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Barclays Premier League

Stadium of Light (ATT 37,062) 29th October 2011 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: C Foy

Sunderland Sunderland vs Aston Villa A Villa

Sunderland 2

C Wickham (38)
S Sessegnon (89)

ft

A Villa 2

S Petrov (20)
R Dunne (85)

Sessegnon snatches late point

Striker comes to Black Cats' rescue with late effort

Last Updated: 29/10/11 6:23pm

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Stephane Sessegnon: Congratulated by Michael Turner after rescuing a point for Sunderland

Stephane Sessegnon: Congratulated by Michael Turner after rescuing a point for Sunderland

A late Stephane Sessegnon effort ensured Sunderland rescued a point in a dramatic 2-2 draw against Aston Villa.

Man of the match: Connor Wickham is starting to prove what a genuine talent he is. The 18-year-old scored Sunderland's first equaliser and worked like a trojan throughout. Goal of the match: Stiliyan Petrov's wonder strike to open the scoring was simply sensational. The midfielder is getting a bit of a reputation for his long-range efforts. Moment of the match: Darren Bent, who was booed throughout on his first return to Wearside, blew his big opportunity as he shot straight at substitute keeper Keiren Westwood much to the delight of the home fans. Controversy of the match: Sunderland's first equaliser proved highly controversial after Charles N'Zogbia claimed he was felled in the build-up with David Vaughan's arms all over him. Talking point: Can both Steve Bruce and Alex McLeish accept that a point was enough as both sets of fans clearly won't?

It was not to be a dream return for Darren Bent to the Stadium of Light as the Beninese striker was allowed plenty of time to head home Seb Larsson's devilish delivery a minute from time after Villa defender Richard Dunne thought he had sealed the club's first away win of the season with a header of his own.

The visitors broke the deadlock thanks to Stiliyan Petrov's wonder strike. The Villa skipper picked up Alan Hutton's pass before firing his left-foot curler into the top corner.

But the Black Cats fought their way back into the game and after Connor Wickham's header was cleared off the line by Stephen Warnock, the 18-year-old soon made up for his miss when he clinically dispatched Sessegnon's through ball past Shay Given seven minutes before the break.

Bent, who was booed throughout on his first return to Wearside since his January move south, blew his big chance in the 70th minute when he shot straight at substitute keeper Keiren Westwood.

Passenger

It had been clear from the pre-match warm-up that Bent was set for a torrid afternoon on Wearside after his controversial move to Villa in January.

And the striker was a virtual passenger in much of the early action with the main threat coming from Sunderland's Sebastian Larsson, who fired a pair of dangerous free-kicks.

Bent got the chance he had been waiting for in the 16th minute when Emile Heskey's cross found the striker at the far post but he prodded wide under pressure from Kieran Richardson.

And Villa snatched the lead in stunning fashion in the 20th minute when Petrov was fed by Alan Hutton and lashed a stunning shot for only his sixth goal in 167 Villa appearances.

Sunderland came close to grabbing an equaliser within two minutes, when Bendtner found the head of Turner in front of goal but the defender headed inches over.

And they fashioned another chance in the 27th minute when Wickham headed goalwards in a crowded box but Stephen Warnock headed clear with keeper Shay Given stranded.

The home side snatched their equaliser in the 38th minute when Sessegnon turned Hutton and fed Wickham, who drove home a fine left-foot shot from 10 yards.

However, the goal proved slightly controversial as Charles N'Zogbia claimed he was felled in the build-up with David Vaughan's arms seemingly all over him.

The Black Cats defence was still giving cause for concern and they had a mighty let-off in the 42nd minute when Petrov's free-kick trickled unchallenged across the face of goal.

Best spell

Westwood got his first taste of Premier League action five minutes into the second half when Mignolet appeared to suffer a broken nose in the course of flapping away a Petrov corner.

The home side enjoyed their best spell of the game with James Collins twice forced to clear from dangerous positions, and Bendtner heading just over on the hour.

The home side had a penalty appeal turned down by referee Chris Foy in the 63rd minute when Bendtner met Larsson's cross from the right with a header which struck Hutton at close-range.

Larsson came close in the 70th minute after Chris Herd fouled Bendtner on the edge of the box and the midfielder's curling free-kick was well saved by Given.

And moments later Bent almost caught Sunderland out at the other end when he charged onto Herd's long ball before being pulled back for fouling Wes Brown as he wriggled clear.

As the game exploded into life, Westwood had his moment of glory when he got down to deny Bent from close-range after the striker had been put through by Gabriel Agbonlahor.

But Villa snatched back the lead in the 84th minute when Petrov lofted a free-kick from the left side of the box and Dunne climbed to head home.

Just when it seemed Villa had done enough to snatch the points, the home side roared back and Sessegnon headed home an 89th-minute equaliser from Larsson's free-kick.

SunderlandTeam StatisticsAston Villa
2Goals2
11st Half Goals1
5Shots on Target3
5Shots off Target6
6Blocked Shots5
5Corners6
8Fouls14
0Offsides0
1Yellow Cards3
0Red Cards0
70.7Passing Success72.7
20Tackles23
65Tackles Success69.6
50Possession50
52.3Territorial Advantage47.7
358Total Passes366
31Total Crosses24
179Lost Balls168
55Recoveries55

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Matches

Table

Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Chelsea 5 13
2 Southampton 5 10
3 Aston Villa 5 10
4 Arsenal 5 9
5 Swansea City 5 9
6 Manchester City 5 8
7 Leicester City 5 8
8 West Ham United 5 7
9 Tottenham Hotspur 5 7
10 Hull City 5 6
11 Liverpool 5 6
12 Manchester United 5 5
13 Stoke City 5 5
14 Everton 5 5
15 Crystal Palace 5 5
16 West Bromwich Albion 5 5
17 Sunderland 5 4
18 Queens Park Rangers 5 4
19 Burnley 5 3
20 Newcastle United 5 3

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