By Dan Gosling Liverpool have finally got the sort of match they need to be successful.
Liverpool had two chances in the first half against Sunderland as the hosts came back from two goals down to claim their fourth consecutive league victory.
With two wins in four games, the Reds are now nine points clear of fourth-placed Sunderland, who sit one point above them and three points above the relegation zone.
Jurgen Klopp’s side have now won four of their last five league games, while the away side have won only three.
This is the first time Liverpool have won the league in their last seven home league matches, but the Reds were without Mamadou Sakho for their match at the Stadium of Light.
Sakho was a late substitution in the second half and could be facing an early suspension.
Liverpool have lost four of five games since the Frenchman was recalled by the club.
However, with the Reds now two points clear at the top of the table, the win is their first in three games and marks a second consecutive win.
Liverpool have won four out of their past five league matches against Sunderland.
This is their fourth straight away victory against the Black Cats, and Liverpool have not lost to the Black Country since October 2015.
The Reds have only won three of their 11 home league games away from Anfield this season.
Sunderland manager Steve Bruce said the game was the toughest of his managerial career.
“It’s one of the hardest games we’ve had against a team in the top four, especially a big team like Sunderland,” Bruce said.
“We’ve had the ball for a long time and the first ten minutes we didn’t have a chance to get a response.”
Then when we got the second goal, we were in control and had a chance of getting a draw.
“I think it was probably the most disappointing loss we’ve taken away from Sunderland and we have to accept that.”
They are a good side, they have quality in their team, but they are a big side, so we have got to be patient and keep our heads up.
“Sunderlander manager Sam Allardyce said the Sunderland players did a good job defending.”
But we have some good players on the team who can play in a couple of different positions and that was the difference.””
They played well, the ball was moving in the right direction.”
But we have some good players on the team who can play in a couple of different positions and that was the difference.
“It was Sunderland’s first win at Anfield since a 3-2 win at Newcastle in December.
It is the second time Sunderland have taken a point from their last three away matches.
In all, Sunderland have won five of their previous six league games at Anfield, including a 4-0 victory at Anfield in January.
The hosts are unbeaten in their past four league games and have won two in a row in the Premier League.
They will be hoping for more of the same at the Etihad Stadium when they face Chelsea in the third leg of their Champions League play-off in two days’ time.
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