English Premiership

Sunderland, Swansea share spoils

Jermain Defoe (Getty Images)
Jermain Defoe (Getty Images)

Sunderland - Jermain Defoe provided a ray of hope for troubled Sunderland as his equaliser salvaged a 1-1 draw against Swansea on Saturday.

Dick Advocaat's side were in danger of a third successive defeat when Bafetimbi Gomis put Swansea ahead in first half stoppage-time at the Stadium of Light.

But former Tottenham striker Defoe, who had pleaded with Advocaat to be played in his preferred central role rather than out on the flanks, repaid his manager's switch with a cool second half leveller to give Sunderland their first point of the season.

The Black Cats remain bottom of the table, but their battling display provided much-needed encouragement after two lacklustre defeats.

Swansea remain unbeaten with five points after another bright performance that could easily have brought a second win of the campaign.

With his side rock bottom after conceding seven goals in losses against Leicester and Norwich, Advocaat this week admitted Sunderland are destined for another relegation battle unless owner Ellis Short lets him spend heavily on new signings.

Reports on Saturday claimed former West Ham boss Sam Allardyce has been lined up to replace Advocaat if the Dutchman quits in frustration after the transfer window shuts.

Adding to the sense of a club in turmoil, Short responded with a strong statement in the club's match-day programme, with the tycoon adamant he hadn't misled Advocaat about the funds available.

For much of the first half, it seemed more gloom was on the cards for the Wearsiders.

Andre Ayew has already scored twice for Swansea since his pre-season move from Marseille and the Ghana winger twice tried his luck with long-range efforts early on.

Sunderland midfielder Lee Cattermole tried to subdue Ayew in rudimentary fashion with a crunching tackle that earned a booking.

The hosts threatened when Danny Graham's overhead kick was well saved by Lukasz Fabianski.

Yet Swansea struck first three minutes into first half stoppage-time.

Pulled apart with alarming ease, Sunderland allowed Garry Monk's men to sweep the length of the field before Kyle Naughton picked out Gomis and the France striker stroked an excellent finish into the far corner for his third goal of the season.

The visitors almost doubled their lead early in the second half when Jonjo Shelvey's cross was headed against a post by Ayew.

Moments later Sunderland goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon had to be at his best to repel a Jefferson Montero strike and Ayew then nodded wide from a Shelvey cross.

Those misses came back to haunt Swansea as Advocaat's team equalised in the 62nd minute.

Netherlands winger Jeremain Lens, a pre-season signing from Dynamo Kiev, was the catalyst with a neat pass to Defoe and he dispatched a clinical low shot into the far corner.

Sunderland then appealed in vain for a penalty when Jack Rodwell's shot appeared to hit Ashley Williams on the arm.

But it was Pantilimon who ended as Sunderland's saviour as he produced fine stops to keep out Gylfi Sigurdsson's powerful effort and then Gomis's header.

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