English Premiership

Lazar guides Reds to victory

2015-01-10 16:50
Lazar Markovic (Getty)

London - Lazar Markovic claimed his first Premier League goal as Liverpool continued their recent upturn in results with a deserved 1-0 win at struggling Sunderland on Saturday.

The 20 million ($30.3 million, 25.6 million euros) close-season signing from Benfica scored the only goal in the ninth minute to consolidate Brendan Rodgers's side in eighth place in the table.

Liverpool have lost just once in their last 13 games, renewing hope of a sustained challenge for a top-four finish in May and with it a return to the Champions League.

However, Liverpool are still 10 points behind their tally from this time last year, when they came close to winning the title before being edged out by Manchester City.

Any hope Sunderland had of mounting a comeback disappeared four minutes into the second half when midfielder Liam Bridcutt saw red after being shown a second yellow card for fouling Emre Can.

The closest they came to troubling ex-Sunderland goalkeeper Simon Mignolet came just after Bridcutt's departure, when Adam Johnson's long-range effort struck the bar.

Otherwise, the hosts could have no complaints after a defeat that left them with just one win from their last 11 league games, keeping them in danger near the foot of the table.

Sunderland coach Gus Poyet had urged home supporters to come to the Stadium of Light to see Steven Gerrard's final Premier League appearance in the north-east before his move to Major League Soccer side the LA Galaxy.

Poyet claimed that seeing the Liverpool captain in action was worth the admission fee alone, and despite being withdrawn at half-time after sustaining a knock, Gerrard did not disappoint, playing a part in the goal.

Rodgers's side had a strong early penalty claim turned down when Markovic was upended in the area by Wes Brown, but they did not have to wait long before making their early dominance tell.

Liverpool were allowed time and space to play the ball out from the back, with Markovic advancing down the visitors' right flank and finding Gerrard, whose mis-control allowed the ball to reach Fabio Borini.

Referee Craig Pawson played a good advantage as Borini was felled in the area, with Markovic bundling home the winner from 12 yards for his second goal of the season in all competitions.

The Serbian came close to adding a spectacular second on the half-hour as Brown's clearance under pressure from Borini fell to him on the edge of the area.

The 20-year-old quickly adapted his body position to fire in an acrobatic scissors kick that beat Costel Pantilimon, only to crash back off the crossbar, hit the Romanian goalkeeper and bounce to safety.

Gerrard could have twice added to the lead before the break; first when he fired into the side-netting, and then when he shot tamely at Pantilimon from 15 yards, with Borini the provider on both occasions.

Former Sunderland loanee Borini conjured up an even more glaring miss as half-time approached, hitting the side of the net from a narrow angle after sprinting onto Can's sublime 40-yard through ball and rounding Pantilimon.

Sunderland adapted well with 10 men, although Philippe Coutinho, with a shot from the edge of the area, and substitute Mario Balotelli, with a close-range effort from a narrow angle, both went close for Liverpool.


Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Friday, 22 February 2019
Cardiff City v Watford, Cardiff City Stadium 21:45
West Ham United v Fulham, London Stadium 21:45
Saturday, 23 February 2019
Burnley v Tottenham Hotspur, Turf Moor 14:30
Newcastle United v Huddersfield Town, St. James' Park 17:00
AFC Bournemouth v Wolverhampton Wanderers, Vitality Stadium 17:00
Leicester City v Crystal Palace, King Power Stadium 19:30
Sunday, 24 February 2019
Chelsea v Brighton & Hove Albion, Stamford Bridge 14:00
Arsenal v Southampton, Emirates Stadium 16:05
Manchester United v Liverpool, Old Trafford 16:05
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Who will claim the Premier League title at the end of the 2018/19 season?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.