Goals from Yann M’Vila and Jeremain Lens cancelled out a brace from Scott Sinclair as the Black Cats held on for a point at Villa Park.
Sunderland started the game confidently and were rewarded with the opening goal on 8 minutes. A free kick won by Danny Graham was curled into the top corner from 25 yards by Yann M’Vila.
Sunderland’s lead however only lasted two minutes as Aston Villa were gifted a penalty as Cattermole needlessly climbed all over the attacker from a corner. Scott Sinclair stepped up and sent Pantilimon the wrong way.
Villa dominated after the equaliser and they found themselves deservedly in front on 41 minutes. A quick move down the left allowed Amavi to get to the by line, his cross found Sinclair who finished high into the net.
Sunderland struggled to get any sort of passing game going as they continually opted to play long balls to Graham which didn’t work. The Black Cats typically sat back after opening the scoring and were duly punished by Scott Sinclair.
Sunderland had the first opportunity of the second half from Fletcher but his goal bound header was tipped over by Guzan. It wasn’t long till Sunderland got back on level terms though as Jeremain Lens opened his account on 52 minutes. Toivonen played Lens in on the right, he cut inside and fired the ball past Guzan.
Sunderland looked a completely different team after the substitutions. Billy Jones saw an effort deflect wide and from the resulting corner Fletcher headed wide.
Moments later Villa could have taken the lead as they caught Sunderland on the counter attack. Sinclair drove to the by line, his cross was met by Richards but he couldn’t get enough contact to divert the ball to goal.
Sunderland fans had their hearts in their mouth on 79 minutes as Gil went down in the area after he wasn’t tracked by M’Vila but he was booked for diving.
The Black Cats were under a bit of pressure now as Pantilimon had to make a superb save to deny Westwood and Gestede shot wide as the Sunderland backline was being stretched now.
Sunderland held on for a draw but ultimately the same defensive frailties were there for the Black Cats as the transfer deadline looms.
Aston Villa (4-3-3): Guzan, Bacuna (Gil 68’), Amavi, Clark, Richards, Hutton, Sanchez, Westwood, Gueye, Sinclair, Gestede.
Subs: Bunn, Kozak, Bennett, Veretout, Gil, Cole, Ayew.
Goals: Sinclair (10’, 41’)
Sunderland (4-3-3): Pantilimon, Van Aanholt, Jones, Kaboul, O’Shea (c), Cattermole (Toivonen 46’), M’Vila, Rodwell, Lens (Larsson 77’), Defoe, Graham (Fletcher 46’).
Subs: Mannone, Coates, Larsson, Toivonen, Gooch, Watmore, Fletcher.
Goals: M’Vila (8’) Lens (52’)