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Sunderland defence exposed


First and Last: Wear-Tyne derby

Sunderland vs. Newcastle

Crystal Palace win provides reasons for renewed hope at Sunderland

Jermain Defoe earns Sunderland first away league win of season at Crystal Palace.
Sunderland's win on Monday will provide a huge confidence boost to Sam Allardyce's squad.

Sunderland won three precious points with a 1-0 win at Crystal Palace on Monday night in a gutsy display built on stout defending, formidable team spirit and an element of good fortune.

Needing to rise as quickly as possible from the bottom three of the Premier League, manager Sam Allardyce would be forgiven for caring little about the manner of the win.

Crystal PalaceCrystal Palace
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But he will take heart from reasons for renewed hope that Sunderland might once again defy the odds and ensure survival.

Jermain Defoe, whose...

Sam Allardyce needs Sunderland morale boost against Palace

Sam Allardyce needs his side to step up on Monday night.

On Monday, Sunderland will attempt to repeat an unlikely second victory at Crystal Palace in successive seasons in a new test of manager Sam Allardyce's ability to inspire a revival before time runs out for his relegation-threatened side.

Little more than a year ago, the team were led by Gus Poyet and went to Selhurst Park in a state of disarray similar to that confronting Allardyce now.

Then, as has happened again this season, a first win of the season had finally come in October only to be followed...

 By Alex Shaw

Anfield atmosphere among worst in Premier League as fans give verdicts

The ESPN FC crew discuss fans leaving early in matches and our match-goers believe the Premier League can improve.

What's it really like to attend a Premier League match? Many watch from afar and don't know, so we polled our ESPN FC match-going bloggers -- the guys in the stands week in, week out -- to find out how they rate the atmosphere and experience.

They didn't hold back. Not surprisingly, our Arsenal blogger considered the Emirates too corporate while our Liverpool blogger didn't hold back when asked about the atmosphere at Anfield.


- Survey: Prem clubs rated for atmosphere
- Bloggers: Our match-day experiences
- Klopp criticises Liverpool fans
- ESPN FC TV: Should fans leave early?
- Highlights (U.S. only): Premier League | Champions League
- News indexTransfer Talk | FantasyFC TV | Podcast | MLS

Here are the results of our informal poll ...

(Figures regarding cost...

Sunderland situation bleak as Sam Allardyce's men lose to Southampton

Yann M'Vila gave away a penalty as Sunderland slipped to defeat at home to Southampton.

Sunderland paid the price for a dull, nervous and uncreative performance with yet another defeat -- surely as comfortable a 1-0 win as Southampton will gain all season and one that thrust Sam Allardyce's side deeper into relegation trouble.

The new manager, who has now lost three of his first four games in charge, may have left the Stadium of Light feeling at a loss to work out what he can do with the squad he inherited.

At Everton last Sunday, Sunderland carved out chances galore and scored two...

Allardyce seeks lowly points total in unambitious first target at Sunderland

Sam Allardyce insists Sunderland can get out of trouble this season.

Sam Allardyce has set his sights on taking Sunderland's points tally into double figures by the time he completes eight games in charge -- a modest enough target for any Premier League manager.

Ahead of Saturday's visit of Southampton, Allardyce's men have a desultory six points from 11 games and are rooted in the bottom three, with only Aston Villa below them.

Allardyce has collected three of those points from his first three games as boss. And on Saturday, he will be aiming to show last Sunday's...

Sunderland defence thoroughly exposed in defeat at Everton

Sunderland maintained a shocking record of failure in games following derby wins over Newcastle United by crashing to a 6-2 defeat at Everton on Sunday.

The result painfully destroyed the remaining fragments of joy at a sixth successive victory against their North-eastern rivals last weekend, giving new manager Sam Allardyce a sombre reminder of the challenge he has accepted.

Only the first of those derby successes was followed by another Sunderland win. Paolo Di Canio was the manager then, and...