Sunderland sink Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park

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After defensive errors in previous defeats to Arsenal and Southampton, Gus Poyet fielded a new-look Sunderland side which battled hard enough against Crystal Palace to gain a 3-1 win over the Eagles.

If you're a statistic lover, then this will be one to lick your lips at. The Black Cats went into this match having failing to win on a Monday night game since Cristiano Ronaldo hit the net about 450 goals back into his career. Another mouthwatering fact stood at 17 goals have been scored in the past three Premier League games at Selhurst Park.

So, this game was destined for goals, and Sunderland's defensive record of late sent stronger implications of that happening.

Fletcher opener

The Black Cats looked very shaky and unorganised in the opening ten minutes, and just 30 seconds in, a clumsy foul from Santiago Vergini almost gifted Palace a penalty but Phil Dowd controversially waved away the claims.

The first half was not the most entertaining of intervals, but Steven Fletcher's perfectly place header, almost identical to the one he scored at Selhurst Park last season, blasted the visitors into a much needed lead at the break.

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The hosts came out with all guns blazing in the second half, drawing a series of corners but none of the attempts could cross the line.

Wes Brown own goal

The landslide of pressure eventually paid off for Neil Warnock's struggling side after a top save from Costel Pantilimon rebounded out to Fraizer Campbell whose flicked cross was diverted in off Wes Brown. It seemed as though Sunderland's run of miserable fortune looked to continue, scoring their fourth own goal of the campaign.

Jordi Gomez winner

But their luck would soon change after a scrappy 15 minute period when Jordi Gomez allowed the ball to run across his body where he would deliciously place a firm strike into the bottom corner well out of the reach of Julian Speroni with 11 minutes on the clock.

Things seemed to get worse for the home side when Mile Jedinak saw red after kicking out on Jordi Gomez. 

Due to the pressurising efforts to snatch an equaliser, Palace were left exposed at the back when Sunderland led a dangerous counter attack. A crisp Liam Bridcutt pass was finished to perfection by Fletcher; earning him a brace and his third of the season.

Poyet will be delighted with the victory after instructing his team to a minimum of a win due to their upcoming fixtures which include visits from Chelsea and current champions Manchester City.

Crystal Palace
Steven Fletcher
Premier League

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