Damien Delaney confronted by Crystal Palace fan during loss to Sunderland

A Crystal Palave fan confronts Damien Delaney
Damien Delaney was confronted as he left the field at half-time

A Crystal Palace fan has been arrested after invading the pitch at Selhurst Park to confront Damien Delaney at half-time during Crystal Palace's 4-0 loss to Sunderland on Saturday.

The man appeared to grab the Palace defender's shirt before being led away by security.

Delaney was substituted at half-time, though Palace boss Sam Allardyce said it was not because of the altercation.

Palace players were booed off after conceding all four goals by half-time.

Allardyce said his players deserved to be booed as they fell to a fifth consecutive Premier League defeat at home, which leaves them 19th in the table, two points from safety.

"The fear we are suffering at Selhurst Park is evident," said Allardyce.

"Fear gripped the players and it hasn't allowed them to express their ability. I can't think it can be anything other than that.

"We have a lot to do. It was a huge shock for me."

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Allardyce 'in shock' after Palace thrashing

Palace have won only one Premier League game in seven since Allardyce took over on 23 December - a 2-0 win in midweek against Bournemouth - with one draw and five defeats.

When asked how much this latest defeat hurt him, Allardyce replied "deeply".

"I have to apologise and say it is my responsibility to get it right," added former England boss Allardyce.

Victory was Sunderland's first Premier League win since 17 December and a second straight clean sheet after a goalless draw with Tottenham on Tuesday.

They remain bottom following Hull City's 2-0 win over Liverpool, but move level on 19 points with Palace, two points from safety.

"I don't think I can think of many times as a manager I have been 4-0 up at half-time," said Sunderland boss David Moyes.

"It gets us three points and more confidence, more belief. It is going to be a tough job but if we had lost it would have been much tougher."

Analysis - 'Palace are so mentally weak'

Former England striker Alan Shearer on Match of the Day

"If you get the first goal against Palace you have a good chance of winning the game because they are so mentally weak.

"These players have been poor under two managers for well over a year so they have to do something."

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