Alan Pardew’s side managed to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat on Saturday as they came from 2-0 down to beat Premier League basement side Sunderland 3-2. It was the equivalent of winning the jackpot at the casinowhen Christian Benteke’s thumping 92nd minute header beat Jordan Pickford to give Palace all three points.
It looked for a large part of the afternoon as if Sunderland were going to get their first win of the season when they went 2-0 up thanks to Jermain Defoe brace. But David Moyes is still searching for that all elusive inaugural victory after losing the game in the cruelest of circumstances.
Palace only had themselves to blame for The Black Cats opener when Joe Ledley’s awfully misplaced back pass fell straight at the feet of Defoe. He had enough time to compose himself and fire his shot past the hapless Steve Mandanda in the Palace goal, Sunderland were off to a perfect start.
And it got even better when Defoe made it 2-0 on the hour. There was a hint of offside from the initial phase of play but thankfully for Sunderland the Assistant Referee’s flag stayed down and although there was an element of pinball in the area, the ball finally fell to Defoe to double his sides advantage and surely give them their first three points of this campaign.
But that is as good as they day got for the Wearside club. Many teams would have folded at 2-0 down but against Sunderland there is still always a chance of getting something. This is a side low on confidence and the tide quickly turned in Palace’s favour just a minute later.
Joe Ledley atoned for his earlier error just a minute later to halve the deficit and set up somewhat of a grandstand finish. The Welsh international’s deflected shot fizzed past Pickford in the Sunderland goal to give Alan Pardew’s side a modicum of hope.
The question now was could Sunderland hold out for the remaining 29 minutes plus injury time? The answer to that was no. James McArthur killed off any hopes of a vital first win for Sunderland when he scored with 15 minutes to go and that point you definitely felt the tide was turning in Palace’s favour and if anyone was to score again it would be them.
And that is exactly what happened in the final minute of the game, Zeki Fryers was given far too much time and space on the left hand side and he launched in an inch perfect cross for the unmarked Christian Benteke. He was afforded more than enough space to power home his header and send Sunderland fans heading for the exit.
Despair for Sunderland as they now find themselves rooted to the bottom of the table, while for Palace it’s a third successive win and after a slow start to the season they now find themselves in 7th ahead of cross city rivals Chelsea. It may be a long journey Sunderland but Palace fans wouldn’t have cared after that dramatic victory, when your luck is in then your luck is in.