Four first-half goals gave Sunderland a resounding 4-0 victory against Crystal Palace in their relegation battle at Selhurst Park in the Premier League.
- Crystal Palace 0-4 Sunderland
- Kone drills home
- N'Dong curls in second
- Defoe adds third
- Defoe completes his brace
Palace got off to the brighter start in the early exchanges, but found themselves a goal behind in the 10th minute, when Lamine Kone pounced on Sebastian Larsson's ball in the area.
The home side intensified their efforts to get back on level terms and, despite dominating both possession and chances created, failed to find their way past a resilient Sunderland defence in the first-half.
The visitors twenty onto add three more goals before the half-time break, courtesy of efforts from Dider Ndong and a Jermaine Defoe brace.
— Dawn Lesley (@MackemShaw) February 4, 2017
The home side looked the strong of the two teams early on and looked promising whenever Jason Puncheon was in possession of the ball.
Lamine Kone opened the scoring for the Black Cats with their first real opportunity of the game in the 10th minute, when he took advantage of the Palace defence's failure to clear their lines from a free-kick.
Sam Allardyce's charges immediately responded by launching a number of attacks towards the Sunderland goal, but a combination of alert goalkeeping by Vito Mannone and great defending by Bryan Oviedo.
The Eagles continued to throw numbers forward in search of the equaliser and came close in the 20th minute, when Yohan Cabye delivered a lovely ball into the area. but the onrushing Wilfred Zaha was unable to connect at the far-post.
The home side went agonisingly close to grabbing an equaliser in the 23rd minute, but James Tomkins was unable to direct his header on-target after a great ball in the area by Damien Delaney.
David Moyes' charges were content with their one-goal lead and shut up shop towards the closing stages of the first-half, despite the continuous efforts from Palace.
Didier Ndong doubled his side's advantage in the 43rd minute after profiting from Joe Ledley's mistake, as he superbly curled home an effort from 20 yards out. Things went from bad to worse for Palace in the space of two minutes, as Sunderland's top-scorer Jermain Defoe netted twice in as many minutes, after being teed up by Adnan Januzaj for both goals.
The second half saw Palace emerge as the more dominant side, with more clear attacking intent as they made a number of substitutions in a bid to reduce the deficit and salvage some pride.
Palace failed to take a number of their opportunities in the second stanza with Christian Benteke, Zaha and Loic Remy all wasteful from their respective chances.
Allardyce's side opted for the long-ball approach in the final 20 minutes of the encounter, which put Sunderland on the defensive for much of the second half.
The Black Cats almost added a fifth in the 74th minute, when Oviedo brilliantly set-up Januzaj, but the midfielder's powerful effort went inches wide of the Wayne Hennessey's goal.
Remy caused the Sunderland defence all sorts of problems late-on, but could not help his side find a consolation as Palace rued their a humiliating 4-0 defeat – the first time they've ever conceded four first-half goals in the Premier League era.