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Posted by: | Posted on: January 6, 2020

Crystal Palace 1-3 Sunderland: Fletcher’s double ends Mackems’ Monday misery

first_img Steven Fletcher celebrates his first goal in Sunderland’s win at Palace 1 Steven Fletcher scored twice as Sunderland finally remembered how to win on a Monday night to move out of the Premier League’s bottom three.The Black Cats had not tasted top-flight victory for 12 years on the first night of the week, a total of 20 games, but they laid that hoodoo to rest at Selhurst Park.Gus Poyet’s side responded well to back-to-back defeats against Southampton and Arsenal by claiming only their second win of the season, but a Wes Brown own goal made it hard work for the visitors.They opened the scoring against the run of play in the first half when Fletcher powered in an unmarked header, though the hosts were back in it shortly after the break when substitute Brown lunged at the ball and turned it into his own net, the fourth own goal they have conceded in three games.Palace continued to pile on the pressure in the second half, but Gomez took advantage of some hesitant defending to finish well past Julian Speroni, with Fletcher getting his second in stoppage-time after Eagles captain Mile Jedinak was sent off for a second booking.The hosts started the brighter of the sides, with Yannick Bolasie, Wilfried Zaha and Marouane Chamakh all lively, but there was a distinct lack of end product from both teams throughout the first half.In fact, fans had to wait until the 25th minute for any kind of effort on goal, not that you could call Bolasie’s shot strictly goal-bound, as the 25-year-old hit the ball straight out for a throw-in with a wild strike.Before that, Sunderland were fortunate to escape appeals for what looked to be a sure penalty after Fraizer Campbell was brought down by Santiago Vergini, the former Black Cats striker sent through on goal from a lofted Chamakh pass.Eagles boss Neil Warnock was exasperated by referee Phil Dowd’s decision, but his men seemed to have the upper hand in the opening stages with Sunderland rattled by their rapid start.But a handful of misses from Bolasie meant Palace failed to make the most of their possession, and Sunderland duly punished them as Fletcher nodded Gus Poyet’s side in front to end their run of over five hours without an away goal.A counter-attack saw Sunderland drive forward in their first real attack of the game, and the big Scot was there to dink in Patrick van Aanholt’s cross with a well-placed header under little pressure in the box.It was a pinpoint assist from the Dutch summer signing, but his game was over just moments later as he was stretchered off with a shoulder injury after tangling with Zaha.Wes Brown took his place, and while the former United man initially had a positive impact in the back four, making a crucial block to deny Zaha and clearing three consecutive corners, it was his mistake which handed Palace an equaliser after the break.It was another own goal to add to the club’s list, having scored three in last month’s embarrassing 8-0 defeat at Southampton, as the defender turned Campbell’s clever backheel into his own net seconds after Costel Pantilimon, who replaced the dropped Vito Mannone in goal, saved on the line.The goal buoyed the Palace players, who began peppering the Sunderland box with a series of crosses, but the Black Cats were still a threat, with Vergini – who went close with a well hit volley in the first half – testing Speroni with another sweetly stuck effort.And the Black Cats again made the most of their opportunities as Gomez fired the visitors in front with 12 minutes left, beating Speroni with a low angled drive following a darting run from the impressive Will Buckley.Palace then suffered an added blow when skipper Jedinak was sent off for kicking out at Gomez, and it was soon game over when Fletcher netted with a clinical finish in the fifth minute of added time to finally give his manager something to celebrate.last_img read more