English Premiership

Villa closer to safety

2012-04-21 19:06
rmingham - Aston Villa remain on the fringes of the relegation dog-fight after a dour 0-0 draw against 10-man Sunderland on Saturday.

Alex McLeish's side could have moved to within touching distance of Premier League survival with a win at Villa Park, but instead they face a nervous finale to a troubled season.

The Midlands outfit are five points clear of the bottom three with four games remaining after failing to break down a stubborn Sunderland team, who had former Villa midfielder Craig Gardner sent off in second-half stoppage-time.

It was a disappointing afternoon for Sunderland coach Martin O'Neill, who was greeted with boos from Villa fans after walking out on their club on the eve of last season.

With survival on the agenda, it was Villa who set the early tempo and the hosts came close to taking the lead inside the first 60 seconds.

Gabriel Agbonlahor charged down a clearance from Sunderland goalkeeper Simon Mignolet and he fed Andreas Weimann, who forced a fine save from the visiting shot-stopper.

Mignolet was the busier of the two keepers in the early stages and he tipped a low drive from Charles N'Zogbia around the post.

Sunderland's on-loan Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner squandered a good chance to put the Black Cats ahead seven minutes before halftime.

James Collins lost possession and allowed James McClean to make a clear run into the Villa area.

His cross picked out the unmarked Bendtner but the Danish international headed over the bar.

Gardner became the first player to be booked for bringing down Chris Herd early in the second half.

Moments later, McClean missed the best chance of the game when he hooked over from Seb Larsson's cross.

Stephen Ireland then came to Villa's rescue when he cleared a shot on the turn from Bendtner off the line.

Bendtner did have the ball in the net after 76 minutes but was judged to have strayed fractionally offside before converting Larsson's cross.

Gardner was dismissed for his second yellow card after a foul on Marc Albrighton in the final moments.

Read more on:    aston villa  |  epl  |  soccer

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

29 October 2016
Sunderland v Arsenal, Stadium of Light 13:30
Manchester United v Burnley, Old Trafford 16:00
Middlesbrough v Bournemouth, Riverside Stadium 16:00
West Bromwich Albion v Manchester City, The Hawthorns 16:00
Watford v Hull City, Vicarage Road 16:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Leicester City, White Hart Lane 16:00
Crystal Palace v Liverpool, Selhurst Park 18:30
30 October 2016
Everton v West Ham United, Goodison Park 15:30
Southampton v Chelsea, St. Mary's Stadium 18:00
31 October 2016
Stoke City v Swansea City, Britannia Stadium 22:00
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Who will claim the Premier League title at the end of the 2016/17 season?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.