Allardyce hails Black Cats’ fighting spirit

Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce expressed his delight after a dramatic 3-2 victory over Chelsea on Saturday kept his side's survival hopes alive.

The Black Cats twice had to come from behind at the Stadium of Light as a sensational volley from Wahbi Khazri cancelled out Diego Costa's 15th-minute opener, before Fabio Borini found a reply to Nemanja Matic's goal on the stroke of half-time.

Jermain Defoe completed the comeback win three minutes after Borini's equaliser, which lifted the Wearsiders out of the relegation zone to sit a point clear of local rivals Newcastle with a game in hand.

Allardyce commended his players for the manner in which they fought back against a very strong Blues team to get three valuable points and also hailed the fans for their fanatical backing on the day.

"I'm absolutely shattered after that one. I'm so pleased we got the result as it would have been such a shame to have given such a fantastic fightback away," he told SAFSee afterwards.

"We slipped up twice after giving two sloppy goals away, but then we had that stunning goal from Whabi [Khazri] which thrilled everybody! It had the fans on their feet.

"It was a sucker punch at half-time but our recovery was magnificent; the players didn't feel sorry for themselves and they came out in the second half and showed a real fighting spirit."

Allardyce added: "They were three very good goals; a change of tactics on 60 minutes where we put Fabio [Borini] in the hole just gave Jermain [Defoe] that little bit of extra support and they've both gone on and got a goal each.

"The fans were our 12th man today, they cheered every pass, every tackle and at every goal they screamed for joy. We're all enjoying the moment.

"Hopefully we can play as well as we did today on Wednesday night and get the job done, it would be fantastic to do that in front of our home fans."

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