Two Jermain Defoe penalties denied Liverpool a win in their first 2017 outing as the drew 2-2 against Sunderland.
Liverpool took the lead twice through Daniel Sturridge and Saido Mane but Sunderland’s never say dies attitude did the job for David Moyes.
Sides even at half time
Liverpool dominated the game early but Sunderland began to put more pressure on Liverpool before a momentarily lapse saw Vito Mannone pull out a great save to deny a good Daniel Sturridge shot.
A Liverpool corner gave Dejan Lovren a chance to shoot and his misfired shot was then headered in smartly by Sturridge to open the scoring just before 20 minutes.
Ragnar Klavan gave Sunderland a way back into the game five minutes later when he conceded a penalty bringing down Didier Ndong.
Jermain Defoe put Sunderland level with a well struck penalty but a minute later ruined a one on one opportunity as Mignolet managed to get a hand on the ball and Fabio Borini’s follow up attempt took a deflection wide.
The game began to open up as Sunderland grew in confidence on attack and managed to keep Liverpool out in defence to go into half time 1-1.
Penalties the main theme
Sunderland began the second half slowly but on one of their first visits to Liverpool’s box Januzaj flicked the ball up which deflected off Emre Cans thigh onto his arm but Anthony Taylor opted not to award the penalty.
Even without the penalty Sunderland were managing to hold on but Saido Mane changed this when he took Liverpool to a 2-1 lead getting on the end of a cross at short range.
Mane went on to go from Hero to Zero as he stuck out a hand to stop a Seb Larsson free kick to give and this time Taylor did give Sunderland the penalty.
Defoe stepped up and sent the ball into the bottom left corner superbly to bring Sunderland level for the second time of the afternoon.
Liverpool threw the sink and pretty much the entire kitchen at Sunderland in the dying minutes of the game but it wasn’t enough as they ended the game 2-2.
The draw means Liverpool now sit five points behind Chelsea with Blues still to play Tottenham Hotspurs.