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Crystal Palace v Sunderland – August 31st 2013

Crystal Palace v Sunderland – August 31st 2013

Two late goals handed Crystal Palace their first Premier League win of the season as Sunderland’s poor start to the campaign continued.

Danny Gabbidon gave Palace an early lead from close range, before Steven Fletcher levelled for the visitors with a header after the break.

Di Canio fumes at ‘pathetic’ goals

Dwight Gayle made it 2-1 from the spot after he had been brought down by John O’Shea, who was shown a straight red.

Stuart O’Keefe sealed victory with a great strike from the edge of the area.

It was a deserved three points for Palace, whose manager Ian Holloway had earlier expressed concern that the squad had yet to gel as a unit after two league defeats.

They looked a strong and potent collective against Sunderland, however, and gave the visitors a high-intensity workout with their lightening quick counter-attacks.

Palace’s ninth-minute opener, though, came from a set-piece.

The hosts won a corner on the left and promising Spanish defender Jose Campana, signed from Sevilla in the summer, swung the ball into the box. After a bout of pin-ball, defender Gabbidon got the decisive touch.

Palace looked to build on the good start and from two fast breaks Jason Puncheon twice went close with low shots that crept past the upright.

After the break, Sunderland manager Paolo Di Canio brought on last season’s top goalscorer Fletcher for his first appearance in five months following an ankle injury.

Holloway ‘buzzing’ as Palace grab first win

The 26-year-old Scotland striker had been burdened with the responsibility of changing his side’s fortunes and midway through the half he did just that when he powered in Jack Colback’s brilliant cross from the left.

Sunderland would have been expected to build on that, but Palace did not allow them to as they reverted back to earlier type and continued to punish their opponents on the counter.

Eleven minutes from time a swift move finished with the ball played into the area for Gayle who was clipped by O’Shea. After a few seconds of deliberating, referee Lee Probert awarded the penalty and showed the defender red. Record-signing Gayle grabbed the ball and smashed his effort into the bottom corner.

Kagisho Dikgacoi almost scored a wonder-goal soon after but saw his shot acrobatically tipped over by Keiren Westwood. However, there was icing on the Palace cake in stoppage time when 22-year-old substitute O’Keefe curled in a delightful third.

LINEUP, BOOKINGS (2) & SUBSTITUTIONS (5)

Crystal Palace

  • 01 Speroni
  • 02 Ward
  • 19 Gabbidon
  • 21 Moxey
  • 27 Delaney Booked
  • 06 Campana (Jo Williams – 54′ )
  • 08 Dikgacoi
  • 13 Puncheon
  • 15 Jedinak
  • 16 Gayle (Wilbraham – 83′ )
  • 29 Chamakh (O’Keefe – 83′ )

Substitutes

  • 25 Alexander
  • 28 Ramage
  • 12 O’Keefe
  • 20 Jo Williams
  • 09 Phillips
  • 11 Dobbie
  • 18 Wilbraham

Sunderland

  • 20 Westwood
  • 12 Celustka
  • 14 Colback
  • 16 O’Shea Dismissed
  • 21 Diakite
  • 07 Larsson
  • 11 Johnson
  • 15 Vaughan
  • 23 Giaccherini (Mavrias – 61′ )
  • 10 Wickham
  • 27 Ji Dong-Won (Fletcher – 46′ )

Substitutes

  • 25 Mannone
  • 24 Cuellar
  • 29 Valentin
  • 06 Cabral
  • 35 Mavrias
  • 09 Fletcher
  • 19 Karlsson
Ref: Probert
Att: 22,671

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