Sunderland 2-2 Liverpool: Defoe halts Reds in thriller

Leave a comment
  • Sturridge, Mane score
  • Defoe’s two PKs grab point
  • Liverpool five points behind Chelsea

Liverpool missed a glorious chance to close the gap on leaders Chelsea to three points as they drew 2-2 against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light on Monday.

Jurgen Klopp‘s side led twice through Daniel Sturridge and Sadio Mane but two penalty kicks from Jermain Defoe meant it was a point each in the north east.

With the point Liverpool now has 44 points and has played a game more than leaders Chelsea, while Sunderland has 15 points as their battle against relegation continues.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Sunderland had a good chance early on as Patrick Van Aanholt cut inside and teed up Defoe who hit a powerful shot on goal which Simon Mignolet saved.

At the other end Sadio Mane clipped a lovely ball in to Daniel Sturridge and his low shot was saved by Vito Mannone and moments later the Sunderland goalkeeper tipped Georginio Wijnaldum‘s shot over.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings

The chances kept coming as a powerful low drive from Jack Rodwell was pushed away by Mignolet in a lively encounter. Sturridge had another effort saved and a cross soon after was nearly turned into the net by a Sunderland defender but went out for a corner.

From that corner Dejan Lovren scuffed an effort towards goal and Sturridge headed home instinctively. 1-0 to Liverpool as Sturridge scored on his first PL start since October.

Sunderland were level before half time as Didier Ndong surged into the box and Ragnar Klavan clipped him and a penalty kick was awarded. Defoe dispatched the PK calmly for his 10th of the season. 1-1.

Mignolet then denied Defoe as he rounded the Belgian goalkeeper and a follow up effort was scuffed wide by Fabio Borini as Sunderland fought back.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

The pace wasn’t as high in the second half as Alberto Moreno replaced James Milner at the break, while Liverpool had a fantastic chance to take the lead with Nathaniel Clyne‘s right-wing cross was glanced wide by Sadio Mane.

At the other end Borini’s shot was blocked and then a moment of real controversy arrived when Adnan Januzaj tried to flick the ball by Emre Can and it appeared to hit his hand. No PK awarded to Sunderland and the home fans were livid.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score

Late on a tired looking Liverpool surged forward as Sturridge’s shot was blocked by Mannone and from the resulting corner Mane tapped home at the back post. 2-1 to Liverpool.

Sturridge limped off injured late on which will be a concern for Klopp and then Mane handled a free kick in the box as Sunderland were awarded a second penalty of the game.

Defoe dispatched the spot kick for his 11th of the season in the PL as the Black Cats snatched a point in a pulsating encounter.

Premier League player Power Rankings – Top 20

Leave a comment

For the final time in the 2016-17 Premier League season it’s time to rank the players in form.

[ MORE: Power Rankings archive ]

Stars from Chelsea and Tottenham dominate, just like they did all season, and we have plenty of players from Manchester City who also turned things on in the final weeks of the season.

Remember: this is a list of the top 20 performing players right now in the Premier League.

Let us know in the comments section below if you agree with the selections of the top 20 players in the PL right now.


  1. Harry Kane (Tottenham) – Up 1
  2. Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal) – Down 1
  3. Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) – Up 1
  4. Kevin De Bruyne (Man City) – Up 3
  5. Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea) – New entry
  6. Cesc Fabregas (Chelsea) – Down 3
  7. Dele Alli (Tottenham) – Down 1
  8. Heung min-Son (Tottenham) – Up 2
  9. Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal) – Up 2
  10. Vincent Kompany (Man City) – Up 3
  11. David Silva (Man City) – Down 2
  12. Diego Costa (Chelsea) –Even
  13. Josh King (Bournemouth) – Down 6
  14. Gabriel Jesus (Man City) – Even
  15. Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea) – Even
  16. Victor Wanyama (Tottenham) – Up 2
  17. Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool) – Up 3
  18. Leroy Sane (Man City) – Down 2
  19. Fernando Llorente (Swansea) – Down 2
  20. Petr Cech (Arsenal) – New entry

Wenger update on Sanchez after Chile’s Bayern mix-up

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Arsene Wenger has (shock) remained tight-lipped about his own Arsenal future but has been talking about Alexis Sanchez remaining with the Gunners.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Sanchez, 28, has just over 12 months left on his current Arsenal deal and the Chilean attacker is attracting interest from across the Premier League and Europe.

