Mar 15, 2014, 1:07 PM EDT
A strong performance from Sunderland only amounted to a mere point, as the Black Cats could not finish their myriad chances in a 0-0 draw against Crystal Palace.
It wasn’t the cleanest of matches, with plenty of discipline and sloppy play confounding the flow.
With the point, Palace stays three points ahead of 18th place Sunderland and 19th place Cardiff City. The Black Cats are also three points behind West Brom and have two matches in hand on both clubs Palace and the Baggies.
Sunderland had a dangerous free kick in the second minute, but Speroni was on the case and kept things level.
Steven Fletcher was an impact maker early, with Sunderland’s attack hinging on his decisions. The day was very windy and conditions kept the squads on their toes.
The 10th minute found Ki racing down the left side of the 18 and firing an ideal low pass across the six, but while it skipped through a bevy of Palace defenders, there was no Black Cat on the end.
Joel Ward picked up a yellow in the 13th minute for a rash challenge that was right on the borderline of earning the Eagles something much worse.
Ki found Sunderland’s next best chance off a poor clearance in the 30th minute, but his half-volley blazed wide of the goal.
Fletcher’s cries for a PK in the 36th minute went unheeded after he was shouldered down going for a header on the back post. Phil Bardsley almost certainly deserved a PK after being manhandled in the box about four minutes later, but again nothing was given.
South African player Kagisho Dikgacoi picked up a yellow card just before the break for a late tackle.
The first half was simply controlled by Sunderland, evidenced by a near bicycle kick goal from Fabio Borini, whose effort tore through the air but over the bar.
Fletcher didn’t return after limping before half, meaning Jozy Altidore was cleared for a 45-minute run at the Stadium of Light. Bardsley nearly had to sub off soon after going head-to-head with Joe Ledley.
Altidore then made a great run but couldn’t fire on goal inside the box, inspiring a pundit comment of “if his touch was anywhere near decent, he’s on goal.”
There was a scary moment after 64 minutes, as Dann took a knee to the head from his own teammate.
Palace had a moment in the 75th minute when their corner was flicked toward goal by Jerome, but Mannone was wise to the shot.
When Wes Brown picked up Sunderland’s fourth yellow card in the 79th minute, just 25 yards from goal, it made it an even 8 yellows between the teams on the day.
Sunderland dominated the second half overall but Palace nearly found the winner in the 89th minute from Digkacoi, who fired wide.
Sunderland: Mannone, Bardsley, Alonso, O’Shea (c), Brown, Bridcutt, Ki, Larsson (Gardner, 62), Johnson (Scocco, 84), Borini, Fletcher (Altidore, 46)
Crystal Palace: Speroni, Mariappa, Dann, Delaney, Ward, Bolasie (Puncheon, 81), Digkacoi, Jedinak, Ledley, Ince (Guedioura, 74), Murray (Jerome, 63).
Aug 23, 2014, 2:52 AM EDT
April’s 3-0 loss at Goodison was the low point of Arsenal’s 2013-14 season.
Aug 23, 2014, 1:09 AM EDT
The Blues are heavy favorites to stay perfect through two rounds.
Aug 23, 2014, 12:41 AM EDT
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Aug 23, 2014, 12:05 AM EDT
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Aug 22, 2014, 9:51 PM EDT
The league’s second round kicks off at Villa Park and ends with the main event on Merseyside.
Aug 22, 2014, 9:12 PM EDT
List of things Cristiano Ronaldo can’t do: Throw a proper punch.
Aug 22, 2014, 8:20 PM EDT
Dallas is undefeated since May, while RSL has a chance to temporarily move clear atop the Western Conference.
Aug 22, 2014, 7:17 PM EDT
Dallas versus Real Salt Lake, Sporting hosting D.C. see the conferences’ best go head-to-head.
Aug 22, 2014, 6:50 PM EDT
Early Mandzukic goal gives Atlético its fifth trophy under Simeone.
Aug 22, 2014, 5:10 PM EDT
Toffees and Gunners clash, Liverpool head to Man City, London derby time and much more.
Aug 22, 2014, 4:59 PM EDT
Goal, assist from Dutch star helped deliver Bayern three points to open the Bundesliga season.
Aug 22, 2014, 4:03 PM EDT
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Aug 22, 2014, 3:17 PM EDT
Birmingham City, 1860 Munich, Millwall, Nurnberg… it seems Brek Shea is a man in demand when it comes to his loan from Stoke City.
Aug 22, 2014, 2:48 PM EDT
The Bavarians added Robert Lewandowski, and look poised to lead again. Who are the favorites to emerge in the race for second?
Aug 22, 2014, 2:29 PM EDT
Matchweek 2 brings a few killer games including Everton v. Arsenal on Saturday and Manchester City v. Liverpool on Monday.
Aug 22, 2014, 2:20 PM EDT
From the early days in Italy, to the craziness of Man City and then back to AC Milan, here’s the timeline of Balotelli’s life so far.
Aug 22, 2014, 2:03 PM EDT
The 19-year-old American attacker’s only senior appearance for Bayern was a Champions League sub. That could change today.
Aug 22, 2014, 1:31 PM EDT
Probably not, but with Sevilla and Barcelona strengthening while Atletico deals with roster tumult, look for some changes near the top.
Aug 22, 2014, 12:46 PM EDT
PSV Eindhoven called the police, upping the ante on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.
Aug 22, 2014, 12:33 PM EDT
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