he 2013-14 season was one of the most dramatic and memorable in Sunderland s history. The Black Cats used all nine of their lives but still pulled off The Greatest Escape to prolong the club s second longest ever unbroken run in the top flight. They also reached the final of one cup and quarter final of another as well as performing a handsome double in their derbies with local rivals Newcastle United. With six games to go there was a seven point gap from safety with some enormously difficult fixtures to come. Starting with a draw that could have so easily been a win at champions elect Manchester City, Gus Poyet s men went to Chelsea and sensationally ended Jose Mourinho s 78 game unbroken Premier League home record before a first win at Manchester United in 46 years sandwiched a pair of sold Stadium of Light victories. Add into the mix inflicting high flying Everton s only home defeat in 2013, defeating Manchester City at home for the fourth year in a row, knocking Chelsea and Manchester United out of the Capital One Cup and Southampton out of both cups and this was a season full of highs. And yet Sunderland spent six months in the bottom three, much of that in last position - but never relinquished the fighting spirit that eventually brought a climax to a campaign that in the final analysis was as exhilarating as the start had been exasperating. Young striker Connor Wickham helped provide the magic potion as a miraculous escape was engineered. Five goals in three games made him the second Sunderland player in four months to be named Barclays Player of the Month following Adam Johnson s January purple patch. With Player and Young Player of the Year Vito Mannone and Fabio Borini amongst Sunderland s other heroes this is a season to re-live, enjoy and wonder how on earth the Lads did it. .