Black Cats defender Mensah sees red as Merseyside club claim the points.
Liverpool cruised to a 2-0 win over 10-man Sunderland at the Stadium of Light, to close the gap on Tottenham in fifth position in the Premier League table.The goals came from a controversial Dirk Kuyt penalty in the first half after Jay Spearing had been brought down, and a Luis Suarez rocket that sealed the points for the visitors.
After a bright opening from the home side, the first chance of the game fell the way of the visitors and Simon Mignolet did well to deny Kuyt who nearly pounced upon an Andy Carroll knockdown from a corner.
Liverpool were awarded a controversial penalty in the 34th minute after John Mensah failed to control the ball outside of the area, and Jay Spearing capitalised by racing through only to be felled by the Ghanaian.
Referee Kevin Friend awarded a free-kick just outside the area, however his mind was changed by his assistant, and pointed to the spot, much to the fury of the Sunderland players.
Kuyt then slotted the penalty home sending Mignolet the wrong way to give the away side the lead for his eight goal of the season.
The Reds could have doubled their lead minutes later through Luis Suarez, who raced onto a through ball, but his left footed half-volley was wonderfully saved by Mignolet.
In the second half Liverpool again went close this time Carroll was denied his first goal for his new club by Lee Cattermole, who cleared the ball off the line after the striker headed the ball towards goal.
The home side were leaving gaps all over the field as they pressed for an equaliser, and Spearing nearly took full advantage as he raced past Malbranque to fire a strong effort towards goal, which was brilliantly saved by Mignolet.
After keeping Liverpool at bay for most of the second half, the Sunderland goal was finally breached again with Suarez finding the net from an acute angle, however Mignolet will wish he covered his near post better to deny the Uruguayan.
The Black Cats were then reduced to 10-men in the 82nd minute when Mensah was shown a red card after incident involving Suarez which further compounded Steve Bruce’s side’s miserable afternoon, as Liverpool returned to Anfield with the points.