SWANSEA CITY proved to be Stadium of Light party poopers after abruptly ending Sunderland’s four-game winning streak on the final day of the Premier League season with a 3-1 victory.
Sunderland couldn’t reward yet another bumper home crowd by marking the Great Escape from relegation with a win as the Black Cats ended the campaign in 14th spot.
Swansea were 2-0 up inside the opening 14 minutes, as Nathan Dyer and on-loan Middlesbrough forward Marvin Emnes punished some slack defending.
It was a merited advantage for the visitors, yet Sunderland halved the deficit early in the second half when Fabio Borini netted his 10th goal of the season.
But Sunderland’s hopes of a comeback were realistically ended within four minutes, as Wilfried Bony restored Swansea’s two-goal advantage, to inflict a first defeat in six on the Black Cats.
Gus Poyet resisted the temptation to make wholesale changes with Sunderland’s Premier League status already assured, with just two fresh faces in the starting line-up from Wednesday’s victory over West Brom.
Out-of-contract Phil Bardsley - potentially making his final Sunderland appearance - replaced on-loan Fiorentina left-back Marcos Alonso, while Liam Bridcutt took the place of the injured Lee Cattermole.
There were six changes to Swansea’s XI, with Gerhard Tremmel, Kyle Bartley, Neil Taylor, Jay Fulton, Nathan Dyer and Marvin Emnes all handed starts.
It was Swansea who broke the deadlock with the game’s first opportunity in the seventh minute, as ex-Newcastle United winger Wayne Routledge picked out Nathan Dyer’s run in behind Bardsley with a superb through-ball.
Dyer took a touch and then delicately lifted the ball into the far corner beyond Vito Mannone.
Swansea continued to dominate and doubled their advantage in the 14th minute when Wilfried Bony played the ball forward into the feet of Marvin Emnes on the edge of the area.
Emnes span away from John O’Shea far too easily and then smashed the ball down the middle of the goal, with Vito Mannone going to ground.
The woodwork denied Sunderland a way back into the game in the 27th minute after Seb Larsson’s inswinging cross from the left flicked off the head of Jordi Amat.
Goalkeeper Gerhard Tremmel was beaten, but the ball came back off the far post.
In the 35th minute, Connor Wickham headed Larsson’s left wing corner high and wide of the near post.
Just before the interval, Bardsley went close from 25 yards when he beat Routledge to the ball and unleashed a fizzing right-footed shot which was tipped over the bar by Tremmel.
HALF-TIME Sunderland 0 Swansea 2
Within four minutes of the restart, Sunderland had halved the deficit after Adam Johnson’s corner from the right picked out Fabio Borini at the near post, whose header was too strong for Tremmel.
It was almost the first of two in as many minutes for Sunderland, as seconds later, Johnson cut inside from the right and unleashed a left-footed shot which was pushed away low to his right by Tremmel.
But Sunderland’s hopes of a comeback were short-lived.
In the 54th minute, Emnes’ cross from the left was deflected to Bony, just inside the area, who sold both Bardsley and Jack Colback with dummies before sweeping a low right-footed shot into the far corner off the post.
Sunderland went close to pulling one back in the 71st minute when Larsson’s inswinging free-kick from the left-hand side of the area was pushed away by Tremmel low to his right.
Johnson then whistled a low shot inches wide of the post after letting fly with a skidding effort from 30 yards.
In the 84th minute, substitute Jozy Altidore let fly with a shot from 25 yards which just swerved wide of the far post.
FULL-TIME Sunderland 1 Swansea 3
SUNDERLAND: Mannone, Vergini, Brown, O’Shea (Altidore 83), Bardsley (Celustka 63), Bridcutt, Larsson (Ba 71), Colback, Johnson, Borini, Wickham. Subs not used: Giaccherini, Mavrias, Agnew, Ustari. Booked: Borini (82), Bridcutt (85)
SWANSEA: Tremmel, Tiendalli (Davies 75), Amat, Bartley, Taylor, Fulton (Britton 73), Shelvey, Dyer, Emnes (de Guzman 55), Routledge, Bony. Subs not used: Cornell, Williams, King, Vazquez. Booked: Fulton (20), Emnes (55), Amat (69)