Sunderland 2 Crystal Palace 2: Fabio Borini must start at Southampton plus five other things learned from draw

Fabio Borini rescued a point for Sunderland
Fabio Borini rescued a point for Sunderland
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Sunderland climbed out of the relegation zone - for 24 hours at least - after a dramatic 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace.

Fabio Borini was the hero from the subs bench, equalising in injury time with a stunning individual strike.

Fabio Borini celebrates with the Sunderland bench

Fabio Borini celebrates with the Sunderland bench

Here's what we learned from the game:

Fabio Borini must start against Southampton:

The Italian has been unlucky in recent weeks to find himself out of the side, with Sam Allardyce favouring Dame N'Doye in the wide right role.

And while N'Doye produced an improved performance against Palace, scoring his first goal for the club to give Sunderland the lead, Borini must start at Southampton on Saturday.

Sub Lee Cattermole was forced off in the draw against Crystal Palace

Sub Lee Cattermole was forced off in the draw against Crystal Palace

His confidence will be soaring after THAT strike and he offers more to the team than N'Doye does.

His workrate and willingness to track back could be key.

Jan Kirchhoff's fatigue a big problem for Sunderland:

The versatile German has been a stand-out performer for Sunderland since joining the club in January from Bayern Munich.

But his inability to last the full 90 minutes on Tuesday night almost cost Sunderland dear. He impressed in the opening 45 minutes, breaking up play and setting up counter attacks.

Second half he faded badly and was eventually withdrawn by Allardyce. Two games in four days proved too much.

He is a key player in Sunderland's fight for survival, he needs to build his 90-minute match fitness fast.

It was two points lost but Sunderland showed fight:

The game was wide open for the first hour, with both sides pressing forward on the counter-attack.

Sunderland took the lead through N'Doye's deflected strike and looked well-set to go on and take all three points in their bid for survival.

But two goals in five minutes from Connor Wickham cost them dear. Borini rescued a draw late on but this was two points lost.

Allardyce's side did show plenty of fight and character to get back into the game though, which will serve them well.

Draw puts pressure on Southampton trip:

Allardyce had targeted four points from the three games this week and the point against Palace cranks up the pressure on the trip to Saints.

Allardyce moved to relieve some of that pressure post-match by saying he would settle for a draw but with Sunderland facing another two-week break after this weekend, they can't afford to not get a result.

They are capable of going there and avenging last season's result, though Saints will be looking to bounce back from their south-coast derby defeat to AFC Bournemouth.

John O'Shea will be a big miss if he doesn't make Saints match:

O'Shea was subbed with a tight calf last night, with Younes Kaboul coming on in his place.

The captain has excelled in recent weeks and Sunderland miss his organisational and vocal leadership at the back when he is not playing.

His absence would be a major blow at Southampton.

With Lee Cattermole set to miss out too with concussion and Kirchhoff suffering from fatigue, Allardyce has a few selection headaches ahead of Saturday.

Vito Mannone needs to improve his kicking:

Mannone made a brilliant save first half to keep out Palace but his kicking left a lot to be desired for the second game on the spin.

It was poor at West Ham United too and he needs to work on that side of his game, especially with Jordan Pickford sitting waiting on the bench.

Pickford's distribution is superb and is a key weapon in getting Sunderland on the attack quickly.

Mannone, Allardyce's No 1, needs to improve that side of his game.