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Liverpool 2-2 Sunderland: Black Cats rally to undo Firmino heroics

  • Firmino goal, assist helps Reds to lead
  • Johnson and Defoe counter for Black Cats
  • Reds have five points in six matches
  • LFC manager Klopp misses with illness

Adam Johnson and Jermaine Defoe scored to erase a 2-0 deficit at Anfield, as Sunderland picked up a point at Anfield with a 2-2 draw against Liverpool on Saturday.

Roberto Firmino had a goal and an assist, while Adam Lallana also scored for Liverpool, who did not have Jurgen Klopp thanks to a suspected bout with appendicitis.

Sunderland is 19th, four points back of 17th place Newcastle United, while the Reds fall behind Merseyside rivals Everton and into 8th place on goal differential.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Lallana forced a 20th minute turnover that nearly turned into the opener, as the ex-Saints man slipped in Alberto Moreno down the left side only to see the defender’s shot parried wide.

The Reds were the far bigger threat in the first half, but those 45 minutes didn’t produce a goal.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

0.63 - Sunderland have the worst points per game average of any current Premier League side in the month of February (0.63). Glum.

— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 6, 2016

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

The second half was another story, and the match hadn’t hit the hour mark when James Milner’s cross found the head of Firmino to make it 1-0 to the Anfield set.

The Black Cats came close to equalizing through Patrick van Aanholt, but the shot rocketed free of the frame.

Liverpool doubled its lead in the 70th minute, when Firmino stripped Billy Jones and dribbled toward Vito Mannone before cutting back to Lallana.

The Black Cats pulled one back in the 82nd minute, as Johnson took advantage of a poorly-positioned wall. Sunderland had a sniff at this.

Defoe made it square in the 89th minute when he took Wahbi Khazri’s pass and turned past Mamadou Sakho to lash a shot behind Simon Mignolet. Remarkably, things were level.

Follow @NicholasMendola