Defoe at the double
SUNDERLAND, England (AP):
Jermain Defoe denied Liverpool a fifth successive English Premier League win by scoring twice to give struggling Sunderland a 2-2 draw yesterday.
Sadio ManE, playing his final game before heading to the African Cup of Nations with Senegal, looked to have won the game for Liverpool in the 72nd minute after Defoe had cancelled out Daniel Sturridge's opener by converting a penalty.
However, ManE's handball, with five minutes remaining, presented a second penalty, which Defoe also scored to secure a valuable point in Sunderland's bid for survival.
Liverpool are in second place, five points behind Chelsea, which can pull eight points clear of J,ergen Klopp's side with a victory at Tottenham on Wednesday.
The manner of Liverpool's 19th-minute opener jarred with the quality of the early attacking play in northeast England. Defender Dejan Lovren scuffed his attempted volley from James Milner's corner harmlessly into the ground, but saw the ball bounce up off the turf for Sturridge to head past helpless goalkeeper Vito Mannone from close range.
But Sunderland was level six minutes later. Liverpool defender Ragnar Klavan clumsily upended midfielder Didier N'Dong as he burst into the penalty area and Defoe slammed the resulting penalty into the bottom corner.