LIV
SUN
90+1
There's three minutes of injury time, and not long left if Sunderland are going to find a way through here. Have Liverpool made it or will there be another chance?
89'
John O'Shea - no stranger to late winners in front of the Kop - really should have scored there. Adam Johnson's free-kick found him at the back post but he couldn't turn the ball home. Huge let-off for Liverpool.
87'
Johnson bundles over Jack Colback, and now Sunderland have a free-kick to the side of the penalty area - danger here....
85'
Sunderland continue to drive Liverpool back as nerves begin to sink in around the ground. Can they deal a severe blow to the hosts' title hopes?
83'
Sunderland attack and Phil Bardsley sees his effort fly out for a throw-in after being blocked, but it's mysteriously awarded to Liverpool. The game still finely-balanced here at Anfield.
Sunderland Substitution
80'
Suarez is brought down by Bridcutt, and Liverpool have a free-kick. Suarez opts to shoot, but he can't get it on target.
78'
Liverpool try to stop Sunderland's comeback before it can happen, but their attack ends with Suarez floating a tame effort towards goal which Mannone claims with ease. Can the visitors find another? Liverpool have let in three against Cardiff and Swansea and two against Fulham in their last six games, and Sunderland might fancy their chances here too...
Liverpool Substitution
76'
 
GOAL! And it's in! Ki heads home at the back post! And now there's a huge chance for Sunderland to claim something - we may have quite a finale here at Anfield.
76'
Ki - who has looked sharp since coming on - has a decent effort but it's blocked, although Sunderland have a corner as a result.
Sunderland Goal

Header - Bottom Left

74'
Liverpool want a penalty again after Coutinho goes down under contact in the area, although replays show that he had already slipped before the collision was made. Good decision.
72'
Now Sturridge hits the bar at the other end! On his right foot, he curls an effort towards the top corner but leans back just too much and sees it cannon off the woodwork.
71'
Sunderland millimetres away from a goal! Sunderland's pressure continues, and Johnson finds Cattermole - he lashes in a fine effort which looks for all the world like it's going in, but it bounces off the underside of the bar. Amazingly, Cattermole has never scored for the Black Cats. He won't get much closer than that.
68'
This is much better from Sunderland, particularly from Ki Seung-Yeung as they enjoy a spell of pressure on the Liverpool goal, but they can't quite find a decisive pass and the hosts eventually clear.
65'
Coutinho is played in behind the Sunderland defence, and from a tight angle he tries to dink it over the onrushing Mannone, but the Italian stands tall and claims the ball easily. A missed opportunity for Liverpool to well and truly put Sunderland away.
64'
The game seems to have settled down a bit now, which will probably favour Sunderland if anything - usually bigger teams are most comfortable when the pace has gone from the game, but this Liverpool side seem to be the opposite.
61'
 
Johnson and Ki are indeed on, taking the place of Giaccherini and Wickham respectively.
Sunderland Substitution
Sunderland Substitution
60'
Bardsley delivers a deep cross into the Liverpool area looking for Connor Wickham, but Simon Mignolet is out to claim it.
59'
Adam Johnson and Ki Seung-Yeung are warming up for Sunderland. They'll certainly need something else to get anything here, but will it be enough?
56'
Suarez goes down outside the area, but again there's no free-kick. Liverpool look by far the likelier to score next - they have their heads up now and the crowd are lifting them.
54'
Liverpool inches away from a goal! Coutinho cuts the ball back for Daniel Sturridge who neatly curls an effort bound for the far corner, but Suarez gets in the way of it and only finds Mannone with his shot. It may have been going wide anyway, however.
53'
Liverpool look much like their usual selves now and attack with Coutinho, Suarez and Sturridge buzzing around, but Sunderland eventually get it clear.
52'
Sunderland look to find a way back into the game, and Bridcutt tries to play in Giaccherini, but the Italian can't quite reach it.
49'
Yet another reprieve for Sunderland, although it probably won't do them much good now they're two goals down. Suarez was clearly brought down in the area but there's nothing forthcoming from the referee.
48'
 
GOAL! And Liverpool look certain to get all three points here now. Sturridge cuts inside from the right and lets fly, and it takes a large deflection to deceive Mannone and loop into the top corner. It's looking good for Brendan Rodgers' men.
Liverpool Goal

