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DeAndre Yedlin helps Sunderland take huge step to Premier League safety

The American helps Sunderland move out of the relegation zone

Gareth Copley/Getty Images

DeAndre Yedlin has seen his fair share of ups and downs since joining Sunderland on-loan from Tottenham Hotspur at the beginning of this season. After getting minutes at the start of the season, his minutes began to dwindle until he was strictly relegated to bench duty.

Sunderland manager, Sam Allardyce, came out in the media and specifically singled out Yedlin for his inexperience in the thick of a relegation race. He used that as the excuse as to why he hadn't been getting steady minutes. Whispers of Sunderland sending him back to Spurs even popped up. Eventually, the club's right back, Billy Jones, picked up an injury and Yedlin would once again get his chance.

Ever since a home win over Manchester United on February 13, in which Yedlin started, he has been a fixture in the Black Cats' starting lineup. His performances have drawn compliments from many pundits. It hasn't been all sunshine and roses as he has had a few struggles along the way, but he's getting valuable experience in this relegation battle.

It all culminated on Saturday in a home match against Chelsea. One point behind their arch-rivals Newcastle for the 17th spot in the Premier League table, Sunderland won 3-2 with a massive helping hand from the American. With the score knotted at 2 with 20 minutes remaining, Yedlin made a run forward on the right side, skipped past Baba Rahman with ease and delivered in a dangerous ball. John Obi Mikel could only get a slight touch as it fell to Jermain Defoe who finished past Thibaut Courtois. Sunderland held on for the win and are now in prime position to avoid relegation.

(Yedlin's play at 2:15 of the video^^^)

He didn't officially receive an assist because of the deflection, but it's obvious he played a huge role in setting up would could be a Premier League life-saving goal for his side.

EDIT: The Premier League website is crediting him with an official assist

Newcastle only have one match remaining, while Sunderland have two. If Yedlin's side are able to pick up a win in either of their remaining matches (Wed vs. Everton, Sun at Watford) they'll remain in the Premier League. Realistically, anything less than a Newcastle win vs. Tottenham Hotspur on the finaly Sunday of the season will see Sunderland stay up.