Sunderland 2-2 Crystal Palace: Late Fabio Borini strike saves point for Black Cats

A late strike from Fabio Borini was enough to keep Sunderland AFC's survival hopes alive with a vital point in the 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace

Sunderland 2-2 Crystal Palace: Late Fabio Borini strike saves point for Black Cats
Above: Dame N'Doye celebrates in Sunderland's 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace image source: Sky Sports
SUNDERLAND
2 2
CRYSTAL PALACE
SUNDERLAND : MANNONE, YEDLIN, KONE, O'SHEA (KABOUL, MIN. 28), VAN AANHOLT, KIRCHOFF (CATTERMOLE, MIN. 64) (BORINI, MIN. 80), N'DOYE, M'VILA, RODWELL, KHAZRI, DEFOE
CRYSTAL PALACE : HENNESSEY, WARD, DANN, DELANEY, KELLY, CABAYE (LEDLEY, MIN. 73), JEDINAK, ZAHA, MUTCH, BOLASIE (SAKO, MIN. 77), WICKHAM (ADEBAYOR, MIN. 84)
SCORE: 1-0, MIN. 36, N'DOYE 1-1, MIN. 61, WICKHAM 1-2, MIN. 67, WICKHAM 2-2, MIN. 90, BORINI
REFEREE: ANTHONY TAYLOR BOOKED RODWELL (MIN. 18) DANN (MIN. 45+1)
INCIDENTS: Premier League fixture

Fabio Borini proved to be Sunderland's hero once again as he saved a point for the Black Cats with a 2-2 draw with against struggling Crystal Palace

It was end-to-end in the first 45 minutes with both sides having numerous chances. Jack Rodwell, Damien Delaney, Wahbi Khazri, Jordan Mutch and Scott Dann all went close, but it was the Black Cats who took the lead in the 35th minute through Dame N'Doye, whilst Younes Kaboul nearly added a second just before the break.  

Connor Wickham was bright from the restart with a half-chance before he opened the Eagles' account just after the hour mark and another six minutes later to turn the match on it's head.  

The pace of the match slowed down drastically with both sides failing to conjure up another decent effort until Borini's excellent extra-time effort saved a vital point for the Black Cats.  

Electric start  

Both sides had an electric start to proceedings with three chances falling to either side inside a three-minute period.  

The first came 12 minutes in when Jermain Defoe laid it on for Rodwell 25 yards from goal, but despite the well-struck effort, it was straight down the throat of Wayne Hennessey.  

The second followed two minutes later with poor defending from Sunderland allowing a flat free kick from Yohan Cabaye to make it's way through Delaney near to the byline. Vito Mannone did well to come out and block at his feet and the threat was cleared.  

Sunderland went straight up the field from there with the ball making it's way up top to Khazri. His effort took a wicked deflection which left Hennessey stranded, yet, luckily for the 'keeper, it zipped past the post.  

Lasting pressure  

Neither seemed to let up on the attack with Wilfried Zaha doing well bring to bring the ball down on his chest despite the appeals for handball before he teed up Mutch but Mannone had it covered as the effort shook the side-netting.  

Mannone came to the rescue just after the half hour mark as a great corner in from Cabaye found Dann who managed to get away from his marker to place a powerful header towards goal. But Mannone was equal to it as he pulled off a great save to tip the defender's effort over the crossbar.  

Reap the rewards  

Sunderland were rewarded for their attacking style of play as they took the lead 10 minutes from the break.  

The Black Cat's managed to crowd out Palace in the midfield with the ball eventually coming to Defoe who looked for the shot before he teed it up for N'Doye who looked to curl it into the far corner but a Dann deflection took the opposite way giving Hennessey no chance.  

The substitute Kaboul nearly doubled Sunderland's lead right on the half-time whistle as he rose highest to Khazri's free-kick out on the left but he could only head over from six yards out.  

Above: Connor Wickham shoots in Sunderland's 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace  image source: Sky Sports
Above: Connor Wickham shoots in Sunderland's 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace image source: Sky Sports

Unwelcome return  

Straight from the restart Alan Pardew's side were bearing down on the Sunderland defence and almost got their equaliser 22 seconds after the restart when Zaha's great cross found Wickham but his header was well over.  

He redeemed himself just after the hour mark as he managed to grab the equaliser for his first goal against his former club.  

It was impressive from the wingers Zaha and Yannick Bolasie with the returning Bolasie playing the quick ball to Wickham who set himself up well before his sweet went beyond Mannone and in off the far post with help from the DeAndre Yedlin deflection.  

Wickham changed the match completely as he gave Palace the lead for the first time just five minutes after his opening goal.  

Dann's header from Cabaye's corner was up in the air but Wickham showed great awareness to take it down and smash it home from close-range to get his 5th goal of the season and more importantly the lead.  

Late drama  

The attacking intensity drastically increased as the game drew to a close but Sunderland mustered up one final push to grab a late equalsier.  

It came from nothing for the Black Cats as the match entered extra-time as the ball was played out ot Borini on the right-hand side and what seemed to be a delivery from the Italian somehow managed to get beyond Hennessey and into the far corner to save a vital point for Sam Allardyce's side.