SUNDERLAND reporter Chris Young gives his verdict after the Black Cats’ crucial victory at Crystal Palace last night.
Pantilimon 8 - Very assured debut. Dominated his area from crosses and was unlucky with the equaliser after producing an excellent save to keep out Chamakh shot.
Reveillere 8 - Considering he hadn’t kicked a ball since May, looked completely at ease on his Sunderland bow. No mean feat considering Palace’s pace out wide.
O’Shea 8 - A tower of strength in the heart of the back four when Palace were building pressure with the backing of their vocal home crowd.
Vergini 6 - Very fortunate not to concede a penalty within the opening 30 seconds and struggled in the second half against the pace of Zaha.
van Aanholt 7 - Set up Fletcher’s goal and was enjoying a good battle with the equally pacy Zaha before suffering a dislocated shoulder
(Brown 6 - Lost Chamakh for the equaliser before conceding Sunderland’s fourth own goal in 16 days).
Cattermole 6 - A fifth yellow card of the season rules him out of the weekend’s visit of Everton and was fortunate to escape a booking earlier in the game.
Larsson 6 - Never stopped working, but struggled to exert any control in the middle of the park.
Gomez 7 - Did well in the opening 45 minutes in helping to relieve the pressure on the Sunderland goal and despite fading badly in the second half, stroked the ball home beautifully to regain the advantage.
Buckley 6 - Set up Sunderland’s second, but had struggled to exert any attacking potency up to that point.
(Bridcutt 7 - Shored up proceedings in the middle of the park and assist will have helped his confidence).
Wickham 5 - Too often lost the ball or overran it and offered no goal threat.
(Altidore 6 - Scrapped and harried the Palace defence in the closing stages).
FLETCHER 9 - Doubled his tally for the season to demonstrate that he genuinely is back to his best. Will be key to Sunderland’s fortunes moving forward.