0-1, Kone (9') 0-2, Ndong (43') 0-3, Defoe (45+1') 0-4, Defoe (45+3')
Crystal Palace 0-4 Sunderland: Black Cats stun abject Eagles with clinical first-half display in relegation six-pointer

Crystal Palace 0-4 Sunderland: Black Cats stun abject Eagles with clinical first-half display in relegation six-pointer

The Wearsiders ran out 4-0 victors thanks to goals in the first-half against former manager Sam Allardyce's apathetic Palace side.

jack-mcgraghan
Jack McGraghan
Crystal PalaceHennessey; Ward, Dann, Tomkins, Delaney (Townsend, 46'), van Aanholt; Cabaye (Ledley, 26'), McArthur (Remy, 62'), Puncheon, Zaha; Benteke.
SunderlandMannone; O'Shea (Lescott, 57'), Jones, Denayer, Kone, Oviedo; Rodwell (Gibson, 52'), Larsson, Ndong, Januzaj (Pienaar, 78'); Defoe.
REFEREEBooked: Larsson (6'), Januzaj (31'), Zaha (32'), Kone (71')

Sunderland recorded one of the most surprising wins of the season this afternoon as they thumped Crystal Palace by four goals, with the hosts suffering an inexplicable collapse at the end of the first-half as the Eagles' woeful home record continues.

The Black Cats took the lead after just nine minutes through the unlikely source of Lamine Kone, who showed his agility by reacting quickly from on the deck to volley into the bottom corner from Sebastian Larsson's free-kick.

The visitors doubled their lead in the 43rd minute through record signing Didier Ndong's first goal for the club, before a late first-half double from Jermain Defoe saw Sunderland head into the break four goals ahead in the shock scoreline of the day.

Allardyce opted not to change his side after impressive midweek win

Whilst Sam Allardyce named an unchanged starting eleven from Crystal Palace's 2-0 away win at Bournemouth in midweek, Sunderland boss David Moyes made two changes to his side with new signing Bryan Oviedo and Adnan Januzaj coming in for Fabio Borini and Javier Manquillo following their 0-0 draw at home to Tottenham.

The match got off to a predictably cagey start with neither team looking to give anything away early on, but that is exactly what Palace did just nine minutes into the match albeit in controversial circumstances.

Larsson lofted a free-kick into the area from 30 yards out and found the head of Kone who sent the ball towards Eagles goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey, who was then fouled by Billy Jones whilst claiming the ball which resulted in the loose ball being volleyed home in some style by the Ivorian centre back to put the Wearsiders a goal to the good.

The Palace players' complaints towards referee Andre Marriner fell upon deaf ears however, as the Sunderland players celebrated jubilantly. The first half remained a relatively dull affair with the hosts dominating possession but not creating much whilst Moyes' men opted to sit back and keep their shape in the hopes of holding their lead.

The hosts had a fantastic chance to equalise 21 minutes into the game through centre-back James Tomkins however, as he connected with Damien Delaney's cross but inexplicably missed the target from just five yards out at the back post.

Oviedo put in a highly impressive display on his Sunderland debut.

Hectic final few minutes of the opening half set the result in stone

The match remained flat for much of the first period as Sunderland stayed resolute at the back and prevented Palace from hitting their danger man Christian Benteke up front, although the service to him was admittedly of poor quality.

The final few minutes of the half was what made the atmosphere at Selhurst Park turn from frustration to vitriol in the blink of an eye though in what was a quite stunning display in front of goal from the ordinarily wasteful visitors.

Ndong nicked possession from the feet of the lethargic Joe Ledley in the Palace half and drove towards goal before trying his luck from 25 yards on his weaker left foot, and the Gabon midfielder seemed surprised to see the shot crash off the post and into the net for 2-0 before wheeling away in celebration.

Sunderland's top scorer Defoe was surprisingly not on the scoresheet despite his side being two goals ahead, but that wouldn't last for long thanks to his quickfire double in injury time that sent the away fans into raptures.

Januzaj was the architect as he received Larsson's ball on the left flank before playing in the on-rushing Defoe who took a touch before firing low past Hennessey to make it 3-0.

The visitors were not done yet though and Januzaj played the role of creator once more as he found the predatory striker once more inside the 18-yard area, who held his ground before turning and sending a low shot under the body of Hennessey to bag his 14th league goal of the season and put his side four goals up before half-time.

Moyes will likely have never been happier as Sunderland boss as he was today.

Clash between fan and player summed up Palace's performance

A half-time clash involving Delaney and a disgruntled fan spoke volumes of just how poor Palace were in the first-half, and who can blame the supporter after witnessing a performance as abject as today's.

The second half continued in much the same pattern as the first with Palace looking dead and buried the moment they came out of the tunnel after what was no doubt a half-time rollocking from Eagles boss Allardyce.

Loic Remy showed a rare flash of creativity from the home side in the later stages of the game with a driving run towards goal, but his tame finish followed the precedent set by his strike partner Benteke in the first period as Palace failed to get on the scoresheet.

They came closest in the 86th minute via Jason Puncheon's low drive from the edge of the box, which was tipped over the bar thanks to the combination of Vito Mannone and Jason Denayer on the line to keep Sunderland's second consecutive clean sheet.

The only concern from today's match for Moyes will be that he was forced into three substitutions as John O'Shea, Jack Rodwell and Januzaj were all taken off with injury problems although it remains to be seen if they are serious or not.

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