Black Cats exit the drop zone

Black Cats exit the drop zone

Crystal Palace 1 Sunderland 3

Sunderland recovered from another own goal gaffe to collect their first away league win of the season at the expense of 10-man Crystal Palace, 3-1.

Looking to break a hoodoo of 12 years without a Barclays Premier League win on a Monday evening, the Black Cats appeared on course for a much-needed victory when Steven Fletcher notched his third goal of the season.

But they made life difficult for themselves once more as substitute Brown scored the sixth Premier League own goal of his distinguished career, and Sunderland’s third in their last three games, only to see Jordi Gomez score from a rare second-half break.

A bad night was made worse for the hosts when captain Mile Jedinak was dismissed in the closing stages having collected two yellow cards, before Fletcher completed an impressive display by tucking home a second in the final seconds.

The result takes Gus Poyet’s side above Palace in the table and the Eagles are now winless in four, only sitting outside of the bottom three courtesy of a better goal record than Leicester.

Poyet stuck with goalkeeper Vito Mannone and the back four which was hammered 8-0 at Southampton for the defeat to Arsenal last weekend but he made two alterations here.

Although Mannone and Brown lost their places in the porous Sunderland side, Poyet moved Santiago Vergini into a central role to accommodate debutant Anthony Reveillere.

He almost rued the decision to play the man who scored such a memorable own goal in the St Mary’s mauling as the Argentina international was lucky to escape conceding a penalty in the opening seconds.

Palace boss Neil Warnock has been outspoken about refereeing decisions costing his side points in recent games and he was left shaking his head having only just taken his place in the dugout when Vergini hacked at Fraizer Campbell.

With the home side shading the opening half an hour it was something of a shock when Fletcher rose to nod in Sunderland’s first away league goal since the opening day of the season.

Warnock was angered again as Palace saw another legitimate penalty decision go against them but he would have also been upset with the toothlessness of his attack in the opening 45 minutes.

But his side turned up the heat in the second half and levelled through a Brown own goal, when the substitute turned Campbell’s backheel over the line.

With their recent luck Sunderland could have been forgiven for letting their heads drop but they kept Palace at bay as the hosts looked for a winner before Gomez struck his maiden league goal, with the Eagles losing Jedinak late on after the Australian picked up a second booking.

The points were assured for the Wearsiders as Fletcher latched onto Liam Bridcutt’s pass to finish coolly past Speroni in stoppage time.

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