Sunderland player ratings v Crystal Palace: Fletcher takes his chances, while Vergini struggles

Sunderland Fans

A Steven Fletcher brace and Jordi Gomez strike saw Sunderland win 3-1 at Crystal Palace to lift themselves out of the Premier League's relegation zone.

Costel Pantilimon 7/10 – Replacing the under-fire Vito Mannone, it was a solid Sunderland debut for the big Romanian, who made a world class save to deny Marouane Chamakh on 55 minutes, only for Wes Brown to deflect the ball past him seconds later.

Anthony Reveillere 7/10 – Another debutant, the Frenchman was forced to switch over to left-back after Van Aanholt came off with an injury, but did a fairly decent job restricting Palace’s attacks on either flank. Should keep his spot in the line-up moving forward.

Santiago Vergini 4.5/10 – An extremely shaky performance, as he was fortunate not to concede a penalty within the opening 25 seconds. Moved to right-back after the defensive reshuffle and did not look comfortable in the slightest.

John O’Shea 7/10 – Defended stoutly and led by example to keep Frazier Campbell in check for the 90 minutes.

Patrick van Aanholt 6/10 – Dealt with Zaha well and provided the cross for Fletcher’s 31st-minute opener, before what looked like a dislocated shoulder forced his withdrawal.

Sebastian Larsson 6/10 – Didn’t do much on the ball, but his defensive shift helped keep pressure off Sunderland’s back-four.

Lee Cattermole 6/10 – Full of running, but had a hard time preventing Palace from dominating possession for long stretches. Was booked, of course.

Jordi Gomez 7/10 – Went a bit missing for most of the game, but then provided a moment of brilliance 11 minutes from the end with a driving low shot from outside the area to put the visitors ahead for good.

Will Buckley 6/10 – Did get the assist for Gomez’s goal, but otherwise made little impact on the night.

Steven Fletcher 8/10 – Took his chances either side of half-time, heading the ball across Speroni for the first, before stroking home deep into added-time to seal all three points.

Connor Wickham 6/10 – Worked a solid shift in the channels but not the attacking threat he was towards the end of last season.

SUBSTITUTES

Wes Brown (Van Aanholt 37) 5/10 – A comical own goal to follow last week’s blunder against Arsenal. Still, at least he still has all that silverware he won at Old Trafford.

Jozy Alitdore (Wickham 78) – Couldn’t make an impact, but doubt that would have been much different if he’d been on from the start.

Liam Bridcutt (Buckley 80) – A successful 10 minutes on the pitch, as he robbed Jason Puncheon in the Palace half at the death and fed Fletcher for the third.

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