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Monday 23 April 2018

Pardew praises Palace chairman Parish after priceless victory at Sunderland

Christian Benteke headed Crystal Palace to a dramatic victory at Sunderland
Christian Benteke headed Crystal Palace to a dramatic victory at Sunderland

Alan Pardew thanked chairman Steve Parish for his financial backing after seeing £32million summer signing Christian Benteke head Crystal Palace to a dramatic victory at Sunderland.

The Belgium international struck four minutes into stoppage time to snatch a 3-2 win at the Stadium of Light as the Eagles came back from 2-0 down to deny Black Cats boss David Moyes the first Premier League victory of his reign.

It was a third successive league win for Palace, who had collected three points on only two occasions in their previous 22 attempts in 2016.

Pardew said: "Everybody keeps leaning on last year, but no-one knows those facts more than us - that's why we changed the squad, me and the chairman. His backing has been tremendous for me.

"We have changed the team and now suddenly we look like we have got goals in it. We would never have scored three goals in the second half of last season."

The visitors had enjoyed the better of the first half when they fell behind after Jermain Defoe had pounced on Joe Ledley's ill-advised back-pass to open the scoring, and he doubled the dose on the hour to put his side within touching distance of the win they craved.

However, Patrick van Aanholt's difficult week took another twist when he deflected Ledley's shot past keeper Jordan Pickford within seconds, and he then lost James McArthur as he headed home substitute Zeki Fryers' 76th-minute cross to set the stage for Benteke.

Pardew said: "The second goal, that was probably Sunderland's best little spell, that five, six-minute period. I think it's offside, by the way, but I was standing on the sideline really scratching my head thinking, 'how are we going to get this back?'.

"By the time I'd had any kind of thought process, we were 2-1 and then I really felt confident that we could get something out of the game at least."

If Pardew left Wearside elated, opposite number Moyes was left bitterly disappointed as his side slipped to familiar territory at the foot of the table.

He said: "I didn't think we had played well enough to be 2-0, I have got to say, but I was taking it all day, I was saying, 'great, we have got it'.

"But for us not to do the basics well enough, for us not to head the ball clear when it was kicked up the pitch after they scored, for someone to not go with Benteke when we gave a poor free-kick away in the last minute...

"Benteke is arguably the best header of the ball in the Premier League and nobody got close. We nearly gave him a free run and a jump, and the second goal, we never defended the back post, the full-back never got any cover and it caused us problems.

"It's our own fault, it's nobody else's fault. But the players need to take responsibility. It can't always be me leading them by the hand and showing them where they should be and what they should do.

"They have to stand up and take a bit of responsibility for what they do on the pitch."

Asked if the Black Cats deserved to be where they are, Moyes said: "Yes, because we have not won enough.

"The team is all in it together, but we need to get a better team, it's as simple as that. We need to get a team which can give us results."

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