Sunderland 2-2 Liverpool: Defoe halts Reds in thriller

0 Comments
  • 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.