Crystal Palace remain three points clear of fellow Premier League strugglers Sunderland after a goalless draw at a windy Stadium of Light.

Black Cats forward Fabio Borini went closest to breaking the deadlock when his second-half shot struck the post.

Sunderland 0-0 Crystal Palace: Gus Poyet rues 'two points dropped'

Kagisho Dikgacoi had Palace's best chance, firing an effort wide late on.

But, in a game lacking quality, the Eagles will probably be happy with a point that leaves them a place above Sunderland who are third from bottom.

The failure to win caps a difficult month for the Black Cats, who having lost the League Cup final and exited the FA Cup at the quarter-final stage, remain without a league win since beating Newcastle United on 1 February.

In difficult conditions, Sunderland adapted better than their opponents with Adam Johnson a constant menace to makeshift Palace left-back Joel Ward, who collected an early booking.

The opening chance fell to the hosts when Johnson's right-wing cross looked to be perfect for Steven Fletcher at the back post, but Palace defender Adrian Mariappa was enough of a nuisance to prevent the striker getting his header on target.

Fletcher should have put his side ahead midway through the period when Borini fired across goal, but he could not make a clean connection.

Trouble at home

Sunderland have won just three times at home this season, all by the odd goal, and only once in their last eight games at the Stadium of Light.

Johnson continued to be the Eagles' main tormentor and when he squeezed free on the right, he again fed Fletcher only for the Scot to miscue his first-time shot.

Sunderland goalkeeper Vito Mannone narrowly avoided calamity when he lost his footing and hacked the ball straight to Thomas Ince. Luckily for Mannone, the Eagles midfielder did not get his shot away quickly enough.

It was beginning to look like it was one of those days for Fletcher when Borini flashed a ball across goal and he narrowly failed to get his boot to it.

Sunderland 0-0 Crystal Palace: Tony Pulis prepared for 'tough' relegation battle

Fletcher was replaced by Jozy Altidore at the interval, and the United States frontman should have made an immediate impact. But he could not control the ball well when eight yards from goal, eventually seeing his left-foot shot blocked for a corner.

Livewire Italian Borini, who along with Johnson provided what rare quality was on offer, thought he had put the hosts ahead when he was played in just to the right of goal, but his shot hammered off the upright.

Palace midfielder Dikgacoi should have given them just a second Premier League away win of the season, but missed the target when just yards from goal.

Sunderland manager Guy Poyet:

"The players tried everything and I thought we did things better today. We controlled the game.

"In other games we weren't a threat, but today we tried to get the ball in the box a lot - maybe too much at times.

"The strikers have demanded it, but that inch is not going our way at the moment. I'm very calm today. Nothing will change [in the relegation battle] until the last game.

"If we try and fight like we did today, then we have a chance."

Crystal Palace manager Tony Pulis:

"Gus said beforehand that this was a 'must-win' game for Sunderland, but I've been in this game long enough to know how quickly things can change around.

"Lose the next three, then win three on the bounce and you're almost there.

"For us, we saw it as 'must not lose' and I couldn't ask any more of my lads - they've got big, big hearts.

"They're very tired in that dressing room, but because they worked so hard I think Julian Speroni has only had to make two saves."

Lineup, Bookings (8) & Substitutions (6)

Sunderland

  • 25 Mannone
  • 02 Bardsley
  • 28 Alonso
  • 26 Bridcutt Booked
  • 16 O'Shea
  • 05 Brown Booked
  • 07 Larsson Booked (Gardner - 61' Booked )
  • 04 Ki Sung-yueng
  • 09 Fletcher (Altidore - 45' )
  • 11 Johnson (Scocco - 83' )
  • 31 Borini

Substitutes

  • 08 Gardner
  • 14 Colback
  • 17 Altidore
  • 27 Vergini
  • 30 Scocco
  • 32 Ustari
  • 33 Cattermole

Crystal Palace

  • 01 Speroni
  • 03 Mariappa Booked
  • 02 Ward Booked
  • 08 Dikgacoi Booked
  • 06 Dann
  • 27 Delaney Booked
  • 07 Bolasie (Puncheon - 81' )
  • 15 Jedinak
  • 17 Murray (Jerome - 63' )
  • 11 Ince (Guédioura - 74' )
  • 28 Ledley

Substitutes

  • 05 McCarthy
  • 13 Puncheon
  • 14 Thomas
  • 16 Gayle
  • 26 Hennessey
  • 30 Jerome
  • 31 Guédioura
Ref: Neil Swarbrick
Att: 43,636

Match Stats

Shots

19 12

On target

2 5

Corners

6 2

Fouls

16 14

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Sunderland 0, Crystal Palace 0.

