Sunderland suffered a significant blow to their Premier League survival hopes as West Ham won 2-1 at the Stadium of Light on Monday.
That West Ham's triumph was masterminded by manager Sam Allardyce and greatly influenced by striker Andy Carroll, both former employees of Sunderland's arch-rivals Newcastle United, added further misery for the home side following a lacklustre performance.
The pair's efforts may mean Newcastle are the only club from the north-east of England in the Premier League next season, with a powerful Carroll header giving West Ham the lead inside the first 10 minutes.
And Mohamed Diame's deflected strike just after the break ensured Sunderland remained 19th in the table, four points adrift of safety, despite Adam Johnson's 65th-minute effort.
Sunderland have at least one game in hand on all of their relegation rivals, but with Tottenham, Everton, Manchester City and Chelsea – all in the top six – awaiting Gus Poyet's men in their next four matches, the Wearside outfit face an uphill battle to remain in the top flight.
West Ham, who have now won six of their last nine Premier League fixtures, are 11 points adrift of the bottom three.
Carroll – who was booed immediately due to his St James' Park connections - gave West Ham the lead in the ninth minute with a trademark header, rising above John O'Shea to nod in Mark Noble's corner at the back post.
The sloppy manner in which Sunderland conceded will have infuriated Poyet and his mood will not have brightened when Lee Cattermole spurned two chances to quickly level proceedings from close range, first shooting at Adrian before blazing over.
Carroll headed a George McCartney cross at Vito Mannone, while at the other end, Sunderland felt aggrieved not to win a penalty after Kevin Nolan clearly knocked the ball away with an elbow.
West Ham compounded their woes five minutes after the interval when Diame shot past Mannone.
Just like the opener, the goal was basic but effective, as Carroll chested a long punt down into the path of Diame, and the midfielder met the ball on the edge of the area, firing into the back of the net via Santiago Vergini's deflection.
West Ham should have wrapped up the game on the hour mark, when Stewart Downing was sent through on goal, but Mannone superbly tipped wide, and his excellence allowed Sunderland a lifeline – one taken by Johnson.
The winger, who surprisingly started from the bench despite being Sunderland's top league scorer, netted his eighth Premier League goal of the campaign when he fired into the top-left corner with a fizzing 20-yard effort.
The goal buoyed Sunderland, who ramped up the pressure as Adrian produced a double save to keep out Ki Sung-Yueng and Connor Wickham, while Fabio Borini fired into the side netting.
West Ham were able to stem Sunderland's flow, though, and although the hosts rallied late, Ignacio Scocco's wasted header was the closest they got to a dramatic leveller.
|Coach: G. Poyet|
for L. Cattermole 53'
for J. O'Shea 60'
for Sung-Yeung Ki 79'
|Marcelo: LaLiga in Real Madrid´s hands|
|Garitano sacked by LaLiga strugglers Deportivo|
|Klopp talks down player power|
|Dembele worth £50m and good enough for Real Madrid – Gamboa|
|´It´s very painful´ - Tadic heartbroken after final loss|
|´I was really upset´ – Fabregas struggled with lack of playing time|
|Cerezo: Torres renewal? We´re trying to bring Messi to Atletico|
|´He had the aura and confidence´ – Neville compares Ibrahimovic to Cantona|
|Neymar: Barca not thinking of Madrid or LaLiga rivals|
|I would be surprised if Messi wrote tweet - Ramos responds to Pique|
|Wolfsburg part ways with Ismael|
|Lingard loving every minute of Wembley scoring streak|
|Pioli rues setback in Inter´s quest for Champions League|
|Zidane cools fresh Bale injury worries after stunning Real Madrid comeback|
|Pique fumes as Real Madrid benefit from controversial decision|
|Emery warns PSG against complacency|
|Gabbiadini scored three times, says frustrated Puel|
|Real Madrid equal longest scoring streak in Spanish history|
|Roma are fed up - Spalletti hits back amid penalty controversy|
|Lyon´s Memphis Depay revels in two-goal performance|
|Marseille 1 Paris Saint-Germain 5: Record crowd sees OM thrashed|
|Villarreal 2 Real Madrid 3: Bale, Ronaldo and Morata complete stunning turnaround|
|Inter 1 Roma 3: Nainggolan at the double in dominant display|
|Ronaldo spot on as he takes LaLiga penalty record|
|Mourinho: Fans will camp at Ibrahimovic´s house to make sure he stays!|
|Late Barca defeat leaves Simeone with sense of deja vu|
|It is not easy to keep winning – Mourinho emotional after Manchester United success|
|Mourinho: Outstanding Ibrahimovic won us the cup|
|Pogba: That´s why Ibrahimovic came here|
|Ibrahimovic hails his predictive powers after sealing EFL Cup triumph|
|He´s incredible - Carrick hails Ibrahimovic impact after EFL Cup win|
|Mourinho equals Clough and Ferguson record with EFL Cup triumph|
|Manchester United 3 Southampton 2: Ibrahimovic settles thrilling final|
|Lewandowski focused on writing his own Bayern history after Gerd Muller comparisons|
|Muller: Goals aren´t everything for me|
|Bacca goal should not have stood – Montella|
|Kane one of the top strikers in the world - hails Pochettino|
|Messi celebrates 400th win with Barcelona|
