Joshua King's sole strike at the Stadium of Light left manager David Moyes' side 12 points adrift of safety with four games remaining in their season, and BBC Sport confirmed the club's drop to England's second tier:
The north-east outfit had been fighting against relegation for several seasons prior to 2016-17, but Moyes will be the man ultimately held responsible for their downgrade to the Championship.
Sky Sports News HQ explained Sunderland's demise in further detail and provided footage from the Stadium of Light, where boos could be heard ringing around the venue upon the final whistle:
Alex Davidson of the Telegraph reported on Friday that manager Moyes would be considering his future with the club at the end of this season, and sections of the support have shown a distaste toward the tactician.
In recent seasons, former managers such as Paolo Di Canio, Gus Poyet, Dick Advocaat and most recently Sam Allardyce have preserved Sunderland's top-flight status, but Moyes fell short in his attempt to save Sunderland:
The Black Cats gained promotion to the Premier League after winning the 2006-07 Championship title, and their highest first-tier achievement since then was the 10th-place finish managed in 2010-11.
There has been a sense of futility emanating from the Stadium of Light for some time now, although Adam Bate of Sky Sports illustrated how Sunderland's peers have managed to outdo them since this past winter:
Over the past nine seasons among England's elite, the Black Cats have averaged a finish of 14.55 (or 15th) and have managed to produce a scorer of 20 goals or more on just one occasion—Darren Bent (25) in 2009-10.
There may be a silver lining for the club, too, after Match of the Day highlighted Sunderland's habit of making swift returns to the top each time they've been relegated:
Bounce-back promotion will be the target for the Black Cats, although the debate will be centred around whether Moyes is the man leading the squad into battle next term.
Two more teams will join the Wearside outfit in moving down to the Championship before the season reaches its end, with Swansea City and Middlesbrough the other pair making up the bottom three as things stand.