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Palace fight back to stun winless Sunderland

Christian Benteke

Christian Benteke has now scored twice for Palace signing joining from Liverpool in August

Christian Benteke’s last-minute header left Sunderland waiting for their first league victory of the season as Crystal Palace came from 2-0 down to win.

The Belgian powered home from six yards out after a free-kick to give Palace a third straight league win and leave the Black Cats bottom of the table.

Jermain Defoe had put the hosts in charge with two well-taken goals.

But Joe Ledley pulled one back with a deflected shot before James McArthur’s header pulled Palace level.

Wait goes on for luckless Black Cats

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Players need to take responsibility – Moyes

Sunderland, one of just two teams yet to triumph in the Premier League this season, have not won a league game in September since 2012.

But the Black Cats must have thought their dreadful run, and start to the season, was coming to an end when they led 2-0.

Defoe, who had poked the hosts in front after a dreadful Ledley backpass, scored his second with a well-taken half-volley after the visitors failed to clear.

But the hosts had looked nervous at the back throughout and allowed Palace back into the game just 69 seconds later.

The Londoners took control and once McArthur made it 2-2 with 14 minutes to go, an away win looked the likely outcome.

Sunderland boss David Moyes, who has not won in the Premier League since April 2014, was angry with the nature of the Palace winner.

“For us to not have someone deal with Benteke at the death, to have a five-yard run and have no challenge, is just incredible,” said the Scot.

“We need our players to assume a level of responsibility that it’s not all down to me and my staff.”

Pardew’s subs save the day

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Lee Chung-Yong’s touch map barely tells the story of his impact on the game – his one touch set up Christian Benteke’s winning goal

Zeki Fryers had been on the pitch for just 25 seconds when he crossed for McArthur to level the match.

The former Manchester United and Tottenham man was making his first Premier League appearance since 21 September 2014.

Fryers was not the only sub to make an instant impact as Lee Chung-Yong, who came on in stoppage time for Jason Puncheon, used his only touch of the match to deliver the free-kick from which Benteke headed home the winner.

The Eagles are now seventh in the table.

Man of the match – Jermain Defoe (Sunderland)

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Ultimately he was on the losing side but his two clinical finishes should have been enough to get Sunderland at least a point from this match. He is now joint-ninth on the all-time Premier League top scorers’ list with Teddy Sheringham

The stats that matter

  • Sunderland are winless in their past 25 Premier League games in the months of August or September (W0 D9 L16).
  • Sunderland lost a Premier League game they were leading by two goals for only the second time – the first in April 2001 versus Spurs (also 3-2).
  • This was only the second time in their Premier League history that Palace have come from two goals down to win (the other a 3-2 victory at Burnley in January 2015).
  • This was only the third time in Premier League history that Palace have won a game with a winning goal scored in 90 minutes or later. The other two were against Aston Villa (1-0) in December 2013, and against Sheffield Wednesday (1-0) in May 1998.

What the managers said

Sunderland boss David Moyes: “We couldn’t defend well enough. We went 2-0 up, though perhaps not justly. But we didn’t tighten up.

“We didn’t give ourselves a chance. We have to take responsibility throughout the side – why did we not stop Benteke’s run? He got a jump on us and it’s beyond me.

“This can’t always be led by a manager – players have to take responsibility on the pitch. We needed to stand up and assume responsibility, but we weren’t capable of doing that.”

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Palace players kept believing – Pardew

Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew: “This game takes away from you a lot, but it does give it back to you.

“Last year I thought we deserved to win here but we didn’t.

“Today we were excellent throughout the game, disappointing to be 2-0 down but we wouldn’t give in and, in the end, scored three excellent goals. We played some terrific stuff, and though Joe Ledley made an error, his finish to score was typical of the man – he has spirit and character.

“Benteke is always a threat, and he had a couple of chances. With his goal, it was a great delivery and a clinical finish. We are confident at the moment and we produced.”

What’s next?

Crystal Palace visit Everton on Friday (20:00 BST) looking to record their fourth successive league win, while Sunderland will hope to end their search for a first league win of the season against West Brom the following day (15:00).

Live Text

Match ends, Sunderland 2, Crystal Palace 3.

Second Half ends, Sunderland 2, Crystal Palace 3.

Foul by James McArthur (Crystal Palace).

Javier Manquillo (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Goal! Sunderland 2, Crystal Palace 3. Christian Benteke (Crystal Palace) header from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Lee Chung-yong with a cross following a set piece situation.

Connor Wickham (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Javier Manquillo (Sunderland).

Substitution, Crystal Palace. Lee Chung-yong replaces Jason Puncheon.

Connor Wickham (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Lamine Koné (Sunderland).

James McArthur (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Victor Anichebe (Sunderland).

Foul by Damien Delaney (Crystal Palace).

Jermain Defoe (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Joel Ward (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Victor Anichebe (Sunderland).

Attempt missed. Andros Townsend (Crystal Palace) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Jason Puncheon.

Attempt blocked. Didier Ndong (Sunderland) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Corner, Sunderland. Conceded by Andros Townsend.

Substitution, Sunderland. Paddy McNair replaces Lee Cattermole.

Substitution, Sunderland. Victor Anichebe replaces Adnan Januzaj.

Offside, Sunderland. Jan Kirchhoff tries a through ball, but Patrick van Aanholt is caught offside.

Offside, Crystal Palace. Damien Delaney tries a through ball, but Christian Benteke is caught offside.

Attempt missed. Adnan Januzaj (Sunderland) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left following a corner.

Corner, Sunderland. Conceded by Joel Ward.

Foul by Christian Benteke (Crystal Palace).

Papy Djilobodji (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt blocked. Jermain Defoe (Sunderland) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Goal! Sunderland 2, Crystal Palace 2. James McArthur (Crystal Palace) header from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Ezekiel Fryers with a cross.

Substitution, Crystal Palace. Ezekiel Fryers replaces Martin Kelly.

Attempt missed. Connor Wickham (Crystal Palace) left footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Christian Benteke.

Attempt blocked. Christian Benteke (Crystal Palace) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Jason Puncheon.

Substitution, Crystal Palace. Connor Wickham replaces Yohan Cabaye.

Jason Puncheon (Crystal Palace) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Jason Puncheon (Crystal Palace).

Duncan Watmore (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Andros Townsend (Crystal Palace).

Duncan Watmore (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Jermain Defoe (Sunderland) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Javier Manquillo.

Offside, Sunderland. Lee Cattermole tries a through ball, but Jermain Defoe is caught offside.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/37394578