Aston Villa 2
Sunderland rescued a point in this match with a late deserved equaliser when Stephane Sessegnon headed Sebastian Larsson’s accurately delivered free kick beyond Shay Given.
The Irish keeper had only minutes earlier seen his international colleague Richard Dunne head home Stilyan Petrov’s free-kick to give Villa the lead for the second time.
Just prior to this came the moment all Wearside fans had craved when unmarked and just six yards out their former favourite Darren Bent failed to beat substitute keeper Keiren Westwood, thus further intensifying the raucous abuse the England international received all afternoon.
The away side were the better team in what was a poor first half and took the lead when midfielder David Vaughan mistimed his tackle to allow Petrov to advance to edge of the box and beat Simon Mignolet with a well-drilled shot.
The home side equalised when Connor Wickham belted a lovely cutback pass by Sessegnon home, the 18 year olds first Premiership goal following his £8 million move from Ipswich in the summer.
When the second half got underway Sunderland were the better side and both Michael Turner and Nicklas Bendtner were guilty of poor headed misses when left unmarked six yards out. Given then made a fine save from another fine Larsson free kick before the late goals ensured both sides got their just rewards.