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Sunderland share points with Aston Villa

Sunderland share points with Aston Villa

Sunderland came twice from behind to pick up a valuable point against a spirited Aston Villa side, although it would not have been the result they expected.

Connor Wickham and Stephane Sessegnon cancelled out strikes from Stiliyan Petrov and Richard Dunne to keep Steve Bruce's side in 14th place in the table, just 4 points above the relegation zone.

Sunderland started the game as the brighter side, but failed to exert real pressure on the Aston Villa goal. Sebastien Larsson was their main threat, with two trademark free kicks going narrowly wide.

Darren Bent had a good chance to give Villa the lead in the 16th minute, after he was found by Emile Heskey. However, the England international put his effort wide.

Villa did take the lead just four minutes later, when Alan Hutton fed Petrov who took a powerful shot from 25 yards out that flew into the top corner.

Sunderland almost equalized just two minutes later, when Arsenal loanee Nicklas Bendtner found Michael Turner inside the box, but the defender's header just floated above the bar.

However they did equalize in the 38th minute when Sessegnon found Connor Wickham who slotted the ball past Shay Given to score his first goal for the club.

There was not much action in the second half, with Villa trying hard to take the lead but poor delivery letting them down.

Sunderland keeper Simon Mignolet was replaced with Keiran Westwood after the former apparently broke his nose while trying to clear a Petrov corner.

Villa finally broke the deadlock in the 85th minute, when Richard Dunne rose highest to head home a Petrov cross to give the visitors the lead with just five minutes of regulation time to play.

However, their lead was short lived as Sunderland threw men forward and got an equalizer when Stephane Sessegnon headed the ball into the Villa net after a Seb Larsson free kick.