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Premier League

  • January 18, 2014
  • • 12:45
  • • Stadium of Light, Sunderland
  • Referee: C. Foy
  • • Attendance: 38115
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Live Commentary

  • FULL-TIME: Sunderland 2-2 Southampton. What a start to the Premier League programme today as the two sides share the spoils at the Stadium of Light. The Saints raced into a two-goal lead thanks to wonderful strikes from Rodriguez and Lovren, but Borini's effort reduced the deficit almost immediately and Johnson completed the fightback with a powerful finish late on.
  • 90' + 7'
    The ball is eventually cleared after Ki's effort was blocked but Alonso could only head Gardner's cross straight at Mannone. Sunderland have never won a Premier League game after being 2-0 down.
  • 90' + 6'
    Sunderland win a corner as Craig Gardner capitalises on Schneiderlin's hesitancy to release Fletcher. Can they force a winner?
  • 90' + 4'
    Davis looks to thread through Rodriguez but Mannone is out quickly to claim the ball and send Fletcher hurtling forward but his touch is heavy and Boruc can get a hold of the ball.
  • 90' + 2'
    Borini is penalised for handball as another Sunderland attack breaks down. Is there to be a late, late winner at the Stadium of Light?
  • 90'
    Substitute Ward-Prowse delivers into the area but his free-kick is held by Mannone after Schneiderlin had nodded goalwards. There will be seven additional minutes after the injuries to Lovren and Ramirez.
  • 88'
    Substitution Dejan Lovren Maya Yoshida
  • 88'
    It's a sickener for the visitors, who had been in complete control of the game but now face two dropped points and two injuries to boot.
  • 87'
    Substitution G. Ramírez James Ward-Prowse
  • 86'
    Brief stoppage in play as Ramirez and Lovren - both at opposite ends of the field - receive treatment and both will now be replaced. James Ward-Prowse is on for the former and Maya Yoshida comes on for the Croatian, with both players taken off on stretchers. It's all gone wrong for the Saints.
  • 86'
    Brief stoppage in play as Ramirez and Lovren - both at opposite ends of the field - receive treatment and both will now be replaced. James Ward-Prowse is on for the former and Maya Yoshida comes on for the Croatian, with both players taken off on stretchers. It's all gone wrong for the Saints.
  • 84'
    Southampton players are furious as Brown's heavy challenge through Ramirez prevents a shot at goal after the Uruguayan had embarked on a barnstorming run at the heart of the Sunderland defence.
  • 82'
    Johnson tests Boruc with a swerving effort from range which is headed towards the far corner but for the Pole's intervention.
  • 80'
    Cork looks to pick out Lambert with a scooped pass but Sunderland are soon on the break, with Fletcher putting admirable pressure on Boruc, who hacks away.
  • 78'
    Boruc looks like he may well have an injury and may be replaced shortly.
  • 76'
    Boruc partially redeems himself with a brilliant stop from Fletcher after Alonso's cross before more frantic defending in the Saints area finally sees them hack clear. Johnson then tricks his way past Shaw but his right-foot centre is over the bar.
  • 74'
    Substitution Adam Lallana G. Ramírez
  • 74'
    Gaston Ramirez is on for Lallana as Pochettino looks to inject some urgency back into the Saints, who just haven't got going in this second half.
  • 72'
    Substitution Jozy Altidore Steven Fletcher
  • 72'
    Southampton stunned by the goal and almost concede again under pressure but eventually win a free-kick after the ball had been cleared.
  • 71'
    Assist Craig Gardner
  • 71'
    Goal Adam Johnson
    GOAL! And there is that equaliser! Somehow Sunderland are level and it's man of the moment Adam Johnson who gets it with a ferocious drive. Pochettino will be livid with goalkeeper Artur Boruc, however, with the shot appearing to go through his gloves at his near post. Take nothing away from Johnson, though, who collected Ki's pass and lashed into the roof of the net. What a final 20 minutes we have in store.
  • 68'
    Plenty of endeavour from Sunderland but not enough quality on show so far. Can they force an equaliser?
  • 66'
    Altidore looks to pick out the menacing Borini at the far post with a low, arcing cross but Chambers is on alert to clear upfield.
  • 64'
    OFFSIDE! Borini has the ball in the back of the net but is flagged for his early run. It was a cool finish but the disallowed goal has only served to heighten Sunderland's desire for an equaliser.
  • 63'
    Substitution Sebastian Larsson Jack Colback
  • 62'
    Substitution Lee Cattermole Craig Gardner
  • 62'
    Rodriguez goes close yet again to his second and his side's third, as he bends an effort into the side netting from Lambert's low cross. Sunderland's riposte is to throw on Craig Gardner and Jack Colback for Lee Cattermole and Sebastian Larsson respectively.
