Aug 31, 2013 at 5.30pm UK at ​Selhurst Park
Crystal Palace
3-1
Sunderland
Gabbidon (9'), Gayle (79' pen.), O'Keefe (90')
Delaney (28')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Fletcher (64')
O'Shea (78')

Match Analysis: Crystal Palace 3-1 Sunderland

Dwight Gayle of Crystal Palace celebrates scoring his penalty during the Barclays Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Sunderland at Selhurst Park on August 31, 2013
© Getty Images
Sports Mole assesses Crystal Palace's 3-1 victory over Sunderland in the Premier League.

Crystal Palace earned their first points of the Premier League season on Saturday with a 3-1 victory over Sunderland at Selhurst Park.

Danny Gabbidon gave the hosts a first-half lead before Steven Fletcher came off the bench to get the visitors level just after the hour mark.

However, Dwight Gayle's penalty put Palace back in front after John O'Shea had been sent off for a foul on the youngster.

The points were then sealed late on as substitute Stuart O'Keefe fired in a spectacular drive from the edge of the box.

Here, Sports Mole takes a closer look at the action between the teams.

Match statistics:

Crystal Palace:
Shots 17
On target 6
Possession 48%
Corners 6
Fouls 6

Sunderland:
Shots 10
On target 2
Possession 52%
Corners 6
Fouls 6

Was the result fair?

It certainly was. While there was little quality from either side during the 90 minutes, Palace looked the more organised and simply wanted it more. Everyone pulled their weight for the hosts, while plenty of the Sunderland players went missing for large chunks of the match.

Crystal Palace's performance

Ian Holloway will be pleased with the spirit that his side displayed during the contest as they defended well in numbers and attacked with pace. There was plenty there to indicate that they will probably be battling away at the bottom of the table for the majority of the season, but this result is sure to give them a tonne of confidence for the campaign ahead.

Sunderland's performance

Paolo Di Canio is likely to be distraught with his players for the abject display that they put in at Selhurst Park. The Black Cats have summer signings coming out of their ears, but not one of them look like they are getting used to the Premier League. There was a complete lack of ideas from the away side, and a few more performances like that could signal another season fighting relegation.

Sports Mole's man of the match

Jason Puncheon: The loan signing from Southampton was Palace's most dangerous player going forward, bursting past opposition defenders and showing no fear in going for goal.

Biggest gaffe

John O'Shea is an experienced defender, but allowing Dwight Gayle in on goal before fouling the youngster to give away a penalty and get sent off was emblematic of Sunderland's bad day at the office.

Referee performance

The match was a surprisingly feisty affair as both sides battled hard in midfield to gain possession, yet Lee Probert did well to allow the contest to become an end-to-end spectacle for much of the evening.

What next?

Crystal Palace: Things don't get easier for the Eagles as they travel to Old Trafford to face Manchester United in the Premier League next.

Sunderland: The Black Cats continue their league campaign when they welcome Arsenal to the Stadium of Light.

Danny Gabbidon of Crystal Palace scores the opening goal past goalkeeper Keiren Westwood of Sunderland during the Barclays Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Sunderland at Selhurst Park on August 31, 2013
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