- 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.
[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]
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.
Hometown hero Andy Carroll is on the bench for Newcastle United as the Magpies host Brighton and Hove Albion in an early season six-pointer at St. James’ Park (Watch live at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and online via NBCSports.com).
That is if you’re comfortable with the term six-pointer in Week Six. We bet both these teams are well aware of the import either way.
WATCH LIVE, ONLINE, HERE
Steve Bruce‘s Black and White Army has Carroll in the team for the first time since being sold to Liverpool nearly a decade ago.
“A bit old school, if you like to say that, but certainly in his time I don’t think there has been anybody better in the last eight or ten years, when he’s been playing, of that certain type of centre forward as Andy Carroll. It’s going to be huge and it will be great for us going forward, that’s for sure,” Bruce said before the game.”
Meanwhile for Brighton, long-time stars Shane Duffy and Glenn Murray are again on the bench to start the fight up north.
Brighton and Hove Albion
A report from The Times states that Liverpool paid Manchester City over $1.2 million back in 2013 over a complaint about City’s scouting system being hacked.
Our partners at Sky Sports say their sources confirm the payment was made, while they also have a statement from Liverpool on the matter.
“Liverpool Football Club does not provide any comment on any allegations relating to legal agreements it may or may not have entered into with any other club, organisation or individual.”
Per the original report, the settlement was agreed without Liverpool or any individuals connected to them accepting liability. Plus, the allegations and information were never put up in a court of law.
Three scouts moved from Man City to Liverpool less than a year before the settlement was reached.
Man City allege that two of those scouts, plus current Liverpool sporting director Michael Edwards, were involved in accessing a database via the Scott7 system.
City brought in experts to see if their system had been hacked.
The Times says this would be “the biggest incident of alleged misbehavior by one top-flight club to another in the Premier League’s history.”
That is spot on.
Of course, employees move from one Premier League club to another all of the time, and there is nothing that suggests this is more widespread.
But the private settlement becoming public knowledge will no doubt stir up plenty of controversy as Liverpool and Man City go head-to-head for the Premier League title once again.
Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers is keeping his cool about the Foxes’ decent start to the Premier League season.
The Foxes beat Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 on Saturday to move back into the Top Four, four points behind leaders Liverpool.
[ MORE: Match recap | Pochettino reacts ]
Leicester has now beaten Spurs, Bournemouth, and Sheffield United, drawn Wolves and Chelsea, and lost away to Manchester United last week (in a match it was arguably superior to the hosts).
Rodgers loved his team’s day, which was challenged by VAR taking away goals from both sides, but knows the big picture is a big challenge.
“A brilliant team performance,” he said. “Very early days, we have had a tough start. We will get into the New Year and see where we are February, March.”
As for VAR, Rodgers saw an early Leicester goal pulled back for offside, but the system also determined that Heung-Min Son was offside by the finest bit of his rotator cuff before Serge Aurier made it 2-0 to Spurs.
Back to 1-0, Leicester equalized within moments through Ricardo Pereira before James Maddison scored a wonder-strike to win it for the hosts.
“It’s what happens with VAR, you have to get your head round it. It works for you and against you. Worked both ways for us today. … We spoke with the players in pre season about VAR. You have to deal with it, sometimes for you and against you. Have to accept it and move on. It was a very important three points.”
Mauricio Pochettino worked a marvel with the English language in describing how VAR affected the late stages of Tottenham Hotspur’s 2-1 loss to Leicester City at the King Power Stadium on Saturday.
Spurs looked to have doubled its home lead with 20 minutes to play when Serge Aurier belted a far post shot past the reach of Kasper Schmeichel, but a lengthy video review showed Heung-Min Son‘s shoulder was maybe possibly offside.
[ RECAP: Leicester City 2-1 Tottenham ]
Clear and obvious? Mehhhhhhh.
Pochettino, oddly enough, chose not to debate the call but instead focused on the momentum he believes it provided to Leicester City en route to Ricardo Pereira‘s near-immediate answer and James Maddison‘s late winner.
“After 80 minutes, the game was going to be over. You gave massive belief to the team that was already dead. After we conceded the goal 1-1, we had some chances to score the second goal, but that’s what makes the Premier League the most beautiful league. You can never stop.”
He was optimistic on the overall performance following a disheartening 2-2 draw with Olympiacos at midweek, as Spurs threw away a 2-0 first half lead over the Greek hosts.
“Very disappointed because we lost the three points but in thinking the big picture I am very optimistic because the team showed great reaction after Olympiacos.”
Meanwhile, much of the rest of Twitter’s soccer world was a bit less forgiving of VAR. Even Leicester City legend Gary Lineker sent venom to the Video Assistant Referee.