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Tonight’s midweek games in the Premier League have concluded the relegation battle with both Newcastle United and Norwich City joining Aston Villa in the Championship next season after Sunderland beat Everton 3-0 at the Stadium of Light.

It seems forever since Villa went down. I’m still not sure how they survived last season to be honest but they are so far behind this time that they’ve been certs for the drop for months and it means they will be playing outside the top flight for the first time since the 1987/88 season.

Tonight it all centred on Sunderland. They kicked off with 35 points, one more than Newcastle and four more than Norwich. They knew that a win would ensure safety and they didn’t just get it, they got it with ease with a 3-0 win courtesy of a goal from Patrick van Aahnolt and two scored by Lamine Kone. It proved not to be too difficult a task against an inept Everton side and it means Sam Allardyce keeps up his record of never having been relegated from the Premier League.

That means another Premier League trip to the Stadium of Light for us, where we turned in arguably our most disappointing performance of the 2014/15 season, losing 2-0 at the end of January.

Sunderland will be doubly celebrating. Their win has relegated fierce rivals Newcastle along with Norwich whose 4-2 win against Watford tonight proved to be worthless.

I don’t think too many Burnley fans will be upset at the loss of the long trek to Norfolk but the New Year trip to Newcastle was enjoyed so much just over 16 months ago that I expect it will be considered a big miss from the fixture list.

There’s only one place left now and that will go to the Championship play-off winners. The final will be held on Saturday 28th May at Wembley with the semi-finals due to get underway this Friday when Brighton travel to Sheffield Wednesday.

Should Brighton win the play-offs, we’ll face them for the first ever time in top flight football, something that’s also guaranteed when we play Bournemouth and Watford.

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