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- Saints end a dramatic week with a 2-2 draw at Sunderland
- Rodriguez and Lovren had put visitors into commanding lead
- Borini and Johnson earned the home side a point
- Ramirez and Lovren stretchered off with nasty-looking injuries
- Saints remain ninth in the Premier League table
Dejan Lovren being taken off the pitch on a stretcher.
Saints are unable to hold onto the two-goal advantage that they raced into here at the Stadium of Light, but they do head home with a point. However, there will be great concern over the health of both Gaston Ramirez and Dejan Lovren, who were both taken off on stretchers in the latter stages of the match. We will have updates and reaction for you on the website as they come in. Thanks, as always, for joining us on the blog today.
SUNDERLAND 2 SAINTS 2
Craig Gardner celebrating Sunderland's second goal.
Dejan Lovren and Gaston Ramirez off, Maya Yoshida and James Ward-Prowse on (87 mins).
Strange scenes here. Saints have two players stretchered off at the same time. Gaston Ramirez looks to have suffered a bad ankle injury, after Wes Brown caught him on the follow through of a tackle, just as the Uruguayan looked to have skipped clear. The ball then goes up the other end and Lovren suffers an injury tackling Craig Gardner.
Rickie Lambert in action at the Stadium of Light.
CHANCE (75 mins): Artur Boruc goes some way to redeeming himself, making a fine diving save to deny Craig Gardner, before somehow denying Steven Fletcher at close range.
Adam Lallana off, Gaston Ramirez on (73 mins)
Steven Fletcher off, Jozy Altidore on (72 mins)
SUNDERLAND 2 SAINTS 2 (Adam Johnson 71)
Sunderland capitalise on an Artur Boruc error, as the Saints keeper fails to keep out a fairly routine shot from Adam Johnson, palming the ball onto the post and into the back of the net.
RULED-OUT (65 mins): Fabio Borini sprints clear and latches onto Craig Gardner's through ball, before slotting past Artur Boruc, but he is flagged for offside. Replays showed the decision was correct.
Lee Cattermole and Sebastian Larsson off. Craig Gardner and Jack Colback on. (64 mins)
Adam Lallana on the ball for Saints.
CHANCE (61 mins): Adam Lallana sets Rickie Lambert away down the right wing. His low ball into the near post is met by Jay Rodriguez, whose effort flies into the side netting.
CHANCE (57 mins): Saints pounce on a loose pass in midfield, before embarking on another slick move that works the ball to Jay Rodriguez in space just outside the area. He hits a low first-time shot that Vito Mannone dives to his right to save, before gathering the ball at the second attempt.
Jay Rodriguez in action against Sunderland.
CHANCE (49 mins): Luke Shaw goes on a blistering run from left back, gliding past a couple of Sunderland players on his way forward. He winds up a shot from 25 yards and, although he hits it well, the ball flies straight at Vito Mannone, who makes the save.
Rickie Lambert in action for Saints.
A picture of Saints second goal - this time from Dejan Lovren.
The teams are back out for the second half...
A picture of Jay Rodriguez's strike which opened the scoring here today.
Sunderland 1 Saints 2
CHANCE (45+2 mins): Steven Davis is tripped by Lee Cattermole 25 yards out, down the inside-right channel. Rickie Lambert bends the subsequent free-kick round the wall, with Vito Mannone palming it away at his near post.
Dejan Lovren (centre) celebrates with his team-mate Luke Shaw and manager Mauricio Pochettino.
Ki Sung-Yueng booked for a trip on Jack Cork (38 mins).
Adam Lallana and Sunderland's Marcos Alonso battle for the ball.
SUNDERLAND 1 SAINTS 2 (Fabio Borini 32mins)
Out of nowhere, Sunderland get themselves straight back into the game. It's a nice goal too, with Adam Johnson playing a driven ball to pick out the run of Fabio Borini through the centre. He controls on his chest, before hitting a right-foot shot past Artur Boruc and into the far corner.
SUNDERLAND 0 SAINTS 2 (Dejan Lovren 31 mins)
Steven Davis swings in a fairly routine corner, with Dejan Lovren showing far greater movement than Wes Brown to reach the ball, before hooking a volley into the far corner.
