It finished Liverpool 1-1 Sunderland at Anfield after Sebastian Larsson’s sublime volley cancelled out Luis Suarez’s opener. Liverpool came flying out of the traps, with Luis Suarez winning an early penalty which he subsequently blasted into the stratosphere. He made amends shortly afterwards, glancing home a Charlie Adam cross.
Stewart Downing went close too, going on a penetrating run from the right wing and firing a fierce left-footed shot against Simon Mignolet’s crossbar. But after half-time, Liverpool began to fade badly.
Sunderland had been making progress down the flanks and raining in a number of good-quality crosses, and it was no surprise when their goal came from exactly that, Sebastian Larsson producing a brilliantly-executed volley to put away Ahmen Elmohamaddy’s cross.
What followed was an open, absorbing contest, with the game flowing from end to end. Stephane Sessegnon was lively in midfield but his attempts on goal were poor. As the game wore on, Liverpool became visibly tired and frustrated, and began to give away fouls and possession cheaply, something that will worry Kenny Dalglish.
Nonetheless, he will be pleased that many of his new signings looked to fit in well – but it will be Steve Bruce who goes home the happiest of the two, a good comeback from his side to earn a much-deserved point in one of his most difficult games of the season.