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

Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test