Premier League - Late Fonte equaliser leaves Southampton relieved and Sunderland frustrated

Premier League, St Mary's Stadium - Southampton 1 (Fonte 88) Sunderland 1 (Giaccherini 3)

Eurosport
Premier League - Delph screamer gives Villa victory
.

View photo

Jose Fonte of Southampton (2nd R) is congratulated by teammates after scoring a late goal to level the scores at 1-1 during the Barclays Premier League match between Southampton and Sunderland (Getty Images)

A late equaliser from Jose Fonte left Southampton relieved they had not wasted their efforts, and Sunderland should be happy with a 1-1 draw.

Southampton dominated the second half, but struggled to find any fluency in the opening 45 minutes. Sunderland, despite a constant lack of creativity, opened the scoring early with a header from Emanuele Giaccherini.

Giaccherini was largely quiet for the whole match, and with the exception of Modibo Diakite, Sunderland played with little imagination, if not focus.

Southampton introduced Dani Osvaldo and Nathaniel Clyne at the start of the second half, and later Gaston Ramirez came on as they chased an equaliser. All three increased the fluency of the attacks, but Rickie Lambert continued to waste a number of opportunities. At this point Paolo Di Canio would have been hoping his side could hold on for a fortunate victory.

However, in the 88th minute a James Ward-Prowse free-kick was glanced past Kieren Westwood in the Sunderland goal by Fonte, and Southampton were ecstatic that all their possession had not been wasted. Di Canio looked forlorn, but Sunderland should count themselves lucky to get away with a point.

KEY MOMENTS

3' - GOAL! Giaccherini opens scoring: Sunderland have a corner after a free-kick is headed behind. Larsson swings the ball into the box and the Italian, totally unmarked, stoops to head past Boruc's dive.

6' - DISALLOWED GOAL: Southampton finally have some of the ball, and think they've scored. A Lambert pass finds Rodriguez, who calmly slots past the 'keeper only to find out it's been disallowed for offside.

85' - OSVALDO ESCAPES A RED CARD: Having just been booked for fouling Diakite, Osvaldo slides in late as another defender clears, but Mason chooses not to give him a second yellow.

88 - GOAL! Southampton equalise: An accurate, curling cross from Ward-Prowse is glanced past Kieren Westwood for a late Southampton equaliser.

TALKING POINT: Both managers have brought in players over the summer, with Di Canio going for numbers and Pochettino going for expense. Given the display from both sides, particularly the first half for Southampton, neither manager will have convinced either fans or chairmen. Southampton defended nervously throughout and Sunderland showed little creativity.

MATCHCAST: FULL COMMENTARY AND PLAYER RATINGS

View photo

.

KEY STATS

Southampton gave Lyon around £8.5 million pounds for Dejan Lovren. That might come to look like a rather expensive mistake if he continues to perform so nervously.

Sunderland’s last eight away matches in the Premier League have ended in defeat six times. Today's performance gives little encouragement that things will change for the better.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Modibo Diakite (Sunderland) - He may have been on the losing side, and rarely impressed with the ball at his feet, but without his blocks and clearances, Sunderland would almost certainly have lost.

PLAYER RATINGS

Southampton: Boruc 6, Chambers 6, Fonte 6, Lovren 5, Shaw 6, Wanyama 5, Schneirdelin 6, Ward-Prowse 7, Lallana 6, Rodriguez 6, Lambert 6; Subs: Osvaldo 6, Clyne 6, Ramirez 6.

Sunderland: Westwood 6, Celustka 5, O'Shea 6, Diakite 7, Colback 6, Johnson 6, Larsson 6, Gardner 6, Giaccherini 6, Sessegnon 5, Altidore 5: Subs; Wickham 6, Vaughan 6, Ji 4.

THE MATCH IN A TWEET

View comments (10)
Write for Yahoo Sport