Relief in Sunderland dressing room at eventually showing quality at Liverpool

Lamine Kone

Lamine Kone

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John O'Shea was relieved that Sunderland produced some quality before it was too late at Liverpool.

Sunderland were facing a demoralising second defeat in the space of five days as they headed into the final 10 minutes at Anfield after a display where Sam Allardyce's men had struggled to hit the heights shown against Manchester City earlier in the week.

The Black Cats' game-plan was to soak up Liverpool's pressure and hit them on the counter-attack, yet Jermain Defoe was left completely isolated up front, with the visitors struggling to retain any kind of possession.

However, when Adam Johnson halved the 2-0 deficit in the 82nd minute, Sunderland suddenly came to life, with Defoe's 10th of the season then snatching a precious point.

"We kept them at arm's length but didn't cause them many problems," said Sunderland skipper O'Shea.

"We were hoping to have more in attack but the balls played forward to Jermain didn't have enough quality, because we know that if we supply him, he'll hurt teams, and thankfully we saw that towards the end.

"It's very pleasing to get a point when you're 2-0 down at Anfield in the Premier League.

"We had to go at them. We needed to show that quality beforehand, but at least we showed it in the end and got something from the game."

The point was a first in Sunderland colours for January signings Lamine Kone and Wahbi Khazri, with the latter impressing on his first Premier League start.

"It was pleasing for the new lads," added centre-half O'Shea.

"They've shown great character and enthusiasm since they've come in, and quality as well."