On this day in 2013: Gus Poyet named new Sunderland boss on two-year deal

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Gus Poyet was named Sunderland head coach on a two-year contract on this day in 2013.

Four months after his departure from Brighton, the former Tottenham and Chelsea midfielder became the first Uruguayan to manage in the Premier League.

He lost his first match 11 days later when the Black Cats went down 4–0 away to Swansea but enjoyed a 2-1 over local rivals Newcastle in his first game at the Stadium of Light, thanks to an emphatic strike from Fabio Borini.

Sunderland v AFC Bournemouth – Premier League – Stadium of Light
Fabio Borini’s goal helped Sunderland to a 2-1 win over Newcastle in Gus Poyet’s first home match (Richard Sellers/PA)

In his first season in charge, Poyet took Sunderland to the League Cup final after a penalty shootout win over Manchester United in the semi-finals and in April 2014 oversaw Jose Mourinho’s first home defeat in the Premier League as Chelsea manager.

When Poyet led Sunderland to a 2–0 win at home to West Brom on May 7, it guaranteed top-flight safety with one game remaining, performing “a miracle” in his own words by arresting a decline that saw the club fall seven points adrift of safety when they lost 5–1 to Tottenham a month earlier.

In May 2014, Poyet signed a new two-year contract but was sacked the following March when Sunderland were in 17th place in the league, one point above the relegation places.

Soccer – Capital One Cup – Semi Final – Second Leg – Manchester United v Sunderland – Old Trafford
Sunderland’s Ki Sung Yeung celebrates his successful penalty that helped Gus Poyet’s team beat Manchester United in the Capital One Cup semi-final second leg at Old Trafford (Martin Rickett/PA)

In October 2015, AEK Athens reported that Poyet had agreed in principle to be their manager until the summer of 2016.

He also had brief spells at Real Betis and Chinese Super League team Shanghai Shenhua before enjoying a three-year stint at Bordeaux in 2018.

In February 2021 he joined his current club Universidad Catolica in Chile as manager.

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