After being labelled the most defensive side that Jurgen Klopp had ever seen after their visit to Anfield, Sunderland will be pleased to have got their own back with an impressive point after a woeful Christmas period for the Black Cats.
Their afternoon did not get off to the best of starts, with Daniel Sturridge pouncing to open the scoring from Dejan Lovren’s effort from a corner. The former Manchester City forward returned to the team and enjoyed the perfect start to give the Reds the lead which could have seen them put the game to bed.
That wasn’t to be the case though as Ragnar Klavan and Georgino Wijnaldum brought down Didier Ndong with a clumsy challenge which showed their already tiring legs. Jermain Defoe stepped up and slotted past Simon Mignolet to level the tie on the Belgian’s return to his former club.
After the break, the Black Cats were unfortunate to have a penalty appeal for handball by Emre Can turned down and then it looked as though luck may have been in Liverpool’s favour when another set piece allowed Sadio Mane to prod home from a Dejan Lovren header.
Mane went from hero to villain in his final game before departing for the African Cup of Nations though, after a questionable free-kick decision allowed Seb Larsson to fire a free-kick onto the arm of the Senegal international, with Defoe sticking with his first strike to score from the spot by putting his penalty to Simon Mignolet’s right hand side.
Read on over the next few pages to see what we can learn from the game…