90:00 +5:04 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Sunderland 0, Crystal Palace 0.

90:00 +4:19

Attempt saved. Jason Puncheon (Crystal Palace) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Joe Ledley.

90:00 +2:22

Attempt missed. Joe Ledley (Crystal Palace) left footed shot from the left side of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Mile Jedinak.

90:00 +1:03

Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by Marcos Alonso.

89:39

Wes Brown (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

89:39

Foul by Mile Jedinak (Crystal Palace).

88:29

Attempt missed. Kagisho Dikgacoi (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Cameron Jerome following a set piece situation.

88:25

Attempt blocked. Adlène Guédioura (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Kagisho Dikgacoi.

87:55

Foul by Marcos Alonso (Sunderland).

87:55

Jason Puncheon (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

85:27

Attempt missed. Marcos Alonso (Sunderland) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right following a set piece situation.

85:25

Attempt blocked. John O'Shea (Sunderland) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

84:33

Liam Bridcutt (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

84:33

Foul by Adlène Guédioura (Crystal Palace).

83:07 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Sunderland. Ignacio Scocco replaces Adam Johnson.

82:22

Attempt missed. Fabio Borini (Sunderland) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Liam Bridcutt with a headed pass.

82:13

Fabio Borini (Sunderland) hits the bar with a right footed shot from the right side of the box. Assisted by Ki Sung-Yueng.

80:05 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Crystal Palace. Jason Puncheon replaces Yannick Bolasie.

79:52

Attempt missed. Adlène Guédioura (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right from a direct free kick.

78:52 Booking

Booking Wes Brown (Sunderland) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

78:34

Foul by Wes Brown (Sunderland).

78:34

Mile Jedinak (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

77:57

Foul by Adam Johnson (Sunderland).

77:57

Yannick Bolasie (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick on the right wing.

76:51

Fabio Borini (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

76:51

Foul by Adlène Guédioura (Crystal Palace).

74:43

Attempt saved. Cameron Jerome (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by Joel Ward with a cross.

74:09

Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by Craig Gardner.

74:06

Attempt blocked. Joel Ward (Crystal Palace) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Cameron Jerome.

73:41

Offside, Sunderland. Vito Mannone tries a through ball, but Jozy Altidore is caught offside.

73:36

Attempt saved. Cameron Jerome (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Adlène Guédioura.

73:05 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Crystal Palace. Adlène Guédioura replaces Thomas Ince.

68:32

Offside, Sunderland. Craig Gardner tries a through ball, but Jozy Altidore is caught offside.

67:43

Corner, Sunderland. Conceded by Scott Dann.

66:10

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

65:01

Delay in match Scott Dann (Crystal Palace) because of an injury.

63:29 Booking

Booking Craig Gardner (Sunderland) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

63:11

Foul by Craig Gardner (Sunderland).

63:11

Joe Ledley (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

62:10 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Crystal Palace. Cameron Jerome replaces Glenn Murray.

61:01 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Sunderland. Craig Gardner replaces Sebastian Larsson.

60:36

Foul by Sebastian Larsson (Sunderland).

60:36

Mile Jedinak (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

59:41

Foul by Adam Johnson (Sunderland).

59:41

Joe Ledley (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

59:04

Attempt missed. Glenn Murray (Crystal Palace) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Yannick Bolasie with a cross.

58:19

Attempt blocked. Wes Brown (Sunderland) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Adam Johnson with a cross.

57:42 Booking

Booking Damien Delaney (Crystal Palace) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

57:28

Ki Sung-Yueng (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

57:28

Foul by Damien Delaney (Crystal Palace).

56:14 Booking

Booking Sebastian Larsson (Sunderland) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

56:08

Foul by Sebastian Larsson (Sunderland).

56:08

Joel Ward (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

55:53

Attempt saved. Yannick Bolasie (Crystal Palace) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Thomas Ince.

54:47

Attempt missed. Fabio Borini (Sunderland) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Liam Bridcutt with a cross.

53:27

Liam Bridcutt (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

53:27

Foul by Glenn Murray (Crystal Palace).

51:04

Foul by Fabio Borini (Sunderland).

51:04

Julian Speroni (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

50:28

Corner, Sunderland. Conceded by Julian Speroni.

