Tag: Jermain Defoe

Premiership: Swansea 1-1 Sunderland

Sunderland claimed a valuable point in their bid for Premier League survival as they held Swansea to a draw.

The Swans dominated the first half but their profligate finishing was punished as Jermain Defoe’s low effort put Sunderland in front.

Ki Sung-Yueng equalised with a diving header against his former club, but Swansea were frustrated as they sought a late winner.

Swansea remain ninth in the table, while Sunderland are still 14th.

Having beaten Burnley last weekend to end a winless run of five games, Sunderland had hopes of claiming back-to-back victories for the first time this season after Defoe gave them the lead.

But having withstood long periods of Swansea pressure, Gus Poyet’s side may have been content with a league-high 12th draw of the campaign.

The Swans gave a debut to Jack Cork, a January signing from Southampton who was joined in midfield by Ki on his return from the Asian Cup with South Korea.

With Sunderland striker Connor Wickham out injured, Poyet sprang something of a surprise as he handed former Swansea player Danny Graham a first Sunderland start since May 2013.

It was another ex-Swan, however, who had Sunderland’s first chance, as Jordi Gomez fired wide with a well-struck shot from the edge of the area.

That chance midway through the first half seemed to spark the match into life, as Swansea had a flurry of opportunities.

A flowing move involving crisp interplay between Neil Taylor, Nathan Dyer and Jonjo Shelvey ended with a close-range effort from Bafetimbi Gomis smothered by Costel Pantilimon.

Shelvey then had two long-range shots saved and a free-kick of his appeared to have created the opening goal for Swansea, but Ki’s sharp finish was disallowed for offside.

The hosts’ despair was compounded seconds later, as Defoe put Sunderland ahead against the run of play with a drilled shot into the bottom corner shortly before half-time.

Swansea continued to control possession after the restart, and their perseverance eventually paid dividends as Ki met Kyle Naughton’s inviting cross with a fine diving header.

Garry Monk’s men pressed for a winner, as Shelvey went close with a curling free-kick from 25 yards and substitute Nelson Oliveira had a low shot saved by Pantilimon.

But Sunderland resisted to claim a potentially precious point in their attempt to steer clear of relegation.

Read more at BBC Sport

Premiership: Jermain Defoe: Sunderland sign England striker from Toronto

Toronto FC and England striker Jermain Defoe has completed his move to Sunderland, signing a three-and-a-half-year deal with the club.

Defoe, 32, played alongside Gus Poyet during the first of his two spells at Tottenham, and was then coached by the Sunderland manager at White Hart Lane.

Poyet said: “His exceptional goal-scoring record speaks for itself.”

United States international Jozy Altidore, 25, moves back to the MLS with Toronto as part of the deal.

Defoe could make his debut against Spurs at White Hart Lane on Saturday if international clearance is – as expected – received by 13.45 GMT.

“It is a great club and I’ve always enjoyed coming up here and playing against Sunderland because of the stadium and the supporters,” the striker said.

“It is a great place to play and I’m really looking forward to it.”

Defoe, capped 55 times by England, is 14th on the list of all-time Premier League goalscorers, with 124 from his time with Spurs, West Ham and Portsmouth.

He scored 11 times in 16 games in his first season with Toronto and had been training with Tottenham during the MLS close season.

Sunderland currently lie 16th in the Premier League, with only Aston Villa having scored fewer than their 18 goals.

Altidore departs having failed to score in 13 appearances this term.

The American striker netted just once in 42 games for Sunderland after arriving in a £6.5m deal from AZ Alkmaar in July 2013.

Read more at BBC Sport