Liverpool 1 Sunderland 1: Larsson wonderstrike gives Black Cats a point at Anfield

Liverpool's Charlie Adam challenges Sunderland's Lee Cattermole.

Liverpool's Charlie Adam challenges Sunderland's Lee Cattermole.

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A SPECTACULAR goal from Seb Larsson on debut earned Sunderland a point today after Steve Bruce’s men weathered a first-half storm at Anfield.

The Black Cats could have been a goal and a man down inside five minutes after Kieran Richardson lost possession to Luis Suarez and then brought the striker down in the box.

But referee Phil Dowd flourished only the yellow, ruling that the forward had been going away from goal, and insult was added to injury a minute later when Suarez smashed his penalty high into the stands.

He did not have to wait too long for his revenge – heading home Charlie Adam’s 12th minute free-kick at the near post as he stooped ahead of Richardson.

And Liverpool could easily have run away with it before the break – Stewart Downing hitting the crossbar and Andy Carroll having a goal disallowed.

But the Reds paid the price for failing to kill Sunderland off – the visitors levelling just before the hour when Larsson swivelled to volley home Elmohamady’s centre from the right at the far post.

Sunderland had been struggling to hang on to Liverpool’s coat-tails in the first-half but they were good value for their point in the second-half and Bruce will be delighted to have the season up and running despite a really tough opening day fixture.