50:27

Attempt saved. Jozy Altidore (Sunderland) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by Wes Brown.

48:15

Foul by Ki Sung-Yueng (Sunderland).

48:15

Yannick Bolasie (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

47:56

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

47:31

Delay in match Phil Bardsley (Sunderland) because of an injury.

45:44

Offside, Sunderland. Adam Johnson tries a through ball, but Fabio Borini is caught offside.

45:00

Second Half begins Sunderland 0, Crystal Palace 0.

45:00 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Sunderland. Jozy Altidore replaces Steven Fletcher because of an injury.

45:00 +2:14 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Sunderland 0, Crystal Palace 0.

45:00 +1:39 Booking

Booking Kagisho Dikgacoi (Crystal Palace) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

45:00 +1:30

Liam Bridcutt (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

45:00 +1:30

Foul by Kagisho Dikgacoi (Crystal Palace).

45:00 +0:12

Foul by Sebastian Larsson (Sunderland).

45:00 +0:12

Yannick Bolasie (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

44:53

Foul by Wes Brown (Sunderland).

44:53

Yannick Bolasie (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

42:41

Attempt missed. Fabio Borini (Sunderland) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses the top right corner following a corner.

41:58

Corner, Sunderland. Conceded by Yannick Bolasie.

41:31

Corner, Sunderland. Conceded by Yannick Bolasie.

39:33

Phil Bardsley (Sunderland).

39:33

Glenn Murray (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

39:22

Attempt blocked. Adam Johnson (Sunderland) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Sebastian Larsson.

39:01

Corner, Sunderland. Conceded by Joe Ledley.

37:07

Foul by Phil Bardsley (Sunderland).

37:07

Mile Jedinak (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

36:34

Attempt blocked. Steven Fletcher (Sunderland) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

33:02

Attempt missed. Steven Fletcher (Sunderland) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Sebastian Larsson with a cross.

30:48

Attempt saved. Thomas Ince (Crystal Palace) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

29:30

Attempt missed. Ki Sung-Yueng (Sunderland) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right following a set piece situation.

28:34

Phil Bardsley (Sunderland) wins a free kick on the right wing.

28:34

Foul by Mile Jedinak (Crystal Palace).

26:14

Marcos Alonso (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

26:14

Foul by Yannick Bolasie (Crystal Palace).

23:46

Attempt missed. Adam Johnson (Sunderland) left footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left.

22:08

Attempt missed. Steven Fletcher (Sunderland) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Fabio Borini with a cross following a set piece situation.

20:50

Fabio Borini (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

20:50

Foul by Mile Jedinak (Crystal Palace).

18:47

Attempt missed. Mile Jedinak (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Kagisho Dikgacoi following a set piece situation.

18:10 Booking

Booking Liam Bridcutt (Sunderland) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

17:50

Foul by Liam Bridcutt (Sunderland).

17:50

Mile Jedinak (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

16:02

Dangerous play by Steven Fletcher (Sunderland).

16:02

Scott Dann (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

15:01

Foul by Wes Brown (Sunderland).

15:01

Glenn Murray (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

13:36

Attempt missed. Ki Sung-Yueng (Sunderland) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Fabio Borini.

12:34 Booking

Booking Joel Ward (Crystal Palace) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

12:17

Sebastian Larsson (Sunderland) wins a free kick on the right wing.

12:17

Foul by Joel Ward (Crystal Palace).

11:14

Attempt missed. Wes Brown (Sunderland) header from the centre of the box misses to the left following a corner.

11:08

Attempt blocked. Adam Johnson (Sunderland) left footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Sebastian Larsson.

10:59

Corner, Sunderland. Conceded by Damien Delaney.

8:21

Attempt saved. Marcos Alonso (Sunderland) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

7:46 Booking

Booking Adrian Mariappa (Crystal Palace) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

7:17

Fabio Borini (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

7:17

Foul by Adrian Mariappa (Crystal Palace).

4:19

Fabio Borini (Sunderland) wins a free kick on the left wing.

4:19

Foul by Adrian Mariappa (Crystal Palace).

3:11

Attempt missed. Steven Fletcher (Sunderland) header from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Adam Johnson with a cross.

2:37

Phil Bardsley (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

2:37

Foul by Glenn Murray (Crystal Palace).

0:36

Marcos Alonso (Sunderland) wins a free kick on the left wing.

0:36

Foul by Yannick Bolasie (Crystal Palace).

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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