Left Footed - Top Left

46'
An early chance for Suarez as Glen Johnson loses the ball in the area but it falls to the Uruguayan from a tight angle. He opts to shoot right away and gets it all wrong, the ball curling harmlessly wide.
46'
We're back underway here at Anfield. Can Sunderland find a way back?
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And that's half-time. Sunderland still in with a decent shout, and very fortunate to be so given that Vergini has twice been lucky not to be sent off, but Liverpool will be overwhelming favourites to see this one out after Gerrard put them into the lead with a fine free-kick. Nonetheless, we're nicely-positioned for the second half.
45'
Vergini, who is already on a booking, dives in to a tackle on Suarez and gets nowhere near the ball but manages to escape a second yellow card. He is very, very fortunate to still be on the pitch, but at least this time the resulting free-kick comes to nothing.
44'
Sunderland get a pair of corners, but Emmanuele Giaccherini's delivery is poor both times.
42'
Decent from Sunderland - Emmanuele Giaccherini lets fly from the edge of the area and it takes a deflection off Martin Skrtel which threatens to send it into the opposite corner, but Simon Mignolet reacts quickly to tip it away.
40'
 
Sunderland try to press up the pitch, but Phil Bardsley shoves Flanagan over and gets a yellow card for his trouble.
Sunderland Yellow card

Liverpool

Sunderland

39'
 
GOAL! And Steven Gerrard steps up and curls it over the wall and into the net. Mannone was oddly positioned there, and just took a step in the wrong direction as Gerrard stuck the ball before reaching out in vain with his opposite hand. But Liverpool won't care - it's a goal from their captain, and Sunderland are now up against it.
Liverpool Goal

Right Footed - Top Right

37'
 
Huge moment! Liverpool counter-attack after Lee Cattermole gives the ball away, and Suarez gets away and seems to be clear on goal before he's hauled down by Vergini. The referee has a big decision to make, but he decides to award a yellow card, much to the fury of the home fans. Wes Brown might have gotten back, but it could easily have been a red.
Sunderland Yellow card

Liverpool

Sunderland

35'
Suarez escapes down the left and gets between two defenders into a promising position, but his curling effort to the back post is wide.
34'
As well as the visitors are holding out here, they probably can't withstand this level of pressure all game. There's not been much stickiness up front despite Gus Poyet's decision to deploy two big strikers - he may want to make a change there at half-time.
33'
Liverpool now try a short-passing approach, but the Sunderland defence holds firm, and Gerrard's eventual delivery is headed clear.
31'
Some signs of frustration from the Anfield crowd, directed at Jon Flanagan for misplacing a simple pass and at Vito Mannone for the length of time he is choosing to take for his goal-kicks.
28'
Now Coutinho tries to find the perfect delivery, but Vito Mannone comes out to claim it. Liverpool need to keep the ball on the ground and work their opponents far more than they have done in this opening half-hour. Sunderland look like they could hold out all week against this approach.
26'
Suarez finds Coutinho with a fine pass from the wing, but the Brazilian shows too much of the ball as he tries to work space to shoot, and Bardsley pounces with a fine sliding-tackle. Sunderland holding out very well so far.
25'
Giaccherini almost lets Suarez in, but he soon goes down under minimal, if any contact from the Sunderland defence. Liverpool howl for a free-kick, but there's nothing doing from the referee.
24'
There's been a distinct lack of intricacy in Liverpool's attacks so far, and none moreso than here, when an attack breaks down after Glen Johnson plods forward and whacks a cross from deep out of play.
22'
That's better - Sunderland get up the pitch and attempt to probe for an opening, but in the end Phil Bardsley sends in a decent cross but nobody is attacking it and the opportunity goes.
20'
Liverpool are beginning to put some real, extended pressure on the visitors now. Sunderland are struggling to get out of their own half even when they can get hold of the ball.
18'
A worry for Liverpool? Suarez tries to find Sturridge - the England forward can't quite get on the end of it but he comes away clutching his neck in pain. It looks as though he'll be fine to continue, however...
17'
Sunderland have the ball and attempt to advance up the pitch, only for John O'Shea to skelp an attempted cross-field ball out of play. They could do without that, the visitors.
15'
Luis Suarez, who is playing very deep, plays in Glen Johnson for a promising position but he's called offside, which is just as well as he shanked his effort rather badly.
13'
Liverpool haven't quite gone hell-for-leather yet but there are promising signs for Sunderland, who are having decent spells in possession and are frustrating Liverpool with their back five denying the room for their forwards to maneouvre. This could be an interesting one.
10'
Now Sturridge tries again from the edge of the area, but he's well-marshalled by defenders and his shot flies over. Liverpool need to be a bit more patient in their attacks, but there's plenty of time to go yet.
9'
Sturridge cuts inside and thumps one at goal from the edge of the area, but it's blocked before Sunderland get a foul. Liverpool getting in good positions but as yet they haven't managed to penetrate the Sunderland backline.
8'
Sunderland on the attack now - Phil Bardsley shows some skill (yes, really) to control a long ball and escape his market but then quickly loses the ball afterwards, before Liam Bridcutt has a go from thirty yards, but his shot is well over.
7'
Luis Suarez tries his luck, but it curls away from goal and goes over the bar.
6'
Daniel Sturridge goes down outside the area while receiving a pass from Jon Flanagan - that's a soft free-kick, but it's an opportunity nonetheless for Liverpool...
5'
Coutinho takes up a central position, cutting inside and letting fly from considerable range with a curling effort, but it's nowhere near to being on target.
4'
Sunderland on the attack now - they try to play down the left, and a fine ball to Andrea Dossena looks promising, but he hooks it back for Emmanuele Giaccherini, who isn't quite on the same wavelength and the move breaks down.
3'
Coutinho darts down the right before advancing towards the area, then cutting the ball back for Glen Johnson, who lets fly with his left foot from range. High and wide.
2'
Nervy start for Sunderland - Liverpool get the ball down the right and whip in a dangerous-looking cross. The recently-introduced Santiago Vergini is there, and just about gets it under control and avoids scoring what would've been a comical own-goal.
1'
And we're away. Sunderland get things started.
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We're close to kick-off here, and the atmosphere at Anfield is pretty much what you would expect.
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And there are the raw, brutal numbers for your perusal. Liverpool, however, have conceded nine goals in their last six league games. That included two clean sheets at Old Trafford and St. Mary's, but they also let three in against Cardiff and Swansea and two against Fulham, all of whom are at around the same level or below as Sunderland. Hope springs eternal for Gus Poyet's men.

