Crystal Palace couldn't find the key to unlock Sunderland, says Pardew

Crystal Palace’s loss to Sunderland was another case of déjà-vu as Jermain Defoe’s goal helped Sunderland to a vital three points at Selhurst Park.

It wasn’t a vintage performance by Palace in any stretch, but they had enough of the ball, but it was that finishing touch that eluded them last night.

Defoe pounced on Scott Dann’s uncharacteristic error to give Sunderland fans hope that another relegation battle could end up in happiness for the Wearside side.

Palace didn’t ‘hurt’ Sunderland enough, says Pardew

Palace never really created any clear-cut chances, the one they did have Costel Pantilimon was equal to Yohan Cabaye’s long-range drive.

Pardew said after the game that: "Sunderland set their stall out and there was no mystery to what they did."

Pardew continued, saying it's hard to break down a team with five at the back and a deeper midfield,​ "It is five at the back, three in front and they didn't really move much. We just couldn't find a way to unlock what were a deep defence and a deep midfield.”

Last year Palace struggled to break sides down at home, and with it seeming to be a recurring theme, Pardew has to somehow figure out a way of breaking down stubborn sides.

"They asked us questions we needed to answer if we are going to go forward and evolve into a different type of team," he said. "We struggled - it just didn't happen.”

The 27-year-old Mali international Bakary Sako came on at half-time to replace the ineffective Jason Puncheon and he created some good openings, but he pulled his hamstring and was withdrawn later in the half.

"Bakary Sako created a great couple of moments," Pardew said. "But, unfortunately, he pulled his hamstring and that was disappointing as well."

"It was one of those nights when nothing really went for us."