Sunderland vs. Southampton: Final score 1-1, Safety still not guarenteed for either side

Scott Heavey

After a dire first half, things were a bit more interesting in the second half as Phil Bardsley gave Sunderland a lead that they ultimately couldn't hold thanks to a short range tap-in by Jason Puncheon.

Neither side will be particularly happy to have not won but there were far worse results in the relegation scheme than a 1-1 draw between Southampton and Sunderland.

More from our team blogs: Sunderland blog Roker Report

The Black Cats are not four points clear of Wigan while Soton are five points clear. Both sides will now turn their attention to Tuesday's Wigan match against Arsenal where a loss or draw for the Lactics would make the final day of the season completely pointless, at least at the bottom of the table.

So let's recap the first half. Southampton were the better team, they looked fluid in the midfield but once they finally arrived in the final third they looked like the guy in Clerks checking out all the eggs. If you haven't see than movie, just imagine someone looking confused and having no real plan.

As for Sunderland they didn't look like a team that's battling against potential relegation. In fact their entire half was encapsulated by a moment in the 39th minute when John O'Shea flicked on a header across the face of goal and not a single teammate made a run forward at the ball, they all just watched it roll by.

Things were much the same in the second half but a moment of brilliance from Phil Bardsley finally gave the match a much needed lead and put the Black Cats in front in the 68th minute. After a tipped ball off defender Jos Hooiveld got the Soton defense a little out of alignment, Sunderland quickly moved the ball out to Bardsley on the right edge of the box and he unleashed a wonderful shot that eluded Artur Boruc.

Soton battled back in the 76th minute when James Ward-Prowse's cross in from the left found Jason Puncheon right in front of the goal. The midfielder's header was saved brilliantly by Simon Mignolet but he couldn't control the ball and Puncheon was able to kick the ball into the net from the ground to pull Soton back even at 1-1.

Soton had what looked like a a winner in the 87th minute when Rickie Lambert got loose in the box and sent a shot towards the far post that was saved by Mignolet with his fingertips.

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