CHANCE (29 mins): A huge escape for Sunderland again. Rickie Lambert dispossesses Wes Brown deep in the home side's territory. He slips in Jay Rodriguez with a simple pass, but the forward's shot does not have anywhere near enough power on it to beat Vito Mannone, who gets down to save.
CHANCE (21 mins): Rickie Lambert is played in by Morgan Schneiderlin. However, from a tight angle, his shot goes just wide of the far post.
Jay Rodriguez is congratulated by his teammates after his early goal.
CHANCE (18 mins): Morgan Schneiderlin plays Luke Shaw in down the inside-left channel with an excellent pass. Shaw's cross is deflected by Adam Johnson, with the ball spinning towards the near post, hitting the upright and going behind. Sunderland clear the resulting corner, but are under huge pressure from Saints.
CHANCE (17 mins): Saints launch an excellent break, which ends up with Adam Lallana racing down the right and crossing for Jay Rodriguez, whose first-time volley is well blocked.
CHANCE (13 mins): An awful clearance from Sunderland keeper Vito Mannone, who is well out of his goal, lands at the feet of Jack Cork just inside the home team's half. As Mannone races back, Cork controls the ball and lofts an effort goalwards, but it sails over the bar.
Lee Cattermole booked for a clear and very deliberate trip on Jay Rodriguez, as the Saints forward threatened to launch a dangerous attack. (11 mins)
SUNDERLAND 0 SAINTS 1 (Jay Rodriguez 4)
A brilliant start for Saints, who have really dominated the game in the opening stages. After a bit of pinball just outside Sunderland's area, the ball drops to Jay Rodriguez. He's allowed to control the ball 20 yards out, take a second touch, and then rifle a right-footed half-volley into the bottom corner.
Referee Chris Foy gets this afternoon's match underway. Sunderland in red-and-white stripes, Saints in black.
The players have emerged from the tunnel, onto the pitch. Kick-off is just a few minutes away now. We will have updates for you here throughout the match.
Liebherr Sunderland Works Ltd can be seen across the car park from the Stadium of Light.
Liebherr Sunderland Works Ltd can be seen on the left, the Stadium of Light on the right.
Liebherr Sunderland Works Ltd
An image of the Stadium of Light, home to Sunderland A.F.C. and the venue for today's Barclay's Premier League clash between Sunderland and Saints.
Saints captain Adam Lallana has given his thoughts to today's broadcaster BT Sport ahead of the match. Here is what he had to say about the players' mood, following reports in some areas that there could be an "exodus" from the club in the aftermath of Nicola Cortese's departure.
The dressing room atmosphere is as good as ever. We're coming here for the win.Adam Lallana
And here's part two...
It's been an interesting week for Saints - to say the least. Mauricio Pochettino had to face up to 40 journalists to speak about his future on Thursday afternoon. Here's part one of what he had to say...
Calum Chambers returns to the Saints side at right back with Nathaniel Clyne dropping to the bench.
Chambers missed the last game through illness but is straight back in the team.
SAINTS: Boruc, Chambers, Fonte, Lovren, Shaw, Schneiderlin, Cork, Lallana, Rodrgiuez, S Davis, Lambert.
Subs: K Davis, Yoshida, Hooiveld, Clyne, Ward-Prowse, Ramírez, Do Prado.
SUNDERLAND: Mannone, Bardsley, O'Shea, Brown, Alonso, Ki, Cattermole, Larsson, Johnson, Borini, Altidore.
Subs: Pickford, Gardner, Fletcher, Celustka, Colback, Giaccherini, Roberge.
Ref: Chris Foy
We are expecting the team news in about five minutes and will bring it to you straightaway
Hello and welcome to this Daily Echo blog covering Saints trip to Sunderland. It has been a dramatic week at St Mary's, with chairman Nicola Cortese departing the club on Wednesday night. Owner Katharina Liebherr has installed herself as non-executive chairman as the search for a new chief executive takes place. Today, though, focus will return for a short while to the pitch, as Saints look to build on their recent victory against West Brom. Manager Mauricio Pochettino confirmed on Thursday that he is staying at the club and he will hope to end an eventful week celebrating another three points. Stay with us for build-up, team news and match updates.