Sunderland 2-2 Liverpool: Defoe halts Reds in thriller

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  • 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.

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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.

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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 weekend friendlies: Man Utd-Inter, PL Asia Trophy

Photo by Roslan RAHMAN / AFP
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This weekend in Premier League preseason friendlies sees Liverpool taking on a pair of top European foes, while four PL foes trade blows in Shanghai.

Man City and Wolves move on from significant defeats of Newcastle and West Ham, who in turn will face each other on Saturday.

You can watch Saturday’s Premier League Asia Trophy matches between Wolves and Man City, and Newcastle versus West Ham here on NBC Sports Live.

Meanwhile, Manchester United will tangle with Romelu Lukaku-chasing Inter Milan on Saturday (and, no, the Belgian striker won’t be in uniform).

There’s also a sneaky good match-up of Watford and Bayer Leverkusen in Austria on Saturday, while Sunday’s light docket has Spurs facing Matthijs de Ligt and Juventus in Singapore.

Friday
Borussia Dortmund v. Liverpool (Notre Dame, Indiana)

Saturday
Girona v. Bournemouth
Arsenal
v. Fiorentina (Charlotte)
Fulham v. Brighton and Hove Albion
Cheltenham Town v. Leicester City
Crewe Alexandra v. Burnley
Port Vale v. Burnley
Bromley v. Crystal Palace
Man City 
v. Wolves (Shanghai)
Inter Milan v. Manchester United (Singapore)
Newcastle United v. West Ham (Shanghai)
Northampton Town v. Sheffield United
Preston North End v. Southampton
Watford 
v. Bayer Leverkusen (Austria)

Sunday
Shrewsbury Town v. Aston Villa
Liverpool 
v. Sevilla (Boston)
Juventus v. Spurs (Singapore)

PL friendly wrap: Pukki leads Norwich past Schalke

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London sides went 0-2, while three other Premier League sides won ahead of Friday night’s friendly between Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund in Indiana.

[ MORE: Algeria wins AFCON ]

The wins included defeats of Schalke and Monaco, while Brighton and Hove Albion topped lower league Crawley Town.

Schalke 1-2 Norwich City

Teemu Pukki had a goal and an assist, giving hope that the Championship goal collector can bring his game to the Premier League.

Pukki’s 13th minute goal was assisted by Man City loanee Patrick Roberts, and the Finn later assisted Moritz Leitner‘s winner.

Rabbi Matondo scored Schalke’s only goal, and American midfielder Weston McKennie was neither with the starters nor the bench.

Everton 1-0 Monaco

Seamus Coleman scored and Maarten Stekelenburg stopped a penalty as the Toffees handled their Ligue 1 opposition in Switzerland.

Kawasaki Frontale 1-0 ChelseaRECAP

Leandro Damaio scored the lone goal as Chelsea had plenty of chances to win in Christian Pulisic‘s debut. The American came off the bench for the final 25 minutes in Japan.

Nottingham Forest 1-0 Crystal Palace

Albert Adomah scored the lone goal in a win for the Championship side.

Brighton and Hove Albion 1-0 Crawley Town

New signing Taylor Richards‘ late penalty kick was enough for the Seagulls to get a result at home. The Man City midfielder arrived on Thursday.

Liverpool v. Borussia Dortmund (Notre Dame, Indiana) — 8 p.m. ET

Algeria wins Africa Cup of Nations

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In the words of a Missouri-born rapper, you only get one shot. In Algeria’s case in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, that was true and it was all the Desert Foxes needed to claim their first AFCON title since 1990 with a 1-0 defeat of Senegal on Friday at Cairo International Stadium in Cairo.

Baghdad Bounedjah’s wildly-deflected second minute shot was enough to give Algeria its second AFCON crown.

Senegal out shot Algeria 11-1 on the day, but Sadio Mane and Co. couldn’t find their way over the goal line.

One-time Man City and Southampton player Djamel Belmadi has now managed an AFCON winner and a Gulf Cup of Nations champion (Qatar, 2014).

[ MORE: Ballon d’Or w/o Messi, Ronaldo? ]

Bounedjah’s wild rip after a cut-in from the left bounded into the air and looped into the far corner. Senegal goalkeeper Amigo Gomis made it look more odd with his befuddlement (Scramble, my guy!).

Referee Neant Alioum’s ruling of a penalty to Senegal after Ismaila Sarr’s rip hit the arm of Adlene Guedioura was overturned when review showed the Algeria midfielder’s arm was at his side.

We mean, was this going to be the goal that won Africa’s most important tournament? Yep.

Ajax seals El Tri’s young star Alvarez for $17M

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Ajax has developed a ton of youngsters, and now has a pair of CONCACAF starlets in the fold for 2019-20.

A day after selling Matthijs de Ligt to Juventus for a reported $84 million, the Dutch side has delivered on reports that it wanted Edson Alvarez.

That puts the 21-year-old Mexican defender/defensive midfielder in the Eredivisie side with 18-year-old Dutch-American defender Sergino Dest.

While Dest has yet to break into the full USMNT, playing in the U-20 World Cup this summer, Alvarez already has 28 caps and five goals for El Tri.

He’ll bring a relative wealth of experience from Club America, and Ajax could use him to help offset the sale of Frenkie de Jong to Barcelona. While Alvarez has played a lot of center back in Liga MX, he’s been used at defensive midfielder by Tata Martino with the national team.

The reported fee is $17 million, according to Goal.