English Premiership

Sunderland draw, sink rock-bottom

2015-08-30 09:09
Dick Advocaat (AFP)

Birmingham - Sunderland slumped to the bottom of the Premier League despite battling back for a 2-2 draw at Aston Villa thanks to Jeremain Lens's equaliser on Saturday.

Dick Advocaat's side led through Yann M'Vila's superb free-kick but a Scott Sinclair double before half-time turned the game on its head.

Lens levelled for Sunderland early in the second half, yet the Black Cats still headed back to Wearside rooted to the bottom of the table with just two points after four league games without a win.

Sunderland went ahead after eight minutes through M'Vila's free-kick, a curling shot around the Villa wall that left Brad Guzan with no chance.

But the lead lasted just three minutes as Lee Cattermole clumsily leant over the top of Sinclair and referee Robert Madley pointed to the penalty spot.

Sinclair took the spot-kick himself and tucked the ball away into the left-hand side of the net.

Villa were in the ascendancy and Sinclair went close again before Ashley Westwood's first-time shot from the right side of the area flew just wide.

Tim Sherwood's team made their pressure pay four minutes before half-time when Idrissa Gueye set Jordan Amavi free down the left and Sinclair got between two defenders to divert his low cross into the roof of the net.

At half-time, Advocaat replaced Danny Graham and Cattermole with Steven Fletcher and Ola Toivonen, on for his debut following his loan arrival this week from Rennes.

Fletcher was involved straight away, with his header having to be tipped over the crossbar by Guzan.

In the 52nd minute, Toivonen's threaded through ball found Lens, who turned Ciaran Clark and fired his shot beyond Guzan.

Sinclair somehow squandered the chance of a second hat-trick in four days as he got on the end of Gueye's driven cross, but the ball struck his body just a couple of yards from goal and ricocheted to Costel Pantilimon.

Villa thought they had a penalty 10 minutes from time when substitute Carles Gil went down under a challenge from Younes Kaboul, but the referee booked the Villa man for diving.


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