Sunderland 2-2 Millwall - 18-Nov-2017 : Match Report
Sunderland's winless home run extended to 20 games on Saturday as they drew 2-2 with Millwall at the Stadium of Light.
The hosts, who were watched by Chris Coleman's assistant Kit Symons ahead of the former Wales manager's imminent appointment as Black Cats boss, went ahead on 12 minutes through Lewis Grabban, but George Saville's double - both courtesy of mistakes from home goalkeeper Robbin Ruiter - turned the game on its head.
Adam Matthews equalised at the start of the second half, again thanks to a goalkeeping error, but the Wearsiders could not force a winner and remained without a home league victory since last December.
Things started positively enough for rock-bottom Sunderland. They passed the ball around confidently initially and sent over a few teasing crosses, including one that led to a corner from which they took the early lead.
Lions goalkeeper Jordan Archer got himself in a mess under his crossbar when Bryan Oviedo's corner came his way, and Grabban pounced to poke over the line.
That should have given Sunderland the confidence to build and perhaps it would have had Ruiter not taken matters into his own hands five minutes later.
Saville's curling 25-yard free-kick did not look like ending in the net but Ruiter allowed the ball to squirm between his legs and across the line.
Less than three minutes later he dropped another clanger, in a similar manner. This time Saville's free-kick from a more central position was only pushed into the net by the Dutch keeper.
Millwall's players could not believe their luck and they then looked more comfortable, and were happy to put Sunderland's players under greater pressure every time they touched the ball. To make matters worse, the hosts lost Duncan Watmore and Jonny Williams to injury.
Sunderland were then thankful for another goalkeeper error to get them back into the game immediately after the restart - this time from Archer.
He somehow lost his bearings when Matthews darted beyond his man on the right and sent over a powerful delivery which ended up flying towards goal, where Archer could only push it into his own net.
After that there was a frenetic ending. There were chances at both ends, Ruiter making his first real save with 20 minutes remaining when he made a strong one-handed stop to deny Lee Gregory from scoring, while Grabban was inches from grabbing a winner from close range.