David Moyes hails Sunderland 'predator' after crucial Crystal Palace win

Jermain Defoe celebrates with Vito Mannone

Jermain Defoe celebrates with Vito Mannone

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David Moyes admits he is almost lost for words when it comes to describing the impact Jermain Defoe continues to have on Sunderland.

Predator was how the Scot described him after the 4-0 thrashing of Crystal Palace, which saw Defoe score twice in less than three minutes just before half-time.

Defoe has moved onto 14 Premier League goals for the season, one shy of last season's league haul and there is still three months of the campaign to go.

Victory over relegation rivals Palace saw Sunderland close the gap to safety to two points and Defoe's clinical finishing is the main reason the Black Cats remain in touch at the bottom.

Moyes was beaming post-match and delighted with the 34-year-old's impact, once again.

When asked about Defoe, Moyes said: "Predator? That word has probably been used many times.

"Against Crystal Palace we had to provide Jermain with more opportunities, sometimes we do that too quickly.

"I want us to keep the ball better and pass the ball better and get it too him at the right time rather than just getting it too him.

"He is always on the edge and able to pull something out. We needed him. His goals are so vital."

Lamine Kone opened the scoring 10 minutes in with a smart volley from close range before Didier Ndong - again superb in central midfield - saw a 25-yard effort nestle in the net.

Defoe, assisted both times by Adnan Januzaj, added Sunderland's third and fourth goals in a crazy few minutes before the half-time whistle.

Bewildered Palace couldn't find a way back into the game, with Sunderland picking up a crucial three points against their former manager Sam Allardyce.

Allardyce and Moyes are close friends, Moyes spoke with Allardyce before taking the Sunderland job, and he had sympathy for the former England boss.

Moyes added: "I know what the business is like.

"I am thrilled with the win but Sam is a friend as well.

"That is the way it is, I'm sure he would say the same if it was on the other foot."