Rovers rue striking weakness

Blackburn Rovers 2 Sunderland 2

With each week that passes, Sam Allardyce gets another reminder of what life would be like to have a prolific goalscorer, but even that was not enough for Sunderland to end their own horrible winless run, which now stretches to seven Premier League games.

Steve Bruce has Darren Bent, who took his league tally to 13 goals for the season, and Allardyce will hope that his main transfer target, James Beattie, can play with similar reliability if he manages to sign him from Stoke at the turn of the year.

At least his team had the determination to respond after the England hopeful twice gave the visitors the lead, with Morten Gamst Pedersen and former Sunderland player El Hadji Diouf equalising on each occasion, and Chris Samba could even have secured a first victory in eight Premier League games since 22 November, but managed to hit the post from just a couple of yards in the closing stages.

"Give us a 13-goal striker like Darren Bent, we'd probably be sat eighth in the league, rather than mid-table looking down rather than up," said Allardyce, who can at least console himself with the knowledge that he knows how to get the best out of Diouf.

"I know Dioufy probably better than anybody from my time with him. I know where he comes from, how he ticks and I try to support him and get the best out of him and if he steps out of line, he gets told and gets dealt with."

Following a horrendous first half, Bent pounced on a loose ball six yards out, firing in off Samba, but Pedersen pulled Blackburn level a minute later with a thumping shot that flew in off the post.

Bent beat Paul Robinson with a low effort after racing on to Jordan Henderson's pass only for Diouf to head in a cross from another former Sunderland player, full-back Pascal Chimbonda.

Steve Bruce was without nine players due to suspension and injury and although he was frustrated at giving up the lead on two occasions, he was satisfied with a point from a game he will not have trouble forgetting.

"It was possibly the worst game of football I've ever witnessed," he said. "It was absolutely dire. We're a bit disappointed that we've taken the lead twice and not managed to hang on but with the problems we've got, nine players injured or suspended, we're down to the bare bones."

Blackburn (4-4-2): Robinson; Chimbonda, Samba, Nelsen, Givet; Hoilett (Diouf, 73), Andrews, Nzonzi, Pedersen; McCarthy (Di Santo, 73), Roberts (Kalinic, 73). Substitutes not used: Brown, Jacobsen, Olsson, Salgado.

Sunderland (4-4-2): Fulop; Bardsley, Da Silva, Nosworthy, McCartney; Henderson, Meyler, Cana, Murphy; Campbell, Bent. Substitutes not used: Carson (gk), Zenden, Healy, Reed, Anderson, Noble, Liddle.

Referee: M Dean (Wirral).

Booked: Blackburn McCarthy; Sunderland Nosworthy, Meyler, Bardsley, McCartney.

Man of the match: Bent.

Attendance: 25,656.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral