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Aston Villa 0-0 Sunderland: Two Points Dropped At Villa Park

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Sunderland bounced back from their Boxing Day defeat to claim a draw at Villa Park.

Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Sunderland played out yet another draw this term as they couldn’t find a way past Aston Villa.

The opening chance of the game albeit a half chance fell to the visitors as Connor Wickham turned and shot but his effort deflected wide after good hold up play by Fletcher.

Villa’s first chance arrived on 5 mins through Benteke after the Sunderland defence backed off the Belgian front man but he shot over from the edge of the box.

Villa were enjoying the better of the possession in the early stages and they created an opening for Weimann on 10 mins. Wickham failed to track Hutton’s run down the right allowing him to feed Weimann but he was denied by a last ditch tackle by John O’Shea.

There was a lengthy stoppage on 14 mins as Liam Bridcutt took a knock to the jaw after Benteke rose above him to win a header. Bridcutt had to be replaced by Cattermole.

As the half progressed Sunderland came into the game more as they started to enjoy more possession but they were being limited to long range efforts from Wickham and Gomez.

Villa seemed intent to deploy the counter attack, with ex Newcastle man N’Zogbia looking the most dangerous as Billy Jones looked to back off on more than one occasion, but like the Black Cats they could only muster long ranges efforts which never troubled Pantilimon.

Villa started the second half brightly with Weimann coming close to opening the scoring, but his shot flashed wide after Cattermole was intercepted on the edge of the area.

Aston Villa went down to 10 men on 49 mins as Fabian Delph was shown a red card after a serious foul on Gomez after a Sunderland throw in.

Sunderland had more space now and Wickham exploited this on 55 mins as he was sent through on goal by Johnson but his shot was blocked by the covering Ron Vlaar.

A neat flick from Wickham after a throw in sent Johnson through on 64 mins but his effort was a tame one.

Sunderland should have opened the scoring on 67 mins after Cattermole’s deflected shot led to a goal line scramble in which Giaccherini and Wickham both had attempts but they were denied on the line.

Sunderland were turning the screw and were again denied on the line on 70 mins after Johnson played Jones in down the wing and his low cross was finger tipped away on the line by Guzan before Wickham could tap in.

Villa nearly stole the lead through an own goal on 75 mins from a corner but Wes Brown’s goal bound header was saved at the front post by Pantilimon.

Sunderland’s persistent pressure nearly paid off on 89 mins as Jordi Gomez’s shot cannoned off the post with the ball evading three Sunderland players in the box who were ready for the rebound.

Villa nearly caught the Black Cats on the counter straight after but Bacuna couldn’t beat Pantilimon at the near post.

Sunderland dominated the second half as you’d expect from the team with the extra man but they lacked quality in the final third to break down a resolute Villa defence.

Aston Villa (4-3-3): Guzan, Hutton, Vlaar (c), Clark (Okore 61’), Cissokho, Cleverley (Grealish 68’), Delph, Sanchez, N'Zogbia (Bacuna 56’), Weimann, Benteke.

Subs: Given, Okore, Bacuna, Herd, Lowton, Robinson, Grealish.

Goals: None

Red Card: Delph 49’

Sunderland (4-3-3): Pantilimon, Vergini (Buckley 78’), Jones, Brown, O'Shea (c), Bridcutt (Cattermole 19’), Larsson (Giaccherini 56’), Gomez, Johnson, Wickham, Fletcher.

Subs: Mannone, Coates, Cattermole, Alvarez, Giaccherini, Buckley, Altidore.

Goals: None