Home side left disappointed after draw with Sunderland...
The first half started brightly for the home side and went into the lead as a result of mistake by referee Stuart Attwell, as Michael Turner played the back to goalkeeper Simon Mignolet so that he could take a free kick. But Fernando Torres took it as an invitation to go after the ball, and he did, setting up Dirk Kuyt to stab the ball home to the delight of the home support.
Attwell looked to his assistant for advice and after a couple of minutes they decided to award the goal, to the jubilation of under fire Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson and the disgust of Steve Bruce, who raced from the dug out to remonstrate with the fourth official.
Liverpool, coming off of their humiliating League Cup defeat to Northampton continued to press the Black Cats in order to get the comfort of a second goal that would please the home fans. They should have doubled their lead with only eight minutes on the clock when Torres came close, while in the penalty area.
After that, the visitors started to gain a foothold into the game and after a series of free kicks, halfway through the first half Sunderland received a way back into the game when Christian Poulsen handled inside the area to give the Black Cats a spot kick to give them a way back into the game.
Darren Bent stroked the resulting penalty under Pepe Reina to give what his side felt, as justice, as they level things up and the celebrations began in the away end to the left of Bent after he finished the spot kick off.
Things got worse for the home side minutes later when Paul Konchesky was forced from the field with an injury, to be replaced by Daniel Agger as Hodgson’s side were forced to reshuffle at the back.
For the rest of the first half, both sides seemed to cancel each other out, as the continually gave the ball away. On the half time whistle Atwell was surrounded by both Turner and Mignolet, who complained about Liverpool’s first goal.
The second half was to start badly for Hodgson as he watched his side go behind as Nedum Onuoha found Bent, who headed the ball home from six yards out, much to the dismay of the Liverpool fans in the Kop as the England striker wheeled away in delight to celebrate with his teammates.
This goal gave the home side the confidence to go forward, as especially Bent went to the hunt for the hat trick ball, as they continued to press the home side, who were making mistakes, with both Torres and Kuyt making their way on Atwell’s book as they continued to give the visitors the advantage.
Needing to get back into the game, Hodgson decided to go for broke as he took off Poulsen and replaced him with top goal scorer David N’Gog.
The goal that Hodgson had hoped for came when Torres raced down the right hand side, beating Titus Bramble and crossing the ball in for Gerrard to nod home to get the Red’s back into the game and get their fans back together with them.
Liverpool, then lost Jamie Carragher for a period of time, as the result of a head knock with Martin Skrtel, which left the Slovakian needed to head bands to keep the blood away, while his fellow defender was sent to the dressing room to get stitched up by the medical staff.
Liverpool should have gone into the lead when N’Gog shot from just inside the area, but found Mignolet in good form, but none of his Liverpool teammates were available to find the net after the rebound came out.
With ten minutes left, Bruce decided to go for all three points as he took Danny Welbeck from the field and replaced with record signing Asamoah Gyan, as they looked to give Bent more help as he went forward in search of the winner.
Liverpool looked to get further forward and were unfortunate not to go into the lead when Glen Johnson fired wide from the edge of the area.
England teammates Steven Gerrard and Darren Bent on target in thrilling draw at Anfield
As the game went into six minutes of injury time, Liverpool continued to press the visitors, but could not find a way through, with Agger coming extremely close as Hodgson’s side looked to gain an unlikely winner.