With 24 goals and 10 assists in the Premier League this season, Sanchez would obviously be a huge loss to the Gunners if he did move on.

[ MORE: Full U-20 World Cup coverage

Speaking to the media ahead of the FA Cup final against Chelsea on Saturday at Wembley Stadium, Wenger seemed to think his star forward wouldn’t be going anywhere this summer.

“We have nobody at the end of their contract so that will be completely our decision. Therefore, I just believe that we, the club, have a big job to do during the summer because you want to keep players like Alexis and end all the speculation that could happen…” Wenger said. “Alexis is not at the end of his contract. I would just like to remind you that the end of his contract is 2018. So that’s a completely different situation.”

Wenger appears to be stating that even if contract negotiations don’t go well with Sanchez and his representatives after the FA Cup final this weekend, the Gunners won’t be trying to offload him right away even though the fact they won’t be in the UEFA Champions League next season.

Sanchez could remain until next January and run his contract down to six months and then he’d be free to arrange a summer 2018 move to any non-English team. Of course, Arsenal wouldn’t get any cash for Sanchez if that happened but it appears that they intend to keep him around as long as possible as contract negotiations continue.

Wenger’s current mindset: “So you’re telling me there’s a chance…”


In other Sanchez-related news, did the Chilean national team release news about his future club?

When Chile sent out a graphic via their official Twitter account to announce their 23-man squad for the 2017 Confederations Cup in Russia next month, they had a club logo next to the name of each player.

A Bayern Munich badge was next to Sanchez’s name before being removed rather quickly.

Add that to Sanchez’s countryman, and Bayern midfielder, Arturo Vidal, saying that the German giants having been asking him about his countryman and maybe the Bundesliga champs are all of a sudden the frontrunners to sign him?

Surely Arsenal’s board would much rather sell Sanchez overseas than see him join a direct Premier League rival if he was to leave this summer?

Messi loses Supreme Court appeal over tax-fraud conviction

Getty Images
Leave a comment

MADRID (AP) Lionel Messi has lost his Supreme Court appeal over a tax-fraud conviction in Spain.

[ MORE: La Liga final table

The court confirmed the 21-month prison sentence handed to Messi for defrauding tax authorities of 4.1 million euros ($4.6 million) from 2007-09. He is not expected to go to prison because sentences of less than two years for first offences are usually suspended in Spain.

The court maintained the 2 million euro ($2.24 million) fine handed to the Argentina player in last year’s trial.

Messi’s father, Jorge Horacio Messi, also had been convicted of tax fraud, but the court reduced his sentence from 21 months to 15 months because he cooperated by returning the defrauded money to the tax authorities. He also is not expected to face prison time.

Chelsea cancel Premier League victory parade

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Chelsea have announced they will not be parading the Premier League trophy through the streets of London this Sunday.

[ MORE: Full 2016-17 season reviews

The Blues released a statement on Wednesday detailing their decision to cancel the parade which would have seen the first team board an open top bus outside Stamford Bridge on May 28 and celebrate their PL title success, and a potential FA Cup trophy, with their fans.

However, due to the UK government updating the terror threat level to critical (meaning an attack is imminent) following the Manchester bombing on Monday which killed 22 people, Chelsea have decided to cancel the event as a mark of respect and due to the ongoing situation across the United Kingdom.

Below is the statement from Chelsea in full.

“Everyone associated with Chelsea Football Club offers our heartfelt condolences to those affected by Monday’s terror attack in Manchester. Our thoughts go out to all the victims, and their families and friends. In light of these tragic events, we feel it is inappropriate to go ahead with the victory parade in London on Sunday.

“Given the heightened security threat announced by the Government, and recognising that this is a developing situation, we have given this careful consideration. We strongly believe, in the interests of everyone, this is the correct course of action. We are sure our fans will understand this decision.

“Having consulted with the Metropolitan Police, Hammersmith and Fulham Council and other authorities, we know the emergency services would have been as professional as ever, but we would not want in any way to divert important resources by holding an additional, non-ticketed event on the streets of London.

“Furthermore, as a mark of respect, our players will wear black armbands at the FA Cup Final against Arsenal on Saturday. Chelsea Football Club will also make a donation to a fund supporting the victims of this horrific attack.”