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Darren Bent leaves the field to be replaced by Boudewijn Zenden.
Daniel Agger produces a headed effort from deep inside the six-yard box which goes wide of the right-hand upright.
Joe Cole sends in a cross, save by Simon Mignolet.
Corner taken by Steven Gerrard from the right by-line.
Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Raul Meireles played to the near post, Phillip Bardsley manages to make a clearance.
A cross is delivered by Glen Johnson, clearance made by Michael Turner.
Joe Cole delivers the ball, Titus Bramble makes a clearance.
Simon Mignolet goes into the referee's book for time wasting.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Dirk Kuyt on Phillip Bardsley. Simon Mignolet restarts play with the free kick.
Unfair challenge on Nedum Onuoha by David Ngog results in a free kick. The free kick is swung in right-footed by Jordan Henderson, Glen Johnson makes a clearance.
(Sunderland) makes a substitution, with Cristian Riveros coming on for Steed Malbranque.
Dirk Kuyt sends in a cross, David Ngog produces a header from deep inside the six-yard box which goes wide of the right-hand post.
Shot from just outside the area by Glen Johnson misses to the left of the target.
Steven Gerrard challenges Asamoah Gyan unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Simon Mignolet.
The ball is sent over by Dirk Kuyt, Titus Bramble manages to make a clearance. Dirk Kuyt delivers the ball, clearance by Nedum Onuoha.
The ball is crossed by Phillip Bardsley, Raul Meireles manages to make a clearance.
Daniel Agger challenges Steed Malbranque unfairly and gives away a free kick. The free kick is swung in right-footed by Jordan Henderson, Glen Johnson makes a clearance.
Danny Welbeck goes off and Asamoah Gyan comes on.
Glen Johnson challenges Steed Malbranque unfairly and gives away a free kick. Simon Mignolet takes the direct free kick.
The ball is swung over by Raul Meireles, clearance by Titus Bramble.
Dirk Kuyt has an effort at goal from outside the penalty area which goes wide right of the goal.
Glen Johnson sends in a cross, clearance by Nedum Onuoha.
The ball is swung over by Glen Johnson, Michael Turner manages to make a clearance.
David Ngog takes a shot. Save by Simon Mignolet. Fernando Torres takes a shot. Save by Simon Mignolet.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Danny Welbeck by Steven Gerrard. Direct free kick taken by Phillip Bardsley. Steven Gerrard goes into the referee's book for unsporting behaviour.
Steed Malbranque concedes a free kick for a foul on David Ngog. Free kick taken by Jose Reina.
Danny Welbeck concedes a free kick for a foul on Glen Johnson. Direct free kick taken by Jose Reina.
Fernando Torres produces a cross, Steven Gerrard finds the net with a headed goal from close in. Liverpool 2-2 Sunderland.Fernando Torres provided the assist for the goal.
Centre by Ahmed Elmohamady, Glen Johnson manages to make a clearance.
Joe Cole produces a right-footed shot from just outside the box that misses to the right of the goal.
Phillip Bardsley crosses the ball, Jamie Carragher makes a clearance. Effort on goal by Jordan Henderson from just outside the area goes harmlessly over the target.
David Ngog joins the action as a substitute, replacing Christian Poulsen.
Steed Malbranque produces a right-footed shot from outside the box and misses left.
Dirk Kuyt gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Titus Bramble. Dirk Kuyt receives a caution. Michael Turner takes the direct free kick.
Jordan Henderson crosses the ball, clearance by Martin Skrtel.
Unfair challenge on Nedum Onuoha by Fernando Torres results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Michael Turner. Fernando Torres receives a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.
Unfair challenge on Fernando Torres by Michael Turner results in a free kick. Daniel Agger takes the free kick.
Foul by Darren Bent on Martin Skrtel, free kick awarded. Martin Skrtel takes the free kick.
Long range shot by Lee Cattermole goes wide right of the net.
Jordan Henderson takes a shot. Save by Jose Reina.
Jordan Henderson takes a shot. Save made by Jose Reina.
Darren Bent is ruled offside. Indirect free kick taken by Jose Reina.
Titus Bramble challenges Fernando Torres unfairly and gives away a free kick. Jamie Carragher restarts play with the free kick.
Nedum Onuoha crosses the ball, Darren Bent scores a headed goal from close in. Liverpool 1-2 Sunderland.Assist by Nedum Onuoha.
Effort on goal by Danny Welbeck from deep inside the penalty area misses to the right of the target.
Ahmed Elmohamady has an effort at goal from just inside the box that misses to the right of the target.
The referee penalises Joe Cole for handball. Michael Turner takes the direct free kick.
The ball is sent over by Ahmed Elmohamady, clearance made by Glen Johnson.
Jordan Henderson delivers the ball, Jamie Carragher makes a clearance.
The referee gives a free kick against Raul Meireles for handball. Direct free kick taken by Simon Mignolet.
The ball is sent over by Glen Johnson, Titus Bramble makes a clearance.
The ball is delivered by Steed Malbranque.
