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Match-winner Christian Benteke vows to repay Crystal Palace with more goals

Sunderland 2 Crystal Palace 3

By Damian Spellman

Published 26/09/2016

Late strike: Christian Benteke celebrates his goal
Late strike: Christian Benteke celebrates his goal

Christian Benteke is intent on paying back Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew and chairman Steve Parish in the only way he knows how.

The pair worked hard to attract the 25-year-old Belgium international to Selhurst Park during the summer, ultimately committing up to £32m of the club's money to the quest for goals.

On Saturday at Sunderland, he scored his second goal of the season, this time a priceless injury-time winner as the Eagles came back from 2-0 down to triumph 3-2 at the Stadium of Light, their third successive Premier League victory.

Benteke said: "The manager and chairman did everything to bring me here and therefore I have to give them something back, and the best way of doing that is to do my best and by scoring goals.

"Today was a successful one for me and the team.

"Since the draw against Bournemouth, we have shown what we are about, but we must continue to do that," the striker added.

"Today showed why English football is the best league in the world because from the first minute to the last, everything is possible and we go away with all three points."

For all Palace were the better side for much of the game, they found themselves trailing six minutes before the break when Jermain Defoe pounced on Joe Ledley's woeful back-pass to fire the home side ahead.

David Moyes' side looked to be well on the way to a first league win of the season when Defoe struck again on the hour, only for Palace to grab a lifeline within seconds as Ledley's shot was deflected past keeper Jordan Pickford by the unfortunate Patrick van Aanholt.

Two of Pardew's substitutes were to make telling contributions as Zeki Fryers crossed for James McArthur to level with 14 minutes remaining before Benteke met Lee Chung-yong's 94th-minute free-kick with an unstoppable header.

Benteke said: "You have to be patient in this game and I knew that my chance would come and when I saw the cross coming into the box, I knew that I had to score.

"As soon as I knew we had a free-kick at that position, I said to Chungy to put the ball on the penalty spot and I was confident I could get the goal, and that is what happened."

Sunderland have now not won a league game in August or September in 25 attempts, a run dating back to 2012.

And Moyes was disconsolate after seeing them squander a two-goal lead he admitted they did not deserve.

Moyes said: "We should never have been in the position. We got ourselves in front - and I might argue I don't think we played well enough to get ourselves in front. But we got there nevertheless and sometimes it's like that, and I'd take a win anyway at this moment in time.

"But we don't even give ourselves 30 seconds even to say, 'Well, we can stick on another defender or another midfield player, we can do something to alter it'.

"Jermain did what he had to do. In truth, the boys up the front did what they had to do," he added.

"They got us in the lead somehow with their effort, and then the boys at the back when we required them didn't do it.

"It's just happened too often. Certainly in my time here, it's just happened too often."

Belfast Telegraph

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