Jermain Defoe’s brace from the penalty spot earned a point for Sunderland against a Liverpool side that will be disappointed to have been denied a victory at the Stadium of Light on Monday.
- Sunderland 2 Liverpool 2
- Sturridge heads visitors ahead
- Defoe slots home from the spot
- Mane restores Reds' lead
- Defoe gets brace with 2nd penalty
It was the Reds who came out of the blocks quickly with Daniel Sturridge and Georginio Wijnaldum testing Vito Mannone. Sturridge would give the Reds the lead with a header in the 19th minute.
Against the run of play, Defoe equalised from the spot soon after when Didier N'Dong was brought down by Ragnar Klavan. The veteran striker then had a chance to give the hosts the lead but missed a golden chance.
Sadio Mane restored the Reds' lead in the second half, but later gave away a penalty from which Defoe grabbed his brace and the equaliser in the 84th minute.
— Sunderland AFC (@SunderlandAFC) January 2, 2017
In-form Liverpool took control from the start and Mannone had to be on his toes with a double save to deny both Sturridge and Wijnaldum in the eighth minute.
He denied Sturridge again with a full-length diving save to his right after the England striker hit a curling effort from the edge of the box in the 18th minute. A minute later Sebastian Larsson was relieved after he nearly turned home Adam Lallana's teasing cross hit across the six-yard box.
Yet it was 1-0 in the same minute when Sturridge headed home after Dejan Lovren's mishit volley from a corner found the striker who instinctively nodded home.
But against the run of play, Defoe was to level from the penalty spot after N'Dong was fouled by Klavan in the 25th minute. Defoe had a chance to put the Black Cats 2-1 up when he was put through one-on-one with Simon Mignolet by Adnan Januzaj in the 27th minute, though the keeper did well to stop him.
The Reds seemed to lose momentum and it ended 1-1 at the break. After the interval, it was the visitors who had a good chance to take the lead in the 55th minute when Nathaniel Clyne crossed only for Mane to narrowly miss getting a full header on the ball in the six-yard box. A minute later Fabio Borini and Defoe both saw efforts blocked at the other end.
The home team then had a great shout for a handball in the box when Emre Can appeared to use his arm to intercept a pass. The second period had less action but it was Liverpool who would hit the front when Mane punished slack Sunderland defending to turn home a corner at the far post in the 72nd minute.
However, it would end 2-2 when Mane used his hand to block Larsson's free-kick from outside the box and Defoe finished from the spot to grab his brace and a valuable point for David Moyes' side.
— Victor Anichebe (@VictorAnichebe) January 2, 2017