Rowell Report: Sunderland’s precious point against Southampton may prove the difference

Ex-Sunderland footballer Gary Rowell
Ex-Sunderland footballer Gary Rowell
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A DRAW against Southampton wasn’t what I was hoping for, but after seeing Sunderland outplayed for the vast majority of the game, we ended up with a point more than we deserved to get.

To come back from two goals down deserves credit, but Southampton have got to be wondering how they didn’t go home with all three points, as they dominated the game and had more than enough chances to put the game out of Sunderland’s reach.

Southampton impressed me.

They’re a seriously good team who play attractive football and for long periods Sunderland couldn’t get near them.

After last week’s uplifting 4-1 win at Fulham, I expected Sunderland to start quickly and put Southampton under pressure.

But the opposite happened and Southampton were two goals ahead before we had a shot on goal.

Somehow Sunderland got themselves back on level terms, but Southampton’s goalkeeper Artur Boruc will be disappointed with his efforts to stop both Sunderland’s goals, especially Adam Johnson’s equaliser which seemed to take him by surprise.

Johnson is in a purple patch at the moment, scoring and claiming an assist against the Saints, he’s writing his own headlines.

And he was Sunderland’s biggest danger and best outfield player on the day.

Sunderland’s top performer though was goalkeeper Vito Mannone who kept us in the game with a number of saves and when the home keeper is the star player, that tells its own story.

Gus Poyet made two changes from the team that beat Fulham in the previous game, bringing in Seb Larsson and Jozy Altidore, but both had games to forget and neither of them justified their selection.

Sunderland did not play well against Southampton and had to fight and scrap for a share of the spoils.

But it is never a bad sign when a team comes back from a two-goal deficit and the point gained could be huge at the end of the season.