Ashley Cole's goal ensured Guus Hiddink's Barclays Premier League reign ended with a win as hosts Sunderland stayed up despite losing 3-2 to Chelsea.
The England full-back struck four minutes from time to effectively clinch victory, although Kenwyne Jones' 90th-minute header set up a grandstand finish.
Nicolas Anelka had put Chelsea ahead with a 47th-minute piledriver and substitute Salomon Kalou restored the lead with 16 minutes remaining after Kieran Richardson had levelled.
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