Swansea 2 Sunderland 4: Jermain Defoe struck a hat-trick as Sunderland won a thrilling Premier League relegation battle at Swansea.
The Black Cats’ 4-2 victory was mired in controversy as they recovered from a 2-1 half-time deficit to claim a second successive league win.
Graham Scott was taking charge of only his fourth top-flight fixture — and was in the spotlight most of the night. Defoe’s first two goals came despite him being perilously close to offside, while Scott awarded Swansea a first-half penalty which appeared generous in the extreme — then he sent-off Kyle Naughton in contentious fashion.
Sunderland were gifted the perfect start after three minutes when Lukasz Fabianski’s loose ball was collected by Adam Johnson and his pass found Fabio Borini. The former Swansea striker’s shot was too hot for Fabianski to hold and Defoe was on the spot to tap into an empty net.
Andre Ayew broke into the box and won a dubious penalty after appearing to kick the floor in the act of shooting. Wes Brown was adjudged to have made the most marginal of contact, but Gylfi Sigurdsson stroked home the penalty.
Swansea were reduced to 10 men when Naughton was punished for a 37th minute challenge on Yann M’Vila, his studs showing but the defender clearly took the ball and the theatrical reaction of the France international did him few favours.
However, Ayew almost instantly sprinted into space, shrugged off Lee Cattermole and buried a powerful low shot through the legs of Billy Jones and into the far corner of the net.
Sunderland were level four minutes after the restart as van Aanholt’s drive took a telling deflection off the back of Federico Fernandez and flew past Fabianski off a post. And then Defoe hit two more goals, securing a hat-trick and three points for Sunderland.
Fabianski, Naughton Fernandez, Williams, Taylor, Britton (Rangel 42), Ki, Barrow, Sigurdsson, Routledge (Gomis 77), Ayew (Cork 90).
Mannone, Jones, O’Shea, Brown, Van Aanholt, Cattermole (Rodwell 73), M’Vila, Johnson, Lens (Watmore 86), Borini (Graham 83), Defoe.
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