Ian Holloway's men had started the brighter of the two sides. It would have been harder for them not to, given the woeful level of performance from Sunderland’s players.
Di Canio was frequently seen complaining to his assistants on the touchline as he got increasingly frustrated with his side’s showing. They were reckless in defence, anonymous in midfield and dulled in attack.
Palace’s first goal came as a result of a corner, swung in by Jose Campana, and it missed everyone at the near post. From there, it bounced into Kagisho Dikgacoi, and then into Danny Gabbidon's ankles, embarrassingly dribbling over the line.
After the break Sunderland started with a much more confident approach, and this paid off with an equaliser on the 64th minute. A couple of neat passes on the left allowed Jack Colback to centre to Steven Fletcher, who powered in a low header.
That roused Palace back into attack, but with little spark in their approach. It took a massive blunder from O’Shea, bringing down Dwight Gayle with a late lunge just inside the box, to spark them back into life.
Despite looking nervous and a poor penalty, Gayle’s strike was hit well enough to squeeze underneath Keiren Westwood. Palace ultimately deserved the win by being the least bad side, and Sunderland were very bad indeed. A late, impressive curling strike by Stuart O’Keefe served only to underline just how poor Sunderland had been at times, though Palace deserve praise for not settling for a point.
9' - GOAL - Crystal Place 1-0 Sunderland- Campana takes the corner, and the ball evades everyone at the near post. It hits the shins of Dikgacoi, and then hits the ankle of Gabbidon, before trundling over the line. Nobody knew what was happening.
64' - GOAL - Crystal Place 1-1 Sunderland - Fletcher hangs in the box, avoiding his marker. The ball is worked to Colback on the left wing, whose cross finds Fletcher to head firmly to the keeper's right hand corner.
77' - RED CARD - PENALTY- O'Shea gives away a ludicrous foul. A loose ball runs for Gayle, bursting forward. A late, clumsy foul he didn't need to make, and the referee decides he's also the last defender, and he's off!
79' - GOAL - Crystal Place 2-1 Sunderland - Gayle looks nervous, but hits the ball low, underneath Westwood's poor dive. He should have saved that, it went between his knees and elbows, but Palace won't care.
90+1' - GOAL - Crystal Place 3-1 Sunderland - Jason Puncheon is dispossessed just on the D, and the ball runs to the right. O'Keefe takes one touch, sending a left foot shot curling into the top corner. Sunderland are out of this
TALKING POINT: Paolo Di Canio performed no great miracles to keep Sunderland up last year, they were simply one of the least bad relegation candidates. That might be the case again this year, but he is not impressing anybody.
2 - Number of sauces banned by Paolo Di Canio at Sunderland’s training ground. Given the lack of team spirit at the club, he might want to reconsider his culinary restrictions.
The Black Cats are without victory in their last seven Premier League games have not kept a clean sheet either.
0 - Number of shots on target by Sunderland in the first half. They didn’t improve much in the second half either.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Jason Puncheon (Crystal Palace): He may not have scored, but his presence in attack disrupted Sunderland throughout, and he offered the chance to counter-attack whenever possible.
Crystal Palace: Speroni 6, Ward 6, Gabbidon 7, Delaney 6, Moxey 6, Puncheon 7, Dikgacoi 6, Jedinak 6, Capana 6, Gayle 7, Chamakh 6. Subs: Wilbraham 6, O'Keefe 7, Williams 6.
Sunderland: Westwood 6, Celustka 6, O'Shea 4, Diakite 6, Colback 6, Vaughan 5, Larsson 6, Johnson 6, Giaccherini 6, Ji 5, Wickham 6. Subs: Fletcher 7, Mavrias 6.
MATCH IN A TWEET