Sunderland win promotion to Championship in front of thousands of Wembley fans

Sunderland’s Ross Stewart celebrates scoring their side’s second goal of the game
Sunderland beat Wycombe 2-0 Credit: PA

Sunderland are back in the Championship after four seasons away after they beat Wycombe 2-0 in the Sky Bet League One play-off final at Wembley.

The Black Cats finally won a play-off campaign at the seventh time of asking thanks to goals in either half from Elliot Embleton and Ross Stewart, meaning they join Wigan and Rotherham in winning promotion to the second tier.

Sunderland were the form team at the back end of the regular campaign, last suffering defeat in February.

Given their wretched history in the play-offs, where they had lost three finals and three semi-finals previously, Sunderland were keen to get their business done early and, roared on by 46,000 noisy supporters, they made an electric start.

The breakthrough came in the 12th minute as Embleton justified his recall to the team by bursting forward and unleashing a swerving shot from 25 yards that went straight through Wycombe goalkeeper David Stockdale.

Sunderland then scored another goal in the second half when Stewart fired home into the bottom corner for his 26th – and most important – goal of the season.

That settled matters and Sunderland saw out the remaining time with ease before the celebrations were able to begin in earnest.

Sunderland's Luke O'Nien celebrates with the trophy Credit: John Walton/PA Wire/PA Images

Sunderland sacked their manager Lee Johnson back in January and replaced him with former Preston boss Alex Neil.

He said today he had little intention of staying in League One any longer than he had to.

He told Sky Sports: “I’ll be honest with you, the biggest pressure really was from myself. The hierarchy and the people that own the club, that wasn’t what was discussed, it was just, ‘How can you help us? How can you fix it?’.

Sunderland manager Alex Neil celebrates with the trophy Credit: Tim Goode/PA Wire/PA Images

“I fixed the bits we needed to fix and for me, coming into a job like this in League One, I didn’t want to manage in League One, so I had to try to get the club out of League One to become a Championship manager again under a lot of pressure, a lot of scrutiny.

“But when you’ve got a group of players like that, it’s not a problem.”