Sturridge/Suarez - 121 goals in 236 PL games. Altidore/Wickham - 3 goals in 90 PL games.

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Should you wish to get in touch for any reason, you can do so on Twitter at @Callum_TH. Are Liverpool worthy of being considered along with Chelsea and Manchester City for the title or will they run out of steam? Arsenal have now surely bowed out, so it's now down to three....
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Speaking of Mr Altidore, Americans and Sunderland fans of a furious disposition may wish to disregard the contents of this tweet.
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It's safe to say you probably couldn't get two strikeforces further apart in form than the players spearheading these two teams, and if someone is going to stop Liverpool, you wouldn't bet on it being Sunderland at Anfield. But the good news for the visitors is that the Reds' backline has continued to look shaky in recent weeks, and that is surely their Achilles' heel and Gus Poyet's best hope of victory.
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So, Connor Wickham does indeed start, along with Jozy Altidore - two forwards who have both struggled for goals this season. Meanwhile, Coutinho starts for Liverpool with Raheem Sterling returning to the bench, while January signing Liam Bridcutt partners Lee Cattermole in a tough-looking midfield for the visitors.
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LIVERPOOL: Mignolet, Flanagan, Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Gerrard, Allen, Henderson, Coutinho, Suarez, Sturridge. Subs: Jones, Sterling, Aspas, Sakho, Lucas, Cissokho, Moses. /// SUNDERLAND: Mannone, Bardsley, Dossena, Brown, O'Shea, Vergini, Cattermole, Bridcutt, Giaccherini, Altidore, Wickham. Subs: Ki, Larsson, Johnson, Colback, Roberge, Scocco, Ustari.
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While Liverpool boast the division's most lethal attacking force in Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge, Gus Poyet said in his pre-match press conference that the Sunderland line could be led by Connor Wickham - he of one league goal in 34 appearances.
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'Hard luck, Moyesy': Brendan Rodgers suppresses a grin after Liverpool's demolition of Manchester United at Old Trafford. Since then they have stuck six past Cardiff. Can they really score their way to the title?
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Liverpool have won their last four Premier League games, scoring 16 goals in the process. Another victory tonight and they will be just one point behind leaders Chelsea with the same number of games played. Can they close the gap? Find out from 20:00 UK time!

Starting Line-ups

Liverpool
Sunderland
    • 22
      Mignolet
    • 38
      Flanagan
    • 5
      Agger
    • 37
      Skrtel
    • 2
      Johnson
    • 8
      Gerrard
    • 24
      Allen
    • 14
      Henderson
    • 10
      Coutinho
    • Luis Suárez
    • 15
      Sturridge
Team Manager:  Brendan Rodgers
    • Jozy Altidore
    • 10
      Wickham
    • 23
      Giaccherini
    • Phil Bardsley
    • 4
      Bridcutt
    • 6
      Cattermole
    • Dossena
    • 27
      Vergini
    • 16
      O'Shea
    • 5
      Brown
    • 25
      Mannone
Team Manager:  Dick Advocaat
Substitutes
Players Sub Time
Substitutes
Players Sub Time
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