Liverpool v Sunderland: Four draws in the last six at Anfield for Black Cats

Sunderland defender Lamine Kone clears, under pressure from Liverpool's Jordan Henderson, in last season's 2-2 draw at Anfield. Picture by Frank Reid
Sunderland defender Lamine Kone clears, under pressure from Liverpool's Jordan Henderson, in last season's 2-2 draw at Anfield. Picture by Frank Reid
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Sunderland head to Anfield today looking to make it three wins in a row in the Premier League for David Moyes.

History suggests a tricky time for the Black Cats against second-top Liverpool, though.

Despite several draws in recent years, four in the last six visits, Sunderland have not tasted victory at Anfield since Gary Rowell bagged the only goal in a First Division triumph in October, 1983.

Here we look back at the last six Anfield clashes.

Liverpool 2 Sunderland 2

February 6, 2016

Sunderland staged a dramatic, late rescue act to earn a 2-2 draw at Anfield, keeping the Black Cats’ Premier League survival hopes alive.

Sam Allardyce’s men looked to be heading to a second defeat in the space of five days after second-half goals from Roberto Firmino and Adam Lallana put Liverpool on course to coast to victory.

James Milner’s looping inswinging cross from the left flank went all the way through to Firmino headed an inswinging James Milner centre back across goal and into the far corner of Vito Mannone’s goal.

Then Firmino robbed Billy Jones, raced down the left and cut the ball back for Lallana to tap home.

Yet after thousands of Liverpool fans left Anfield amid protests over rising ticket prices in the 77th minute, Sunderland fought back as the home side appeared to lose interest, with two goals inside the last 10 minutes.

First, substitute Adam Johnson curled home a free-kick low beyond Simon Mignolet’s reach, before Jermain Defoe netted an equaliser with a minute to go, taking Wahbi Khazri’s pass and spinning away from Mamadou Sakho before firing past Mignolet at the Belgian’s near post.

Liverpool 0 Sunderland 0

December 6, 2014

Draw specialists Sunderland registered their fifth stalemate of the campaign after a well-deserved point at Liverpool.

Sunderland were the better side for long periods at Anfield, with hosts Liverpool only coming to life after the introduction of Steven Gerrard midway through the second half.

But the Black Cats couldn’t convert that possession into goals, with Connor Wickham, who had earlier had a penalty shout turned down, flashing a couple of efforts wide.

Liverpool only produced one meaningful effort themselves, but Costel Pantilimon turned away Philippe Coutinho’s effort.

Liverpool 2 Sunderland 1

March 26, 2014

Sunderland gave title-chasing Liverpool a real scare after mounting a late comeback at Anfield.

But the Black Cats still succumbed to a fourth defeat in five Premier League outings, as Gus Poyet’s side were unable to profit from one of the games in hand on their relegation rivals.

Sunderland frustrated Liverpool during the first half before Steven Gerrard smashed home a 38th minute free-kick after Santiago Vergini was very fortunate not to earn a red card.

The hosts then doubled their advantage early in the second half when Daniel Sturridge’s shot was deflected beyond Vito Mannone.

But the introduction of Ki Sung-Yueng and Adam Johnson injected a spark into Sunderland’s play and after Lee Cattermole had hit the bar, Ki halved the deficit from a corner.

John O’Shea then went agonisingly close to a late equaliser, but Sunderland couldn’t narrow the three-point gap with the safety mark.

Liverpool 3 Sunderland 0

January 2, 2013

Luis Suarez’s double condemned Sunderland to a second successive defeat as Liverpool inflicted the joint heaviest loss of the season on the Black Cats.

Poor finishing and poor defending during a pivotal opening 45 minutes cost Martin O’Neill’s men, as Sunderland missed the chance to extend the four-point gap with the relegation zone.

Raheem Sterling handed Liverpool the lead when he raced onto Suarez’s clever hook over the top of the Sunderland back four.

James McClean should have immediately equalised, but dragged his shot wide and Liverpool punished the visitors when Suarez shook off the attempted challenge of Carlos Cuellar before sliding the ball past Simon Mignolet.

Again, Sunderland had a golden opportunity to get on the scoresheet, with Matt Kilgallon seeing his shot saved by Pepe Reina seven minutes before the interval.

But the second half was a procession for Liverpool, who extended their advantage through Suarez and spurned several opportunities to increase the margin of victory.

Liverpool 1 Sunderland 1

August 13, 2011

A spectacular goal from debutant Seb Larsson earned Sunderland an opening-day point 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 Ahmed 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 was delighted to have the season up and running despite a really tough opening day fixture.

Liverpool 2 Sunderland 2

September 25, 2010

Sunderland ended their Anfield goal drought but Darren Bent’s double was not enough for victory.

The striker took his tally for club and country to eight in the 2010/11 season.

Liverpool went in front in farcical circumstances after four minutes when Sunderland were awarded a free-kick about 10 yards inside their own half.

Michael Turner, back from an ankle injury to partner Titus Bramble in central defence, knocked the ball a few yards back, intending goalkeeper Simon Mignolet to take the set-piece.

But Fernando Torres latched onto it and set up Dirk Kuyt to score as ref Stuart Attwell ruled that the goal was valid.

Sunderland hit back on 25 minutes when Bent scored his side’s first goal at Anfield in a decade, beating Pepe Reina from the penalty spot after Christian Poulsen handled Ahmed Elmohamady’s cross.

The visitors were ahead on 48 minutes when Bent found space at the far post to head home Nedum Onuoha’s right-wing cross, with Glen Johnson ball-watching.

Liverpool – dumped out of the Carling Cup by Northampton in midweek – looked shaky, but drew level midway through the second half, Torres beating Phil Bardsley and crossing for Steven Gerrard to head past Mignolet.

Daniel Agger was guilty of an astonishing miss deep in six minutes of added time as Sunderland held on for a point.

Follow today’s Liverpool-Sunderland clash on our matchday blog from 1pm