the republic logo

Klopp, fans absent as Sunderland recovers from 2 goals down to draw 2-2 with Liverpool in EPL

bug
Share/Save/Bookmark

LIVERPOOL, England — Relegation-threatened Sunderland came from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Liverpool in the Premier League on Saturday with manager missing and many home fans having left before the visitors rescued a point.

Klopp was absent from the Anfield dugout with a suspected bout of appendicitis, and first-team duties were left to his two trusted assistants, Zeljko Buvac and Peter Krawietz.

Neither of them, both with Klopp at Borussia Dortmund, could have envisaged a draw with 10 minutes remaining as the home side had established a 2-0 lead.

Nor could the many supporters seen leaving in the 77th minute, with that two-goal advantage still intact, as they staged a protest against rising ticket prices.

Liverpool looked set for victory after scored one and created another in a lively second half following a forgetful first.

The first period will best be remembered for the loss of defender and midfielder , although 's name on the substitute bench for the first time in two months, will be the one positive on an otherwise sour day.

crossed for Firmino to head past Sunderland goalkeeper in the 59th before the Brazilian international set up for the second in the 70th. The 24-year-old Firmino robbed in possession before racing toward goal and squaring for Lallana to tap in.

From that point, a home victory looked certain but goalkeeper allowed 's free kick in the 82nd to creep in at his near post. The Belgian goalkeeper was left ruing that error when striker lashed in the equalizer with two minutes remaining.

, making his first start for Sunderland since joining from French side Bordeaux in January, found Defoe on the edge of the area and he expertly held off defender before turning and firing past Mignolet.

"You think your day is over when you are 0-2 down at Anfield. But we fought back with two quality goals and got a point by not giving up," Sunderland boss said. "It was 'never say die' until the end. When we went two down it looked like the fear had left us and we played better with the ball".

That point leaves Sunderland second from bottom with 20 points, four adrift of regional rival Newcastle, which moved out of the bottom three following a 1-0 win over West Brom also Saturday.

Liverpool has 35 points, level with Everton following the Toffees' impressive 3-0 win at Stoke.

PHOTO: Sunderland's Duncan Watmore lies injured after a challenge during the English Premier League soccer match against Liverpool at Anfield, Liverpool, England, Saturday Feb. 6, 2016. (Richard Sellers  / PA via AP) UNITED KINGDOM OUT - NO SALES - NO ARCHIVES
Sunderland's Duncan Watmore lies injured after a challenge during the English Premier League soccer match against Liverpool at Anfield, Liverpool, England, Saturday Feb. 6, 2016. (Richard Sellers / PA via AP) UNITED KINGDOM OUT - NO SALES - NO ARCHIVES

Think your friends should see this? Share it with them!

Story copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Feedback, Corrections and Other Requests: AP welcomes feedback and comments from readers. Send an email to info@ap.org and it will be forwarded to the appropriate editor or reporter.


Photo Gallery:
PHOTO: Sunderland's Duncan Watmore lies injured after a challenge during the English Premier League soccer match against Liverpool at Anfield, Liverpool, England, Saturday Feb. 6, 2016. (Richard Sellers  / PA via AP) UNITED KINGDOM OUT - NO SALES - NO ARCHIVES
Click to view (3 Photos)

All content copyright ©2016 The Republic, a publication of AIM Media Indiana unless otherwise noted.
All rights reserved. Privacy policy.