Christian Poulsen gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Lee Cattermole. Jordan Henderson delivers the ball from the free kick right-footed from left channel.
Daniel Agger crosses the ball, clearance by Phillip Bardsley.
Jamie Carragher concedes a free kick for a foul on Darren Bent. Strike on goal comes in from Jordan Henderson from the free kick.
Joe Cole is adjudged to have handled the ball. Direct free kick taken by Simon Mignolet.
Outswinging corner taken by Jordan Henderson from the right by-line played to the near post, Ahmed Elmohamady has an effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the right of the goal.
Paul Konchesky leaves the field to be replaced by Daniel Agger.
Christian Poulsen is adjudged to have handled the ball. Darren Bent scores a power penalty. Liverpool 1-1 Sunderland.Assist by Ahmed Elmohamady.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Danny Welbeck on Martin Skrtel. Jamie Carragher takes the free kick.
Martin Skrtel produces a right-footed shot from just outside the box that goes wide left of the target.
Raul Meireles takes a shot. Save by Simon Mignolet.
Fernando Torres delivers the ball, clearance made by Michael Turner.
Jordan Henderson produces a cross, Jamie Carragher manages to make a clearance.
Centre by Glen Johnson, save by Simon Mignolet.
Christian Poulsen challenges Steed Malbranque unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Ahmed Elmohamady.
Unfair challenge on Steed Malbranque by Fernando Torres results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Jordan Henderson.
Centre by Ahmed Elmohamady, Michael Turner produces a right-footed shot from deep inside the penalty area which goes wide of the left-hand post.
Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Jordan Henderson. A cross is delivered by Nedum Onuoha, Glen Johnson makes a clearance.
The ball is crossed by Titus Bramble.
The ball is delivered by Danny Welbeck, clearance made by Glen Johnson. Short corner taken by Jordan Henderson. The ball is crossed by Jordan Henderson, blocked by Christian Poulsen.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Joe Cole on Nedum Onuoha. Free kick taken by Michael Turner.
Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Steven Gerrard. Effort from outside the area by Joe Cole goes wide right of the goal.
Effort on goal by Fernando Torres from just inside the penalty box goes harmlessly over the target.
Glen Johnson concedes a free kick for a foul on Titus Bramble. Simon Mignolet takes the direct free kick.
Dirk Kuyt finds the back of the net with a goal from the edge of the penalty area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Liverpool 1-0 Sunderland.Assist on the goal came from Fernando Torres.
A goal is scored by Dirk Kuyt from the edge of the penalty box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Liverpool 1-0 Sunderland.Assist by Fernando Torres.
Goal scored by Dirk Kuyt from just inside the area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Liverpool 1-0 Sunderland.Assist by Fernando Torres.
Raul Meireles challenges Titus Bramble unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Michael Turner.
Lee Cattermole concedes a free kick for a foul on Joe Cole. Free kick crossed right-footed by Steven Gerrard. The assistant referee flags for offside against Fernando Torres. Free kick taken by Simon Mignolet.
A cross is delivered by Joe Cole, clearance made by Titus Bramble.
The referee gets the game underway.
The first half comes to an end.
The second half kicks off.
The referee blows his whistle to end the game.
Reds set to restore big names
Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson will most likely drop all the players who performed so badly in midweek for the Barclays Premier League game at home to Sunderland.
Hodgson made 11 changes from the side which lost at Manchester United last weekend but his understrength team embarrassingly lost to League Two Northampton in the Carling Cup.
It seems unlikely any of those players will be retained as the likes of Steven Gerrard, Fernando Torres, Joe Cole and Jose Reina return.
Forward Dirk Kuyt may make a comeback after a quicker-than-expected recovery from a shoulder injury earlier this month but defender Fabio Aurelio (Achilles) is still injured.
Hodgson admits a victory may allow him to sleep easier but will not provide an instant fix to what has been a difficult start to the season.
However, he has dismissed critics who say his squad does not have enough quality to finish in the top four, insisting regaining their Champions League status remains well within their capabilities.
Their next two league matches against the Black Cats and Blackpool the following weekend represent an opportunity to get things back on track - especially as they are currently only three points off fourth place.
But Hodgson knows it is what the team can do over the entire campaign which will decide whether they are successful or not.
"It will take more time than a win," said the Reds boss in response to suggestions the Sunderland game could turn things around completely.
"It will certainly make my life a bit happier and I shall sleep a bit better on Saturday night if we get a win - but we might not.
"Nothing I can say changes the result on Wednesday or repair any damage done by the poor performance.
"What will change everything is a good performance on Saturday, a good (Europa League) performance in Utrecht on Thursday and a good performance against Blackpool the following Sunday.
"Maybe then there will be a totally different atmosphere and attitude."
Titus Bramble is set to start at Liverpool as Sunderland boss Steve Bruce attempts to find a solution to a major defensive headache.
The 29-year-old is included in the squad despite being questioned by police over an allegation of rape in midweek.
