Match Analysis: Sunderland 2-2 Southampton

Southampton's Dejan Lovren scores his team's second goal against Sunderland during their Premier League match on January 18, 2014

Sunderland fought back from two goals down to earn a 2-2 draw at home to Southampton in the Premier League on Saturday.

Jay Rodriguez and Dejan Lovren put the visitors in command with just 30 minutes on the clock before Fabio Borini pulled a goal back for the home side soon after.

The Black Cats then secured themselves a share of the spoils when Adam Johnson fired home with 20 minutes left to play.

Here, Sports Mole takes a closer look at the action between the two sides at the Stadium of Light.

Match statistics

Sunderland
Shots: 10
On target: 5
Possession: 37%
Corners: 4
Fouls: 8

Southampton
Shots: 17
On target: 8
Possession: 63%
Corners: 7
Fouls: 8

Was the result fair?

Southampton will be scratching their heads wondering how they did not come away with the three points because they really should have seen this match out. The visitors dominated large spells of the encounter on Wearside, but a lack of finishing always gave Sunderland a chance of getting something.

Sunderland’s performance

The Black Cats were completely overwhelmed during the first half as they failed to live with Southampton’s slick passing and high tempo. They struggled to win the ball off their opponents and gave it away easily once they finally got in possession. There was a change after the break, but it would be remiss to call this a game of two halves. Gus Poyet obviously told his players to show a bit more intensity, and they duly did, though they will consider themselves lucky to have snatched a point from a game where they were mostly outplayed.

Southampton’s performance

The Saints looked irresistible in the opening 45 minutes thanks to a blend of composed link-up play and ruthless attacking intent. Such was the ease with which they brushed Sunderland aside, you would have been forgiven for thinking that they would score from every surge forward. They dropped off somewhat after the break, but they still gave the hosts plenty of footballing lessons. However, the one area which ultimately cost them was in front of goal. Had this been another day they could have had about five or six goals to their name. Instead, they allowed Sunderland back in the game.

Sports Mole’s man of the match

Jay Rodriguez: The Southampton forward was a threat throughout as his pace and clever passing caused Sunderland innumerable problems. Not only was he involved in the away side’s every attack, but he also opened the scoring with a sensational half-volley.

Biggest gaffe

While Jay Rodriguez’s opening goal was a thing of clinical beauty, the Sunderland defence looked like a bunch of amateurs as they failed to clear the ball time and again during the build-up. A shambles.

Referee performance

Chris Foy gave a measured display out in the middle, though his decision not to book Wes Brown for a foul on Gaston Ramirez that saw the Uruguayan leave the pitch on a stretcher was one that is sure to be discussed at length.

What next?

Sunderland: The Black Cats return to League Cup semi-final action on Wednesday when they travel to Manchester United looking to defend their 2-1 lead from the first leg.

Southampton: The Saints continue their FA Cup campaign next Saturday as Yeovil Town travel to St Mary’s Stadium.

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