- Sunderland score four times in first half
- Defoe scores twice
- Sunderland, Palace both on 19 points
- Palace have 1 win in 7 PL games under Allardyce
Sunderland scored four first half goals to secure a huge 4-0 win against relegation rivals Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Saturday.
Jermain Defoe scored twice, after Lamine Kone and Didier Ndong had put the Black Cats ahead at the interval and they coasted to victory in the second half.
With the win David Moyes‘ side join Sam Allardyce‘s Eagles on 19 points and they’re both two points away from safety.
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Sunderland lead early on as a cross into the box was half cleared and Kone pounced on the loose ball to hammer home a wonderful effort into the far bottom corner.
1-0 to the Black Cats.
[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]
In an incredible six-minute spell before half time a flurry of goals then arrived to stun the home fans. First N’dong struck an unstoppable shot from 25 yards to double Sunderland’s lead and then that man Defoe did what he does best.
First Defoe got the ball from Adnan Januzaj before finishing low to make it 3-0, then he surged into the right-hand side of the box and drilled home low to make it 4-0.
Cue pandemonium among the Sunderland fans at Selhurst.
[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]
As the teams walked off at half time an unsavory incident occurred as a Palace fan ran onto the pitch to confront defender Damien Delaney.
That summed up the mood at Selhurst Park among the home fans as to what they’d just witnessed.
[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]
In the second half, Palace’s players still looked stunned as Sunderland sat deep and soaked up plenty of pressure.
It was an easy win for Moyes’ side as they remain bottom of the table but are now within one win of four teams above them.
Two can’t-miss matchups are on display as the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 first legs continue on Tuesday afternoon.
[ LIVE: Champions League scores ]
Chelsea and Barcelona continue its terrific recently rivalry over the past two decades with Ernesto Valverde’s side traveling to Stamford Bridge to face Antonio Conte and co. At the same time, Bayern Munich hosts Turkish giant Besiktas at the Allianz Arena.
Lionel Messi, who has yet to score against Chelsea in eight games, will be looking to break his own five-game goal drought while also keep Barcelona’s Champions League hopes alive against one of his club’s toughest opponents. Messi will be playing up top alongside Luis Suarez, with both Paulinho and Sergio Busquets sitting deep behind them to keep Chelsea from posing too much of a threat on the counter attack.
For Chelsea, the Champions League remains the last trophy the club can theoretically win, and Conte has named a strong side, though without a recognizable No. 9, with Eden Hazard playing as a false nine.
Bayern Munich is looking to reach the Champions League semifinals for the seventh time in the last nine years, and they’re facing a side who’s in the knockout stage for the first time. Vagner Love leads the line for Besiktas with Ricardo Quaresma and Anderson Talisca looking to create behind. Former Real Madrid centerback Pepe starts on the backline, and will look to stop Robert Lewandowski.
Click on the link above to follow live commentary of the two UCL last 16 games, while we will have you covered for analysis and reaction from both games right here at Pro Soccer Talk.
Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League Round of 16 schedule
Chelsea vs. Barcelona – 2:45 p.m. ET
Bayern Munich vs. Besiktas – 2:45 p.m. ET
In a statement of intent, Tottenham is reportedly preparing to bring in one of the Premier League’s most electrifying wingers.
The Times in London reports that Spurs are set to offer Crystal Palace a $70 million transfer fee to sign Wilfried Zaha, bringing the Ivory Coast international back to a big six club for the first time since 2014. Zaha famously was the last signing of Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, but by the time the now-25-year-old arrived, David Moyes was the manager and Zaha never found a place in the Man United first team.
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Since returning, Zaha has found his form and this season has four goals and an assist for Crystal Palace in 20 Premier League matches as the club is now treading water above the relegation zone. Last season, Zaha scored seven goals and dished out nine assists in 34 starts in the league.
Zaha’s potential signing likely means either a change in formation or the departure of either or both Son Heung-min and Erik Lamela, both who play on Zaha’s preferred left side regularly.
The report states that the signing could be a way to galvanize some of the supporters for next season in which the club will play in the re-built White Hart Lane.
Josh Sargent’s 18th birthday is one he’ll never forget.
The young American phenom was finally able to sign his first professional contract on Tuesday after turning 18-years old, passing the FIFA threshold for when a foreigner can sign a pro contract. Sargent has been training with Werder Bremen’s youth teams for the last few months and has even trained with the first team and featured for the Werder Bremen U23s.
“We’ve gone over all the formalities and Josh signed his professional contract with us earlier,” Bremen sporting director Frank Baumann said on Tuesday afternoon. “Again, we’re delighted he decided to join us. He’s settled in brilliantly since the turn of the year.”
[READ: UCL preview: Chelsea host Barcelona; Bayern vs. Besiktas]
Sargent will continue to train with the youth teams and reserves, and will be eligible to feature for the Werder Bremen first team for the 2018-2019 season.
After making a number of moves to improve its attack this offseason, Orlando City SC is now splashing the cash to improve its backline.
The club announced on Tuesday the signing of veteran centerback Lamine Sane from Werder Bremen in the Bundesliga on a permanent deal. It appears that with less than six months left on his contract and Sane not in Werder Bremen manager Florian Kohfeldt’s plans, he was allowed to leave on a free transfer.
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“Lamine will significantly strengthen our back line,” Orlando City general manager Niki Budalic said in a statement. “He brings tremendous experience at the highest levels of European football and we believe he will fit right in with what we’re trying to build in Orlando.”
Sane started 27 times for Werder Bremen during a struggling 2016-2017 season, but had made just 11 appearances this season for the Bundesliga side. He’s also made 25 caps for Senegal, but the French-born defender hasn’t appeared for them since 2015. Perhaps a good start to the season in MLS could get him a surprise spot in the World Cup squad.
The 30-year-old joins a rebuilt starting lineup featuring other veterans as Orlando City looks to win in the near term, after three straight seasons of missing the playoffs.
While the team lost Cyle Larin and Kaka in the offseason, Jason Kreis and co. brought in Dom Dwyer late in the 2017 season, Justin Meram, Josue Colman, Uri Rosell and Sacha Kljestan in the offseason. Along with a couple of new outside backs, Sane is the first signing to shore up the leaky middle of the park for Orlando, one that the club’s fans hope will lead Orlando City to a top-six finish in the Eastern Conference in the least in 2018.