Sam Allardyce has labelled Fabio Borini’s last-minute stunner as the Premier League goal of the season after rescuing a point for Sunderland.
Substitute Borini’s leveller secured a 2-2 draw against Crystal Palace at the Stadium of Light tonight after the Italian fired the ball into the net from what seemed an impossible angle down the right-hand side of the penalty area.
“In the end we have to be pleased with a point and I’m delighted Fabio scored the best goal of the season,” said Allardyce.
“Not just here at Sunderland, but across the Premier League, you’ll have to go a long way to beat that one.”
However, the frustration for Allardyce was that defensive shortcomings again hamstrung Sunderland’s efforts to create a bigger buffer with the bottom three, as the wait for a first clean sheet since November continues.
Sunderland were cruising on the hour mark after Dame N’Doye’s deflected effort gave Allardyce’s men a half-time advantage.
But two goals in a six-minute spell from former Sunderland striker Connor Wickham turned the game on its head, with the Black Cats completely losing their composure after their lead was wiped out.
“I suppose it’s the trials and tribulations of being down at the bottom,” added Allardyce.
“It was an example of the swings and roundabouts that we’ll get between now and the end of the season.
“My disappointment is being in control of the game and being in front, and not being able to master that ability to see the game through.
“Conceding goals has been our Achilles heel ever since I’ve been here and before I came, and it’s still not been put right yet.
“That’s the frustration for me. We did it twice which really annoyed me, I have to say.
“The amount of time I’ve spent saying ‘if you lose one, keep your control of the game and make sure they don’t score another one’.
“Even though, the other one shouldn’t have been allowed because it was a blatant foul right in front of the assistant referee on Yann M’Vila when Connor Wickham ran into the back of him and the assistant gave a corner, rather than a free-kick.
“It’s an incredible decision he made, but I can’t change that.
“And then they scored off that corner.
“That makes it even more difficult to take.
“But from our point of view, the loss of control when they scored the goal is the problem we’ve had for a while and a problem we still haven’t cured.
“It’s frustrating that we haven’t learned our lessons as time has gone on.”