games.
Bottom side Burnley travel to Hull City later on Saturday needing three points and results to go their way to avoid relegation. Newcastle United host West Bromwich Albion trying to end an eight-game losing streak.