Full-time - 90'
0 - 2
13:30 +00:00, March 20, 2011
Stadium of Light, England
Referee: K Friend
Don't forget to stick around for the big match at 16:00, Manchester City's trip to Stamford Bridge.
FULL TIME Liverpool win thanks to Dirk Kuyt's controversial penalty and Luis Suarez's solo strike.
The atmosphere at the ground has been very flat all afternoon. A disappointment, considering the game was a sell-out.
Liverpool's return to form under Kenny Dalglish continues, another three points, and still an outside chance of European football next season.
Sunderland have been on the end of some rotten decisions today, but they have barely threatened Liverpool. A bad day at the office.
FOUR MINUTES ADDED TIME
Suarez went off with what looked like a groin strain. With the international break coming up, he should have time to recover.
Joe Cole on for Luis Suarez
Luis Suarez looks in a spot of bother. This could be worrying...
Liverpool free kick, Malbranque's trip on Kuyt.
The Liverpool fans are singing and who can blame them? They have won a match comfortably without having to do much at all!
Lee Cattermole with a range-finder from 30-yards, it's straight at Pepe Reina who has had very little to do all afternoon.
Liverpool are very comfortable now and Sunderland have fallen apart. It has been an afternoon to forget for Steve Bruce.
Maxi on for Raul Meireles
Suarez eventually bends the free kick high over Mignolet's goal.
John Mensah has received his marching orders. A long punt up field exposes the Sunderland defence, Mensah tugs back Suarez and was the last man. The referee had little choice. Dangerous free kick to Liverpool...
A bit of hand bags between Gyan and Skrtel. The striker thinks the Slovakian has tugged him down and responds by shoving his finger up Skrtel's nose.
Luis Suarez's goal was a piece of innovation, but you have to question the Sunderland goalkeeper. Getting beaten at your nearpost is never good, especially when the Belgian seemed to move out of the way of the shot.
David Ngog looks for a third, but his header from Dirk Kuyt's cross is too soft.
GOAL Luis Suarez with a wonderfully crafted second for Liverpool!!! Suarez receives the ball close to the touchline. The Uruguayan shrugs past Phil Bardsley and moves into the box. From the byline, Suarez fires a shot past a bemused Mignolet and into the far corner!
Asamoah Gyan is down and claiming a penalty. It's a terrible dive from the Ghanaian, he moved passed Agger and threw himself to the floor. The Dane didn't touch him, never a penalty.
Foul given against Ngog near the centre circle, his foot was high as he challenged with Henderson.
Raul Meireles' corner is headed clear at the near post.
A fine stop from Mignolet, Jay Spearing lines one up from the edge of the box. Spearing's left-foot effort is fantastically tipped wide by the Belgian.
Andy Carroll is probably still working his way back to full-fitness, hence his withdrawal. For Liverpool fans, another chance to see David Ngog...
David Ngog on for Andy Carroll
David Ngog is ready to be introduced for Liverpool, perhaps Carroll will be withdrawn?
Jamie Carragher has drawn level with Ian Rush today on the list of all-time appearances for Liverpool. No mean feat, that.
Anton Ferdinand looks to cross from deep but Daniel Agger heads clear comfortably. Sunderland haven't created anything since the interval and Liverpool are doing a good job of stifling their opponents.
Dirk Kuyt is hot on his heels into the book for another trip on Bardsley.
Luis Suarez didn't agree with the referee's decision. He explained himself to the assistant and promptly earned a booking.
Sunderland free kick down by their own corner flag, Suarez fouling Bardsley.
Luis Suarez takes a very acrobatic tumble as he attempts to latch onto a Sunderland backpass. Nothing doing for the referee and I would agree with him.
Elmohamady gets to the cross first at the near post, his header is going wide, but smacks into Glen Johnson. A scramble ensues and it's another corner. The second set piece is worse, and Reina can gather.
Sunderland corner, Spearing stopping Stephane Sessegnon...
A poor effort from Jordan Henderson after being fed by Gyan. Centre of the goal, 20-yards out, his shot is horribly sliced.
Andy Carroll is having a frustrating second half, again as he looks to break an attempted pass to Kuyt is intercepted.
The Egyptian winger, who has just replaced Welbeck, can be very dangerous. He has a fantastic delivery and could create chances for Gyan.
Ahmed Elmohamady on for Danny Welbeck
Jordan Henderson is into the book, presumably for dissent.
Excellent defending from Mensah, as Suarez runs at Sunderland again and looks to advance on goal, the Ghanaian remains calm and ushers the ball to safety.
