Premier League: Crystal Palace 3 Sunderland 1
By Blake Fogg
Crystal Palace pick up their first win of the season in a 3-1 drubbing of 10-man Sunderland at Selhurst Park.
Danny Gabbidon scored his first top-flight goal to give the host an early lead but half-time substitute Steven Fletcher leveled the match just after the hour mark.
But Palace were determined to get ahead, with their last two league matches ending in defeats against Tottenham and Stoke. Sunderland captain John O’Shea’s mistimed challenge on Jason Puncheon saw the former Manchester United defender see red and Dwight Gayle score his first goal for the Eagles.
Palace secured the win in stoppage time, with substitute Stuart O’Keefe's side-footed goal gave Ian Holloway’s side three points.
Summer signing Jose Campana created the early goal for the hosts. The former Sevilla man sent in a corner that bounced off Sunderland’s Ondrej Celustka before a touch from Gabbidon directed it past Kieran Westwood.
Ji Dong-Won should have equalized for the Black Cats but gave up after a enticing cross from Celustka’s was whipped at him.
Puncheon got involved moments later, with a penetrating dribble towards goal and sending a low shot just wide of the left-side post.
Mile Jedinak came close to adding another after his bending effort came within inches of the post.
Flethcher was introduced at the start of the second half, with Paolo Di Canio looking for an attacking spark. The Scotland international made his first appearance in five months after suffering an ankle injury.
Palace still had the upper hand in the match. Jedinak and Gayle tested the defense in opening 15 minutes of the second half.
But Sunderland was able to level, with Fletcher drifting into the box and heading Jack Colback’s cross past Julian Speroni.
Shortly after, a costly defense error from O’Shea gave the home side the lead. The captain lost control of a loose ball, and as Puncheon came in, O’Shea went for a slide tackle but tripped Puncheon. Referee Lee Probert pointed to the spot, and after conferring with his assistant referee, showed the defender a red card.
Gayle scored the penalty to Palace back in front.
The home side wrapped up the game in injury-time, with O’Keefe’s curling in a shot that kissed the crossbar before going in and giving Palace three points for the first time this season.