Sunderland 2 Southampton 2

by James, Junior Black Cats reporter

Black Cats come from two behind to gain hard-fought point.

Sunderland came from two goals down to earn a home point against Southampton which left the Lads only one point from safety.

Jay Rodriguez and Dejan Lovren both gave the Saints an early lead with two finely taken goals before Fabio Borini and a thunderbolt strike from Adam Johnson overcame the 2-0 deficit, meaning Sunderland have only lost once in their last seven games.

Poyet made two changes to the side that demolished Fulham a week ago, with Jack Colback and Steven Fletcher having to be content with a place on the bench as Seb Larsson and Jozy Altidore, who both came on from off the bench at Fulham, replaced the duo.

The Black Cats started slowly and found themselves 1-0 down after only four minutes when a deflected ball eventually found itself to Rodriguez on the edge of the Sunderland box and, despite the high number of Sunderland players in the area, the forward had enough time to take the ball down and take a touch before volleying into the net past the helpless Vito Mannone.

The Wearsiders continued to be on the back foot and should have been 2-0 down moments later when some neat play from Rickie Lambert and Morgan Schneiderlin concluded in the lone striker shooting across Mannone and just wide of the far post.

It wasn’t long before Mauricio Pochettino’s men deservedly got their second goal as an Adam Lallana corner was aimed at the edge of the box and centre back Lovren expertly volleyed the ball through a sea of players and into the net.

Sunderland’s reply was instant and came with their first real foray into the Southampton area as Johnson’s ball over the top from the right found Borini and the Italian grabbed his fourth goal of the season with a half volley across the face of goal and in, via the post.

Seb Larsson then slipped Phil Bardsley through from a central free kick early in the second-half but the Scot, however, fired inches wide of the left hand post.

Rodriguez, who had squandered a one-on-one chance with Mannone earlier in the game, again had a good chance to put the game out of Sunderland’s reach  after a fast paced counter attack resulted in Rodriguez seeing his shot saved again.

The Saints were made to rue that chance when Johnson put the Lads level on 71 minutes after firing in from the right, past a stationery Artur Boruc, to score his fifth league goal of the season.

Both Craig Gardner and Fletcher had late chances in the game, both of which former Celtic ‘keeper Boruc matched as the game ended a fair 2-2.