Alan Pardew was in an understandably joyous mood following his team’s dramatic 3-2 victory over Sunderland yesterday, given the manner of the comeback the Eagles produced after falling two goals down.
Having played well for the vast majority of the first half, it was with a general sense of bafflement that Pardew and his players headed into the dressing room with a 1-0 defecit, but after conceding a second goal with less than half an hour left to play, you could have been forgiven for assuming that the game was all but over as a competitive contest.
Perversely, it took Palace just one minute to get the score back to 2-1, following a powerful strike from distance by Joe Ledley. From that point on, there was an obvious spring in the step of the Palace players, aided significantly by the three substitutions Pardew made on the day, throwing Wickham, Lee Chung-Yong and Zeki Fryers into the game at different stages, with the latter name in that trio making an incredible impact moments after stepping onto the field.
Fryers’ cross for McArthur’s eye-catching equaliser was a moment of sheer magic, prompting Pardew to discuss the journey the former Tottenham and Manchester United man has had to embark upon to fight his way back into the first-team picture at Selhurst Park in recent months.
Predictably, the stunning last-gasp headed winner from Christian Benteke was also a topic of conversation with the Palace gaffer, who, after working tirelessly with the club’s board of directors to secure the signing of the Belgian international, can take great pleasure in seeing him producing the goods in the penalty area. The £30 million transfer fee may have raised a few eyebrows in the footballing world when it was first agreed but few will be questioning the club’s decision to shell out the sum after seeing him bag his second goal in as many top flight away fixtures under Alan Pardew’s guidance.
You get the sense that the manager really enjoyed the manner of our latest triumph, just as he should. Have a watch of what he had to say in full above.