Jermain Defoe hat-trick secures crucial 4-2 win for Sunderland at Swansea

Jermain Defoe
Jermain Defoe

Breathless, bananas and littered with clangers from both players and officials, yet this was ultimately a game where Sunderland came away with a HUGE three points in the battle for survival.

Back-to-back Premier League wins against fellow strugglers Aston Villa and now Swansea have lifted Sunderland to within a point of safety after the Black Cats came from behind in a game to emerge victorious for the first time since April 2014.

Jermain Defoe's hat-trick - sandwiched by an Federico Fernandez own goal equaliser - earned Sunderland the 4-2 success at the Liberty Stadium, in a game littered by mistakes from the officials.

Defoe looked to be offside for both his first two goals, the penalty decision which saw Gylfi Sigurdsson equalise was appalling soft, as was the red card dolled out to Swansea right-back Kyle Naughton.

Sunderland were to blame for gifting Swansea the lead just three minutes after the hosts had been reduced to 10 men, yet the visitors fought back in the second half with Defoe becoming the first Black Cats player to net a Premier League hat-trick in two years.

Allardyce's men got off to a dream start after taking the lead inside the third minutes, following a dreadful error from Swansea keeper Lukasz Fabianski.

The ex-Arsenal man sent his goal-kick straight to Adam Johnson on the edge of the Swansea area, who fed Fabio Borini down the left-hand side of the box.

Borini's shot was parried by Fabianski, before Defoe tapped the rebound into the net, despite replays showing that the 33-year-old had drifted offside.

Andre Ayew had a chance for an instant equaliser, but sent an off-balance shot over the bar from the edge of the box after being fed by Wayne Routledge's hooked volley.

But then Sunderland should have doubled their advantage in the sixth minute when Patrick van Aanholt pulled the ball back from the left-hand goal-line into the path of Adam Johnson, six yards out, who got his angles all wrong and sent a right-foot shot harmlessly wide.

Ayew should have done better again in the 18th minute, when he sent a free near post header a couple of yards wide from Gylfi Sigurdsson's corner.

But Swansea did pull level three minutes later after an utterly appalling decision from referee Graham Scott gave the hosts a penalty.

Wes Brown was adjudged to have fouled Ayew as he darted into the box, but replays showed that the Swansea man went down after kicking his trailing leg.

Sigurdsson converted the resulting penalty, as he sent Vito Mannone the wrong way from the spot.

Seven minutes before the interval, Swansea were reduced to 10 men after another awful decision from the referee.

Naughton's challenge on Yann M'Vila was high, but he won the ball cleanly, yet Scott immediately brandished a red card to the Swansea right-back.

But two minutes later, Swansea went ahead after Sunderland conceded an awful goal on the counter-attack.

Fabianski booted the ball upfield from a Sunderland free-kick, where Ayew brought it under control, turned Lee Cattermole far too easily and as Billy Jones backed off, buried it in the far corner.

Within three minutes of the restart Sunderland pulled level though after Johnson picked out van Aanholt with a perfectly weighted pass on the left-hand side of the area.

Van Aanholt darted inside and with his weaker right foot, hit a shot which took a wicked deflection off Federico Fernandez and crashed into the top corner off the post.

Sunderland were a whisker away from going ahead in the 58th minute after Fabio Borini fed Jeremain Lens down the right-hand side of the area.

From an acute angle almost on the by-line, Lens hit a right foot shot which struck the foot of Fabianski - who knew nothing about it - and it drifted across the face of goal.

But two minutes later, Sunderland went ahead as Defoe netted his second.

Johnson played a through-ball in behind the Swansea defence for Defoe - who again very debatably beat the offside trap - and the striker produced an immaculate finish to roll it beyond Fabianski.

Mannone had a let-off in the 65th minute when he dropped the ball straight into the path of Angel Rangel a yard out as he tried to catch it underneath his own crossbar, only for the linesman to correctly flag that the right-back was offside.

But with five minutes to go, Sunderland sealed the points when van Aanholt played a neat one-two with Lens and from the left-hand by-line pulled it back into the path of Defoe, who tapped it into the empty net.

Swansea: Fabianski, Naughton, Fernandez, Williams, Taylor, Britton (Rangel 43), Ki, Barrow, Sigurdsson, Routledge (Gomis 77), Ayew (Cork 90). Subs: Nordfeldt, Amat, Montero, Emnes. Sent off: Naughton (38)

Sunderland: Mannone, Jones, O’Shea, Brown, van Aanholt, Cattermole (Rodwell 73), M’Vila, Johnson, Lens (Watmore 86), Borini (Graham 83), Defoe. Subs: Pickford, Coates, Yedlin, Fletcher. Booked: Mannone (67), van Aanholt (79)

Attendance: 20,140