|Atletico Madrid 1 Barcelona 2: Messi leaves it late again to stun hosts|
|Leicester should have to play without a manager, blasts Mihajlovic|
|What a first half! - Record-breaking Kane lauds Tottenham display|
|Fabregas ´humbled and proud´ after 300th Premier League game|
|Sassuolo 0 AC Milan 1: Controversial Bacca penalty proves decisive|
|Zarate confirms ACL injury|
|Bayern Munich deny Eberl approach|
|Rooney on bench for EFL Cup final|
|Tottenham 4 Stoke City 0: Kane hat-trick sends Pochettino´s side second|
|Norwich City 1 Ipswich Town 1: Knudsen and Bialkowski frustrate Neil´s men|
|´No regrets´ for Ben Yedder after rejecting PSG move|
|Mignolet: Liverpool harder to stop now than with Suarez|
|O´Neill rules out taking Leicester job and questions players´ attitude|
|´Uncle´ Toure still uncertain on Manchester City future|
|Mourinho already knows next Manchester United transfer targets|
|Newcastle Jets 1 Central Coast Mariners 1: Honours even in F3 Derby|
|Half a century of Kazuyoshi Miura: Japanese legend plays on 50th birthday|
|´Criminal´ if Shaw doesn´t succeed at United - Neville|
|Kaka scores first goal in Orlando City´s new stadium|
|Conte lauds Chelsea´s milestone man Fabregas|
|Pochettino questions readiness in Tottenham´s trophy quest|
|Mata wants to extend Manchester United contract|
|Mourinho is a winner - Cantona backs United for success|
|Allegri grateful Juve control Serie A title destiny|
|Goalless Muller was the best player, says Ancelotti after thrashing|
|Phil Neville backs Rashford to match Griezmann|
|Juventus 2 Empoli 0: Champions cruise to 10-point gap at summit|
|Howe refusing to panic as Bournemouth´s struggles continue|
|Zarate was making the difference before injury - Mazzarri|
|I owe him my eternal gratitude - Vardy´s emotional Ranieri tribute|
|Cantona: Ibrahimovic is like me|
|Watford 1 West Ham 1: Ayew halts injury-hit hosts|
|Napoli 0 Atalanta 2: Caldara double stuns Sarri´s men|
|Ancelotti: It was a perfect day|
|Championship review: Newcastle drop points, Leeds clip Owls´ wings|
|Allardyce hails Van Aanholt and Sakho|
|Koeman lays into ´lucky´ Everton´s second-half display|
|Conte: We still need 29 points for Premier League title|
|We need an Aubameyang who does not think too much - Tuchel|
|Guingamp 1 Monaco 2: Glik, Fabinho on target|
|Marco Silva blames lack of focus as Hull remain in drop zone|
|Lukaku becomes Everton´s joint leading Premier League scorer|
|Real Betis 1 Sevilla 2: Sampaoli´s men heap pressure on Real Madrid|
|RB Leipzig 3 Cologne 1: Hosts capitalise on errors to stay hot on Bayern´s heels|
|Hull City 1 Burnley 1: Keane on target as 10-man Clarets end dire away run|
|Chelsea 3 Swansea City 1: Fabianski´s error helps Premier League leaders move 11 points clear|
|Neuer reaches 100 Bundesliga clean sheets for Bayern in record-breaking fashion|
|Everton 2 Sunderland 0: Unhappy Goodison return for Moyes as Lukaku wraps it up|
|West Brom 2 Bournemouth 1: McAuley winner piles pressure on Howe|
|Crystal Palace 1 Middlesbrough 0: Van Aanholt proves difference in nervy basement battle|
|Luis Enrique dismisses claims of dressing room discontent at Barcelona|
|Bayern Munich 8 Hamburg 0: Lewandowski hits hat-trick in special day for Ancelotti|
|Freiburg 0 Borussia Dortmund 3: Aubameyang back in the goals with a brace|
|#Piegate bites back as Sutton are forced to use outfield player in goal|
|Schmeichel denies players met with Leicester board to get Ranieri sacked|
|Spalletti would not swap Dzeko for Icardi|
|Emery understands Marseille rivalry and hopes PSG can repeat Barca win|
|Ibrahimovic better than ever and could play on until he turns 40 - Mourinho|
|Simeone: Barcelona still the best team in the world|
|A-League Review: Victory stay in Sydney hunt, Roar slip up at home|
|Zidane hopes potential France return will boost Benzema|
|I have not talked to anyone at Leicester - Mancini on replacing Ranieri|
|LaLiga teams raise their game against Real Madrid, claims Zidane|
|Arrivederci, Claudio! Ranieri says his final Leicester goodbyes|
|Soldado expects Real Madrid to come out fighting after Valencia loss|
|Montella hoping to remain AC Milan coach despite impending takeover|
|Valencia hopes EFL Cup triumph can inspire late title charge|
|Pele´s son vows to clear his name after being jailed for money laundering|
|Wijnaldum highlights Kante loss as crucial to Leicester´s downfall|
|Lyon rejected chance to sign Sakho, says Aulas|
|Koeman hopes Southampton lose EFL Cup final to boost Everton´s European hopes|
|Mata insists Manchester United will not take EFL Cup final for granted|
|Simeone´s Atletico starting to decline, Abbiati claims|
|Chelsea´s Fabregas ´100 per cent´ staying at Stamford Bridge|
|´Being Joey´ - Dyche talks up Barton TV show|
|Messi the best of all time, says Jovetic|
|You can define an era - Buffon wishes Donnarumma happy birthday|
|Clement: Llorente wants to star against Chelsea|
|Koeman not interested in Everton renewal amid Barca links|
|Rivals scared of Ibrahimovic, says United team-mate Herrera|
|Schmeichel pays tribute to Ranieri|
|Yaya Toure wants to play with Neymar and Coutinho|
|Mourinho: It´s more difficult to win now|
|I didn´t sleep for six days – Conte motivated by last-gasp title loss|
|It all depends on success - Klopp knows trophies are a must|