Premier League
SunderlandSunderland2Crystal PalaceCrystal Palace3

Sunderland 2-3 Crystal Palace

By Ian WoodcockBBC Sport
Christian Benteke
Christian Benteke has now scored twice for Palace since 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

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

Lee Chung-Yong
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)

Jermain Defoe
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."

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).



Formation 4-3-3

  • 13Pickford
  • 21Manquillo
  • 23Koné
  • 5Djilobodji
  • 3van Aanholt
  • 17Ndong
  • 27Kirchhoff
  • 6CattermoleSubstituted forMcNairat 86'minutes
  • 44JanuzajSubstituted forAnichebeat 86'minutes
  • 18Defoe
  • 20PienaarSubstituted forWatmoreat 15'minutes


  • 4Denayer
  • 10Khazri
  • 12Simões Domingues
  • 14Watmore
  • 16O'Shea
  • 19McNair
  • 28Anichebe

Crystal Palace

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 30Mandanda
  • 2Ward
  • 5Tomkins
  • 27Delaney
  • 34KellySubstituted forFryersat 75'minutes
  • 18McArthur
  • 16Ledley
  • 42PuncheonBooked at 72minsSubstituted forLeeat 90+3'minutes
  • 7CabayeBooked at 45minsSubstituted forWickhamat 73'minutes
  • 10Townsend
  • 17Benteke


  • 13Hennessey
  • 14Lee
  • 19Fryers
  • 21Wickham
  • 22Mutch
  • 26Sako
  • 44Wynter
Anthony Taylor

Match Stats

Home TeamSunderlandAway TeamCrystal Palace
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Sunderland 2, Crystal Palace 3.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Sunderland 2, Crystal Palace 3.

  3. Post update

    Foul by James McArthur (Crystal Palace).

  4. Post update

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

  5. Goal!

    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.

  6. Post update

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

  7. Post update

    Foul by Javier Manquillo (Sunderland).

  8. Substitution

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

  9. Post update

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

  10. Post update

    Foul by Lamine Koné (Sunderland).

  11. Post update

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

  12. Post update

    Foul by Victor Anichebe (Sunderland).

  13. Post update

    Foul by Damien Delaney (Crystal Palace).

  14. Post update

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

  15. Post update

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

  16. Post update

    Foul by Victor Anichebe (Sunderland).

  17. Post update

    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.

  18. Post update

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

  19. Post update

    Corner, Sunderland. Conceded by Andros Townsend.

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Sunderland. Paddy McNair replaces Lee Cattermole.

As It Stood

1Man City66001851318
6Man Utd6402127512
7Crystal Palace6312107310
9West Brom62227618
18West Ham5104713-63
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