Home » EPL, Latest » Match Report: Sunderland 2 Aston Villa 2

With the spotlight firmly fixed on him and his every move watched, Darren Bent somehow still managed to disappear as his Aston Villa side twice took the lead against Sunderland and failed to hold on to it.

Despite his best attempt to soothe the ill-feeling his £24m January move to Aston Villa generated in the build up to his first return to his former club, Bent was predictably booed every time he went near the ball by those who once adored him.

It was not as often as he would have hoped. Starved of service and well contained by Wes Brown, Bent was a periphery figure.

Anonymous in the first-half and quiet in the second, the England man had one chance to silence the jeers. A sharp one-two with Gabriel Agbonlahor gave him a clear sight of goal, but a tame finish was saved by the legs of substitute goalkeeper Keiren Westwood.

Bent had promised not to celebrate if he scored, but that miss was celebrated by the home support almost as enthusiastically as any of the 36 goals he scored in just 63 games in a Sunderland shirt.

It was a let off for Sunderland in a match they were relieved to get a point in as Steve Bruce’s troubles at the Stadium of Light continued. His side have won just twice on home soil since the end of January.

Villa’s first goal was the sort that gives managers heart palpitations, as Sunderland somehow managed to concede from their own corner.

The visitor’s broke with speed, but there was far too much time for Stiliyan Petrov to control the ball on the edge of the area, get his head up and thump a shot into the top corner.

Sunderland were level before the break as Connor Wickham scored his first goal following an £8.1m summer move from Ipswich Town. It was a good one too, the England Under-21 international planting a firm shot into the bottom corner after slick approach play involving Kieran Richardson and Stephane Sessegnon.

That should have given the Black Cats a platform to go on and win the game, but despite starting the second half strongly they faded and looked to be heading to a defeat when Richard Dunne headed in Petrov’s free-kick – needlessly conceded by Sebastian Larsson for a foul on Agbonlahor – with five minutes remaining.

Villa did not learn from their opposition’s mistakes, Dunne conceding a free-kick in the final third of the pitch, which was swung over by Larsson and headed home by the diminutive, but unmarked Sessegnon.

Alex McLeish’s side have now dropped nine points from winning positions this season. The Scot said: “It’s frustrating and it’s something we have got to improve on. To score so late in the game and then concede an equaliser, it’s very disappointing because I thought we played well.”

Related Posts

No comments yet... Be the first to leave a reply!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.