  • 60'
    Southampton break at pace once more but again Shaw is thwarted by Mannone, as his left-foot effort is tipped away for a corner by the increasingly-involved Sunderland keeper.
  • 58'
    Lallana wins a free-kick after an excellent bit of skill to turn away from Alonso. The delivery from Davis finds Fonte, but he can only head straight down at Mannone.
  • 56'
    CLOSE! Rodriguez and Lallana link up superbly to engineer an opening with the former playing a one-two with the Saints playmaker before hitting a first-time effort towards the bottom corner, but Mannone is equal to it, despite initially spilling it.
  • 54'
    Chambers gets forward to join a rare Southampton forward venture in this second half and his low strike is dealt well with by Mannone.
  • 52'
    It's Southampton's turn to be pegged back all of a sudden as Sunderland look to get the ball forward and Altidore is causing more problems for Fonte and Lovren.
  • 50'
    Shaw tests Mannone with a powerful effort after a marauding run before Larsson's quick free-kick is drilled just wide by Phil Bardsley but referee Chris Foy decides to bring the play back. It would have been interesting to see Foy's verdict had the ball gone in.
  • 48'
    Sunderland have started brightly but Sebastian Larsson wastes a shooting opportunity after great work from Jozy Altidore to slip him in on the right-hand side of the area.
  • 46'
    Southampton get us back underway for the second half at the Stadium of Light.
  • HALF-TIME: Sunderland 1-2 Southampton. Somehow, the Black Cats still have their noses in this. Pochettino's side have been outstanding in the opening period but have failed to really press home their advantage given their dominance. Jay Rodriguez and Dejan Lovren both scored with superb strikes but Fabio Borini capitalised on defensive uncertainty to keep the hosts alive.
  • 45' + 1'
    Steven Davis wins a free-kick in a promising position for Southampton but Lambert's excellent free-kick is pushed aside for a corner by Mannone.
  • 44'
    Alonso flights a ball towards Sebastian Larsson but the Swede, in looking for Jozy Altidore, can only nod down close to Boruc before the Polish stopper commands his area well to claim Johnson's cross.
  • 42'
    Adam Lallana skips away from challenges and probes at the Sunderland defence before feeding Rodriguez, who gets off a similar snapshot to his goal, but this time it sails well wide.
  • 40'
    More good football from the away side sees Lambert freed down the right but he is unable to pick out a telling pass. Southampton have responded well to conceding.
  • 38'
    Yellow Card Sung-Yong Ki
  • 38'
    Ki Sung-Yueng goes into the book for a late challenge on the impressive Jack Cork.
  • 36'
    It's a real end-to-end affair right now, with the visitors still posing a very tangible threat on the counter but that goal should give Gus Poyet's side renewed confidence and belief.
  • 34'
    Marcos Alonso senses the chance to ram home Sunderland's renewed confidence and wins a corner after a surging run down the left flank.
  • 32'
    Assist Adam Johnson
  • 32'
    Goal Fabio Borini
    GOAL! It's an instant reply from the home side as Fabio Borini hauls Sunderland right back into it. Adam Johnson's ball into the area finds the Italian, who finds a gap in the Saints backline before chesting the ball down and volleying into the bottom corner beyond Artur Boruc's reach. Game on!
  • 31'
    Assist Steven Davis
  • 31'
    Goal Dejan Lovren
    GOAL! Dejan Lovren makes it two and what a finish from the central defender! The ball in from Steven Davis comes out to the edge of the area and the Croatian arcs an acrobatic volley into the far corner past Mannone.
  • 28'
    WHAT A CHANCE! Woeful defending from Wes Brown in trying to deal with a high ball gifts Lambert the ball and he unselfishly tees up his strike partner Rodriguez but, unlike the poise he showed for the opener, his low finish is far too close to Mannone. Could, and perhaps should, have been 2-0.
  • 26'
    Shaw does exceptionally well to stick to his task with Adam Johnson - who seems the most threatening player for the home side - as he prevents the cross from coming in and concedes a throw-in.
  • 24'
    Calum Chambers sprints away down the right but his attempt at a cross is intercepted and heads through to Mannone, who does well to stop the ball from skidding out of play.
  • 22'
    SO CLOSE! More wonderful play from the Saints as Lambert goes desperately close to a second. The striker plays a beautiful dummy on the edge of the area which sells the Sunderland defence but, after Steven Davis returns the ball, Lambert somewhat scuffs his shot wide, with Rodriguez following in.
  • 20'
    Some of the football from Southampton has been scintillating in this first 20 minutes as they look to bury the gloom surrounding the club in the last week. This time, Lambert looks for Rodriguez once more after neat interplay but Mannone is alert to prevent the ball from finding him.
