English Premiership

Sunderland draw after blowing 2 goal lead

2015-10-03 18:44
Dick Advocaat (AFP)

Sunderland - Dick Advocaat saw 10-man Sunderland squander a two-goal lead in a 2-2 draw against West Ham that left his side still languishing in the Premier League relegation zone on Saturday.

With reports claiming Advocaat was considering resigning whatever the result at the Stadium of Light, it could prove a downbeat end to the Dutchman's turbulent spell in charge.

Goals from Steven Fletcher and Jermain Lens looked to have put Sunderland firmly in charge midway through the first half.

But Carl Jenkinson got one back before the interval and Lens was sent off in the second half, setting the stage for Dimitri Payet to equalise for the Hammers.

Sunderland are now without a win in eight league matches this season and the only sliver of consolation came with Newcastle's 6-1 thrashing at Manchester city which dropped their bitter rivals below them to the bottom of the table.

Even so, this was another miserable afternoon for Advocaat, who is said to have grown frustrated by having to work on a limited budget this season, with Burnley manager Sean Dyche reportedly lined up to replace him.

Despite all the drama around Advocaat, Sunderland made a bright start that culminated in Fletcher's 10th minute goal.

It was a perfectly executed set-piece routine, with Yann M'Vila's low free-kick picking out Fletcher and the Scotland forward firing home from 12 yards.

Advocaat kept his emotions in check on the touchline but, with Sunderland fans showing their support for the manager by chanting his name, their team's vibrant display was rewarded again in the 22nd minute.

Taking M'Vila's pass, Dutch forward Lens looked up and lofted a superb chip over Hammers goalkeeper Adrian from the edge of the penalty area.

But Fabio Borini wasted two good chances, including a horrible miss when he scuffed wide with only Adrian to beat.

And Jenkinson reduced the deficit in the first minute of stoppage-time when Victor Moses' pass allowed the defender to blast home.

The tension was ratcheted up another notch in the 57th minute as Lens was sent off for a second booking after fouling Winston Reid.

There was worse to come for Advocaat three minutes later.

Not for the first time this season, Sunderland contributed to their own downfall with goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon spilling Manuel Lanzini's shot to Payet, who calmly converted to complete West Ham's fightback.


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