Kirchhoff won the Bundesliga title and DFB Pokal with Bayern Munich in 2013-14, but left the Bavarians for the Stadium of Light in the January transfer window in order to get regular first-team football, having previously been sent on a long-term loan to Schalke.
“It is really nice, almost like winning a title, it’s unbelievable,” Kirchhoff told Sky Sports on Wednesday
“We went through dangerous and difficult situations and eventually got it in our own hands. We put in a really good performance tonight. We all worked hard, all of us believed we could stay in the league, that we have enough quality to play in the Premier League and that’s what we showed.
“We grew together, got better and better and we got the points we needed in the end. We had self-confidence, we showed that on the pitch and that’s the most important thing.
“We’ll enjoy this moment and we’ll see tonight what happens. We’ve got one more game to go and then we can enjoy our holidays this summer and the next year of Premier League football.”