His presence will be a major plus for Bruce, who has seen both Kieran Richardson and Anton Ferdinand join John Mensah (calf) on the sidelines with hamstring problems sustained during Tuesday's Carling Cup defeat by West Ham, although Michael Turner (ankle) has returned to training.
Record signing Asamoah Gyan is a major doubt with a hamstring injury, although skipper Lee Cattermole returns from a two-match ban following his second red card of the campaign.
Goalkeeper Craig Gordon is close to returning to full training after breaking his arm, but striker Fraizer Campbell is facing six months out after undergoing knee surgery and David Meyler (also knee) is a long-term casualty.
Goalkeeper Simon Mignolet is confident Sunderland can end their miserable run at Anfield.
The Black Cats head for Anfield having failed even to score there in a decade with just two draws to show for their past seven visits.
Not since September 2000, when Michael Owen cancelled out Kevin Phillips' early strike, have the Wearsiders found the back of the net on the red half of Merseyside, and that is a situation they are keen to change as they attempt to improve their dreadful form on the road.
Bruce's men won only twice on their travels last season and are yet to register this.
Mignolet said: "Let's hope we can change that, let's hope we can get some points out of it.
"Ten years is a long time, so it is maybe time to change something."
Gerrard earns Reds a controversial point
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard once again came to his side's rescue but it was referee Stuart Attwell at the centre of attention with an erratic display in Sunderland's 2-2 draw at Anfield.
The official, who awarded the infamous "ghost goal" in the Championship two years ago, allowed Dirk Kuyt's opening strike to count after ruling Michael Turner had taken a free-kick when he appeared to roll it back to goalkeeper Simon Mignolet.
Darren Bent hit back with a penalty and a header either side of half-time before Gerrard nodded in Fernando Torres' near-post cross to salvage a point.
Reds manager Roy Hodgson had stressed his side should not be judged by the second-string's Carling Cup defeat to League Two Northampton in midweek but his first XI were almost as bad.
They were gifted one goal but managed to create little themselves and were again indebted to their inspirational captain for only briefly dragging them out of mediocrity.
Torres also played his part early on but cut an increasingly frustrated figure as Liverpool seemed to go backwards.
Only two minutes in he had the ball in the net after controlling Gerrard's free-kick on his chest and volleying in only to be denied by a very marginal offside decision.
His next intervention three minutes later had far more impact, although he was given a huge helping hand by Attwell.
When Sunderland were awarded a free-kick 10 yards inside their half Turner tapped the ball back towards Simon Mignolet, presumably intending for the goalkeeper to take it.
Torres turned to look at Attwell, who was in charge when Reading `scored' at Watford on September 20 2008 despite the ball going yards wide of the post, who immediately waved play on.
Mignolet stood on the edge of his penalty area raising one arm aloft in the vain hope Torres would take pity but the 26-year-old was not in a sympathetic mood and rolled a pass for Kuyt, back in the side after a quicker-than-expected recovery from a shoulder injury, to slide a shot into the net.
Turner's challenge on the Spaniard in the 17th minute could have resulted in a penalty but, considering his earlier decision, the 27-year-old Attwell ignored appeals.
Everything seemed to be going in Liverpool's favour but, as been the case on several occasions already this season, they conspired to shoot themselves in the foot.
Gerrard's weak header back towards his own goal would have put Bent in had Jose Reina not dived feet-first to clear the danger.
If it was a warning to tighten up the Reds did not heed it as Attwell was called into action again in the 25th minute, although this time his decision was a little more straightforward as Ahmed Elmohamady's cross hit Christian Poulsen's arm.
Bent's penalty went under the Reina's body.
Things went from bad to worse as Paul Konchesky had to be replaced by makeshift left-back Daniel Agger before half-time and then Sunderland went ahead just after the interval.
Nedum Onuoha's right-wing cross was a good one but Glen Johnson was caught ball-watching the wrong side of Bent as the striker nipped in at the far post to head his side in front.
Even the usually reliable Reina was rattled, scuffing one clearance straight at Jordan Henderson who almost punished the error with a long-range shot.
Torres' temper was bubbling over and after diving in at Onuoha he was fortunate to escape with only a yellow card after visibly showing dissent to Attwell.
Hodgson made a positive substitution by replacing defensive midfielder Poulsen with striker David Ngog, bringing Meireles inside and moving Kuyt out to the right.
But with the game seemingly drifting away from them, Liverpool's two star players dragged them back into the contest midway through the half.
Torres beat Bardsley close to the right touchline and swung over an inviting cross which Gerrard headed in at the near post.
The England midfielder was booked for catching Danny Welbeck in the face with his arm as they challenged for the ball as the atmosphere began to heat up.
Liverpool, at least, were now showing some desire and Ngog forced a low save out of Mignolet, Kuyt fired just wide, Turner cleared off the line from Ngog and Agger headed wide.
But the result did little to lift the growing feeling of discontent in and around the club and sit-in protest against unpopular American owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett at the final whistle only highlighted problems yet to be overcome.
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