Sunderland 3 Everton 0 REPORT: Cats celebrate Premier League survival as they relegate Newcastle
Wearside has become well-versed in the ecstasy of escape acts from the jaws of relegation, but none from the last four years will taste as sweet as this one.
Sunderland extended their top flight tenure into a 10th year and relegated both Norwich and neighbours Newcastle in the process after the relegation fight was signed and sealed at a joyous Stadium of Light.
Sam Allardyce's men knew that a victory against Everton would be sufficient for them to finish the job, yet the Black Cats did it in style as they took apart a shambolic visiting defence in a thumping 3-0 win.
Up until Patrick van Aanholt's 38th minute free-kick opener, Sunderland had struggled to threaten the Everton goal, but from that point the floodgates opened.
January signing Lamine Kone netted a brace from corners and Sunderland then had chances to add to their advantage, yet with such a handsome lead, the Stadium of Light was able to celebrate a successful climax to the drop battle.
After weathering an opening 10 minutes when Everton were able to monopolise possession, Sunderland gradually began to muster an attacking threat, with the outstanding Younes Kaboul producing their first effort on goal with a header that was straight at Joel Robles.
Kaboul went far closer at the midway point of the first half after producing a jinking run down the left wing. From an acute angle, the Frenchman curled in a right-foot shot which drifted inches wide of the far post.
But after 38 minutes when Sunderland had struggled to create a chance, the Black Cats went ahead through van Aanholt's free-kick.
The Dutchman's shot from 25 yards was actually poorly hit, but Everton keeper Robles completely mis-read the flight of the ball and it bounced past him.
Moments later, Jermain Defoe forced an excellent tip over the bar from Robles after meeting Wahbi Khazri's inswinging free-kick with a firm header.
But from the resulting corner, Sunderland doubled their advantage, as Kone - whose header against Manchester United in February went down as an own goal - opened his Black Cats account.
Everton failed to clear their lines from Khazri's corner and Yann M'Vila headed back into the goalmouth where Kone was being played onside by Leighton Baines.
The Ivorian smashed in a volley from six yards out which almost burst the net and left Robles with no chance.
Sunderland came close from another Khazri corner four minutes after the break when Jan Kirchhoff glanced a header across the face.
A desperate goal-line clearance from Matthew Pennington prevented Defoe adding a third in the 55th minute after the striker was picked out by a brilliant through-ball from DeAndre Yedlin.
Defoe lifted the ball over Robles, but Pennington raced back and cleared off the line.
But from the resulting corner, Sunderland did add a third as a shambolic Everton defence was picked off by a third set piece.
Khazri almost scored direct from the corner, with Robles palming it desperately away, but it bounced off his own player and straight into the path of Kone who tapped in from a couple of yards out.
There was almost a fourth for Sunderland in the 66th minute when van Aanholt threaded the ball through to Defoe, just inside the area.
Defoe brought the ball under control and struck a powerful shot towards the near post which was pushed away by Robles.
Vito Mannone had to be alert at the other moments later when he excellently tipped away Ramiro Funes Mori's header from Baines' free-kick.
Mannone was called into action again in the 73rd minute when he plucked John Stones' header out the air from another Baines corner.
Defoe went close again at the death, but his shot lacked power at the end of a mazy run and Robles was able to comfortably block with his body.
Lukaku hit the post for Everton in stoppage time from four yards out after Stones had flicked on Baines' corner.
Sunderland: Mannone, Yedlin, Kone, Kaboul, van Aanholt, Kirchhoff (Larsson 69), Cattermole (O'Shea 79), M'Vila, Khazri (Watmore 86), Borini, Defoe. Subs not used: Pickford, Rodwell, N'Doye, Jones. Booked: Cattermole (67)
Everton: Robles, Pennington, Stones, Funes Mori, Baines, Barry, McCarthy, Cleverley (Osman 84), Barkley (Lennon 46), Mirallas, Lukaku. Subs not used: Howard, Gibson, Oviedo, Niasse, Besic.