Sunderland: Craig Gardner's stunning goal fired Sunderland into the FA Cup quarter-finals and spared manager Gus Poyet further fixture chaos.
Craig Gardner. Pic/Getty Images
The midfielder's 49th-minute strike settled a desperately poor fifth-round tie that was watched by a crowd of just 16,777 at the Stadium of Light.
Victory was no more than the Capital One Cup finalists deserved despite Poyet making nine changes, as opposite number Mauricio Pochettino paid the price for not fielding his strongest team.
Gardner's decisive strike was a rare moment of quality in a game which otherwise failed to capture the imagination, although that will matter little to the Black Cats faithful as they dream of a Wembley double.