Ironic cheers from the Sunderland fans as the referee awards a foul against Meireles. They really haven't had the rub of the green this afternoon.
Suarez bends the free kick narrowly wide of the near post. The referee is not endearing himself to the home fans. Bramble certainly fouled Carroll, but play had gone on far too long to award the foul after Meireles' shot.
Titus Bramble is booked for the trip on Carroll.
A bizarre move from the referee, bringing play back to award a free kick to Liverpool for Bramble's foul on Carroll. Dubious.
Another golden chance for Liverpool, the away team break and Carroll is tripped by Bramble. The ball breaks to Meireles, who can only fire over when clean through on goal.
The crowd desperately need a lift inside the stadium, they have all afternoon.
Carroll really should have opened his account there, but the defending from Sunderland, and Anton Ferdinand in particular, was abysmal.
Andy Carroll is within an inch of scoring for Liverpool! Anton Ferdinand lets the striker go and he's all alone. Carroll has a free header on goal, but Cattermole clears off the line with his knee. A let off for the home team.
Liverpool's corner now, Suarez cleverly nicking the ball of Ferdinand.
Liverpool look to break through Suarez and Glen Johnson, but the final ball is overhit.
Henderson takes the corner short before eventually side-footing in a cross. It evades the head of Mensah, and won't sit down for Malbranque to volley on goal from the far post. A promising opening from Sunderland.
Gyan and Welbeck showing more signs of their growing understanding, but Agger and Carragher have coped well with the lively pair so far. Glen Johnson concedes a corner...
Can Sunderland overturn their deficit in the second half? They seemed to lose morale after the penalty decision.
Here is a picture of where the Mensah foul on Spearing took place.
This fixture does of course have a history of controversial goals. Last year's beach ball incident, not to mention Michael Turner's non-backpass which lead to a goal for Dirk Kuyt in the reverse fixture at Anfield.
A horrible first half for Steve Bruce. He has lost Richardson and Muntari to injury and been on the receiving end of some poor refereeing.
Don't forget, this is not the only Premier League action today. Later on, England's big-money boys clash at Stamford Bridge as Chelsea take on Man City.
Jonathan Mensah's challenge looked to have been outside of the penalty area, but Liverpool got the spot kick and subsequently the lead.
HALF TIME Dirk Kuyt's controversial penalty has handed Liverpool the advantage going into the break.
Sessegnon is not a happy boy, he thinks he should have a corner after Jay Spearing knocks the ball behind. The referee, not for the first time in this half, makes the wrong call and it's a goal kick.
THREE MINUTES ADDED TIME
Lee Cattermole, who else, is into the book for a pointless trip on Suarez.
Asamoah Gyan attempts to twist and turn on the edge of the Liverpool box, but to no avail. The penalty has really taken the wind out of Sunderland's sails.
First chance for Carroll, a free header from Meireles' corner, 10-yards from goal, and he can't find the target. An opportunity wasted.
Liverpool corner, Andy Carroll forcing Mensah to turn the ball behind...
Errors are starting to sneak into the Sunderland game and it's giving Liverpool cause for confidence. The tide has turned in this contest as we approach half time.
The subdued atmosphere among Sunderland fans has not been improved by recent events. The penalty decision really was baffling.
Liverpool look buoyed by the goal, whereas Sunderland look a bit chaotic at the moment. What a difference a goal makes.
Mignolet with a very smart save from Suarez! Raul Meireles picks out Suarez with a wonderful volleyed pass. The Uruguayan lets the ball drop over his shoulder and fires a half-volley across goal, which Mignolet palms clear.
Jordan Henderson wastes the set piece and curls a delivery out for a goal kick.
A chance for Sunderland, a free kick 25-yards from goal...
Sunderland are so unfortunate. They have been the better team and they find themselves behind. Mensah's tackle was never inside the box, but the penalty was awarded.
GOAL Dirk Kuyt sends Mignolet the wrong way!
The referee, on the advice of his assistant, has changed his mind and awarded a penalty! The tackle looked well outside the box!
Jay Spearing is fouled by Mensah and the Liverpool players are claiming a penalty, but the referee says it's just outside the area...
Andy Carroll cutting another forlorn figure at present. He hits an attempted through ball for Suarez, which ends up as little more than a harmless punt up field.
Steed Malbranque whips in a dipping cross towards the Liverpool goal, it's too long for Welbeck and is in the hands of Pepe Reina.
Suarez once again fails to find a teammate. A frustrating opening half-an-hour for him. Sunderland break with Ferdinand, before Gyan and Welbeck's attempts to combine are foiled.