  • 18'
    Southampton force a succession of corners and have a valid penalty appeal as John O'Shea tugs down Jose Fonte. Shaw then almost benefits from poor Sunderland defending as his low cross is deflected onto a post by the retreating Adam Johnson.
  • 16'
    Adam Lallana skips down the right and delivers a centre which finds the onrushing Rodriguez. His contact isn't the cleanest, however, and it bobbles through to Wes Brown, who is able to clear easily.
  • 14'
    Luke Shaw whips in a teasing cross which Mannone has to come out and deal with as Rickie Lambert lurked at the far post, looking to turn home.
  • 12'
    Vito Mannone's poor clearance is charged down by Jack Cork but the midfielder's ambitious effort from near the halfway line flies off target. A nervous moment for the Italian though, with Sunderland under incessant pressure already.
  • 11'
    Yellow Card Lee Cattermole
  • 10'
    Lee Cattermole goes into the referee's notebook for scything down Jay Rodriguez after the goalscorer nipped in to win the ball and accelerated away from the Sunderland midfielder.
  • 8'
    Sunderland are struggling to get out of their own half here, with the Saints happy to stroke the ball around and invite challenges from a stunned Black Cats side.
  • 6'
    Jack Cork looks to release the lively Jay Rodriguez again but his pass is slightly over-hit and it eventually rolls straight through to Vito Mannone in the Sunderland goal.
  • 4'
    Assist Morgan Schneiderlin
  • 4'
    Goal Jay Rodriguez
    GOAL! Southampton lead and they are rewarded for their bright start with the opening goal of the contest through Jay Rodriguez. The Saints thread the ball through an eye of a needle courtesy of Morgan Schneiderlin's pass and Rodriguez takes a couple of touches before slamming into the bottom corner. What a start for the visitors.
  • 3'
    Southampton have settled into a fluent early rhythm, stroking the ball around and making their hosts chase shadows in the opening exchanges.
  • 1'
    Sunderland get the ball rolling and we are underway at the Stadium of Light.
  • Sunderland's home matches will go a long way towards determining their fate and a win today would take them out of the drop zone. You sense victory for either South American boss on Saturday would be sweet for very different reasons.
  • The four-goal salvo at Fulham was a welcome boost for Sunderland but perhaps more encouraging is how they have performed defensively of late. They have kept five clean sheets from their last 11 Premier League outings.
  • The hosts have won their last three in as many different competitions and have lost just one of their last six in the Premier League. If they record back-to-back league wins for the first time this season this afternoon, then confidence and belief will continue to permeate through the Black Cats' ranks.
  • The Black Cats, themselves, are all too aware of the need for stability and solidity with Gus Poyet becoming their sixth boss in five years.
  • Sunderland, meanwhile managed to make headlines on the pitch, and the right ones at that, with a crucial 4-1 win at Fulham, a result which lifted them off the bottom of the table.
  • The Saints will be hoping to put things right today and will hope last weekend's 1-0 win over West Bromwich Albion can act as a springboard to further arrest a run before that of just five points from 27, amid reports of uncertainty behind the scenes.
  • Pochettino told the press this week that he will be in charge at least until the end of the season, but admitted the events that have unfolded have been a distraction. The rumours around his potential departure were as inevitable as they were justifiable.
  • Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino has endured a torrid week after chairman Nicola Cortese's departure sparked rumours of an exodus from the club. Today's match falls a year to the day since Cortese raised a few eyebrows by appointing the South American.
  • Poyet is able to field more or less his best Xi this afternoon as his injury list shortens. Kieren Westwood and Carlos Cuellar are the only absentees today.
  • The last time these two met at the Stadium of Light in November's Capital One Cup quarter-final, with Sebastian Larsson - who returns to the first-team fold today - firing the winning goal. I wonder if that played a part in manager Gus Poyet's thinking.
  • So that makes for two changes for the hosts, with Sebastian Larsson and Jozy Altidore coming in to replace Jack Colback and Steven Fletcher respectively while the Saints make just the one change of their own, with Calum Chambers replacing Nathaniel Clyne.
  • And here are the substitutes for both sides this afternoon: Sunderland: Gardner, Fletcher, Celustka, Pickford, Colback, Giaccherini, Roberge. Southampton: K Davis, Clyne, Yoshida, Ramirez, Ward-Prowse, Guly, Hooiveld.
  • Southampton: Boruc; Chambers, Fonte, Lovren, Shaw; Cork, Schneiderlin; Lallana, S Davis, Rodriguez; Lambert.
  • Team news is in, and it goes as follows: Sunderland: Mannone; Bardsley, Brown, O'Shea, Alonso; Cattermole, Ki Sung-Yueng; Johnson, Larsson, Borini; Altidore.
  • Good afternoon and welcome to this LIVE commentary of Sunderland v Southampton for the early kick-off in the Premier League.