Sam Allardyce praises Sunderland goalkeeper Vito Mannone

Vito Mannone was in fine form as Sunderland beat Chelsea 3-2.

Sam Allardyce has praised goalkeeper Vito Mannone in the Chronicle, suggesting that the goalkeeper was every bit as important as Jermain Defoe in Sunderland’s victory over Chelsea yesterday.

The Black Cats beat Chelsea 3-2 yesterday, as they took a big step closer to surviving.

Defoe was the main headline grabber in Sunderland’s victory, as he scored the winning goal to continue his fine season, but Mannone was praised for his performance by Allardyce.

“But I have to say that the contribution of Vito Mannone can’t be overlooked," Allardyce said. "It falls as much to him as to Fabio Borini and Jermain Defoe, because he made a couple of crucial saves at 2-1 and he played a big part in today’s victory."

The Italian goalkeeper pulled off a string of excellent stops, with Chelsea at 2-1 up to keep his side in the lead.

Mannone twice stopped Diego Costa when he was one-on-one, and he looked solid throughout the match, which gave confidence to the Black Cats' defence. 

Sunderland’s win over Chelsea has pushed them up into 17th place in the Premier League table, and they now look heavy favourites to beat the drop.

The Black Cats can confirm their safety by winning one of their last two matches.

Sunderland’s next fixture comes against Everton on Wednesday evening, before they face Watford at Vicarage Road on the final day.

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