The atmosphere is still very flat at the Stadium of Light. I can hardly blame them, there has been little to lift the spirits so far...
Suarez looks to link-up with Kuyt, but it's not happening for Liverpool at the moment. The ball, once again, ends up with Mignolet.
Although injuries have disrupted Sunderland, their fans will be happy to see Lee Cattermole back. Their captain is a hit-and-miss sort of player, but he can be a combatitive asset in the heart of midfield.
This game is in need of goal, and at the moment, Sunderland just about look the team most likely to score it.
It has been a fairly quiet opening to the game. Asamoah Gyan's cross for Sunderland and Dirk Kuyt's early chances for Liverpool have been the only goalmouth action of note.
A body blow for Steve Bruce, forced to make two substitutions inside 23 minutes. Can Sunderland cope and maintain their slight dominance?
Steed Malbranque on for Kieran Richardson
Meireles' corner is flicked to safety by Titus Bramble. Now Kieran Richardson is down...
Corner to Liverpool after an error from Mignolet, which Suarez almost capitalises on...
Anton Ferdinand's cross is intercepted and Liverpool look to break. Luis Suarez surges forward and tries to feed Carroll. His pass catches the former Newcastle man on his heels, and he fails to control.
A blow for Sunderland, Muntari hobbling off. Cattermole is introduced after a lengthy lay-off with a back injury.
Lee Cattermole on for Sulley Muntari
Sunderland are being forced into an early change here, Lee Cattermole ready to be introduced...
Close for Sunderland! Asamoah Gyan and Danny Welbeck combine fantastically, Gyan whips in a devilish cross. Kieran Richardson is inches from connecting at the near post.
The camera has just revealed a black-eye being sported by Kuyt following Liverpool's Europa League clash with Braga. You'd say it was unsightly, but poor Dirk was hardly an oil painting before...
Luis Suarez, quiet so far, looks for Dirk Kuyt with a pass down the line. It's over hit and runs to Mignolet in the Sunderland goal.
Sessegnon is not having the greatest match so far, although he is involved. His latest attempted cross is mishit and easily intercepted.
Agger rises highest to meet Meireles' cross, his header is poorly guided and flies over the bar.
A dangerous free kick for Liverpool...
Anton Ferdinand warms Reina's palms with an attempted cross from deep. It's poor and nowhere near a teammate.
Danny Welbeck attempts to wriggle past Daniel Agger, the Danish defender stretches at just manages to guide the ball back to Pepe Reina.
Poor play from Sessegnon after John Mensah had laid the ball off to the former PSG playmaker. His return pass rolls harmlessly over the touchline.
A flat opening at the Stadium of Light, despite the bumper crowd. A distinct end-of-season feel to this one so far.
Anton Ferdinand attempts a one-two with Stephane Sessegnon, but the ball rolls out for a Liverpool goal kick.
A good crowd at the Stadium of Light, reportedly a sell-out. That will be music to the ears of Niall Quinn, after the Sunderland chairman proclaimed his desire to get the Mackems flooding back to the ground.
The three Ghanaians in the Sunderland starting line-up today come face-to-face once again with their World Cup nemesis Luis Suarez. From a Liverpool corner, Dirk Kuyt forces Mignolet into a good save. From the second corner, again Kuyt has a chance, but he heads over from inside the six-yard box.
Sulley Muntari's free kick hits first-man Jay Spearing and Liverpool clear.
Sunderland free kick, Lucas trips Asamoah Gyan. A good opportunity...
Daniel Agger putting himself under all sorts of pressure with a poor touch in defence, Jordan Henderson forces him into conceding a throw in. Welbeck looks to burst through from the resulting attack, Jamie Carragher hoofs clear.
A loose pass from Kuyt gifts possession to Danny Welbeck. He earns a throw in for Sunderland, but it comes to nothing.
A minutes silence now, for the victims of the Japanese earthquake.
The teams have emerged at the Stadium of Light, we're moments away from kick-off...
Liverpool and Pepe Reina both return to the scene of the infamous beachball goal of last season. Can history repeat itself?!
For Sunderland, Danny Welbeck makes his first start since January and Nedum Onouha and Lee Cattermole on the bench.
The big team news for Liverpool is that Andy Carroll makes his full Premier League debut, alongside the impressive Luis Suarez. Jay Spearing gets a rare start in midfield.
Good afternoon and welcome to our coverage of Liverpool's trip to Sunderland. The visitors can close to within four points of fifth place Tottenham with a win, while Sunderland can climb above Bolton into seventh with three points.