Premier League
Aston Villa2Sunderland2

Aston Villa 2-2 Sunderland

Jeremain Lens
Jeremain Lens scored his first Sunderland goal since his £8m summer move from Dynamo Kiev

Sunderland are still searching for their first win of the Premier League season after earning a point through Jeremain Lens' second-half strike.

The Black Cats led when Yann M'Vila curled a superb 20-yard free-kick into the top corner.

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Villa have been robbed - Sherwood

Villa hit back almost instantly when Lee Cattermole needlessly barged over Scott Sinclair, who calmly converted a low penalty before tapping in a second.

But Lens earned a draw for his side when he steered in from close range.

Villa dominated the final half-hour with skipper Micah Richards going closest to netting the home side's third goal, somehow diverting the ball wide from inside the six-yard box.

Sunderland's attacking forays were rare after Dutch winger Lens's equaliser, while Villa felt they should have been awarded a penalty when Spanish substitute Carles Gil - who was booked for diving - tumbled under a challenge from Younes Kaboul.

With West Brom earning their first win at Stoke, Sunderland dropped to the bottom of the Premier League table, while Villa moved up to 12th.

Reaction to this match and the rest of Saturday's action

Read how Villa and Sunderland shared the points

Sunderland's defence continues to leak

Sunderland's disappointing pre-game Premier League form - two defeats and a draw - was largely down to the generosity of their defence.

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Advocaat pleased with point

The Black Cats had the worst defensive record in the top-flight after conceding eight goals in their opening three matches, with poor organisation and sloppy individual errors blighting their defeats by Leicester and Norwich.

Dick Advocaat's side tightened up against Swansea last weekend, but were the architects of their own downfall at Villa Park when Cattermole bundled over Sinclair just 137 seconds after Sunderland took the lead.

However, they defended resolutely after the break - led by experienced centre-backs John O'Shea and Younes Kaboul - to keep out Villa and earn their second successive draw.

Hope for Villa's long-suffering home fans

Villa registered just five Premier League wins at home last season - with only Sunderland and relegated Burnley faring worse.

They have won 17 of their 71 league games at Villa Park since December 2011, losing 35 times and averaging less than one point per match during that period.

But there were signs of encouragement for the home fans as Tim Sherwood's side showed plenty of attacking vibrancy against Sunderland.

French full-back Jordan Amavi particularly impressed with his marauding runs down the left flank, while Scott Sinclair's sharp movement and Rudy Gestede's imposing presence caused problems for the away defence.

However, the big worry for Villa - the second-lowest scorers last season and now without Christian Benteke - is where the goals will come from against better defences than Sunderland.

Villa v Sunderland
Villa left-back Jordan Amavi caused plenty of problems for the Sunderland defence - setting up Sinclair's second goal as one of his six crosses, while having the joint most touches of any Villa player (107). The threat posed by the France Under-21 international in attacking areas is shown by the comparison of his heatmap (left) with that of Sunderland left-back Patrick van Aanholt

Man of the match

Scott Sinclair
Scott Sinclair is taking on Villa's scoring burden, moving his tally to five goals in his last two matches against Sunderland and Notts County

Reaction

Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood: "Anyone who watched that game knows that we should have won. We had 22 shots, the keeper has pulled off a 'worldy' save and we should have had a penalty. We have been robbed.

"It definitely should have been a penalty. Younes Kaboul pulls out but there's contact - it is a penalty. My team couldn't have done any more today."

Sunderland manager Dick Advocaat: "We had to work very hard to get one point - and I'm pleased with the point. We had no real problem in the beginning when we led 1-0 but then we gave an easy penalty away and that allowed Villa to control the first half. We had some problems with the movement of the Villa front players - they did very well."

Sunderland skipper John O'Shea: "There's a lot of pride in the dressing room, when you are 2-1 down at half-time in the Premier League and pick up a point you have to be satisfied. But there is some disappointment at how we let Villa back into the game so quickly.

"Villa might think they deserved to win because they were pressing near the end but I think the draw was a fair result."

What's next?

Most importantly for Sunderland - transfer deadline day. Black Cats boss Dick Advocaat has made no secret of his desire to bring in some reinforcements before the window closes on Tuesday.

His team return to action after the international break with a home match against Tottenham on 13 September.

Meanwhile, Villa boss Tim Sherwood - whose side go to Leicester in their next outing on the same day - has refused to rule out moves for West Brom defender Joleon Lescott and Spurs striker Emmanuel Adebayor.

The stats you need to know

  • Aston Villa have only kept one clean sheet in their last 11 Premier League games at Villa Park.
  • Only two teams have conceded more PL penalties than Sunderland (six) since the start of last season (Spurs eight, West Brom seven).
  • Jeremain Lens has two assists and one goal in four Premier League appearances.

Line-ups

Aston Villa

  • 1Guzan
  • 21Hutton
  • 4Richards
  • 6ClarkBooked at 37mins
  • 23Amavi
  • 15Westwood
  • 24Sánchez
  • 8Gueye
  • 7BacunaSubstituted forGilat 68'minutesBooked at 79mins
  • 39Gestede
  • 9Sinclair

Substitutes

  • 3Bennett
  • 12Cole
  • 17Veretout
  • 19J Ayew
  • 25Gil
  • 27Kozák
  • 31Bunn

Sunderland

  • 1PantilimonBooked at 90mins
  • 2Jones
  • 16O'Shea
  • 15Kaboul
  • 3van Aanholt
  • 21M'Vila
  • 6CattermoleSubstituted forToivonenat 45'minutes
  • 8Rodwell
  • 17LensSubstituted forLarssonat 77'minutes
  • 19GrahamSubstituted forFletcherat 45'minutes
  • 18Defoe

Substitutes

  • 7Larsson
  • 20Toivonen
  • 22Coates
  • 25Mannone
  • 26Fletcher
  • 41Watmore
  • 46Gooch
Referee:
Robert Madley
Attendance:
35,399

Match Stats

Home TeamAston VillaAway TeamSunderland
Possession
Home62%
Away38%
Shots
Home21
Away7
Shots on Target
Home6
Away3
Corners
Home5
Away4
Fouls
Home10
Away14

Live Text

Match ends, Aston Villa 2, Sunderland 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Aston Villa 2, Sunderland 2.

Attempt missed. Jack Rodwell (Sunderland) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left following a corner.

Corner, Sunderland. Conceded by Ciaran Clark.

Foul by Idrissa Gueye (Aston Villa).

Billy Jones (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Jordan Amavi (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Steven Fletcher (Sunderland).

Foul by Jordan Amavi (Aston Villa).

Sebastian Larsson (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Booking

Costel Pantilimon (Sunderland) is shown the yellow card.

Attempt missed. Micah Richards (Aston Villa) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Ashley Westwood with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Yann M'Vila.

Jordan Amavi (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Steven Fletcher (Sunderland).

Attempt blocked. Rudy Gestede (Aston Villa) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Ashley Westwood.

Attempt missed. Rudy Gestede (Aston Villa) right footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Ciaran Clark.

Attempt saved. Rudy Gestede (Aston Villa) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Alan Hutton with a cross.

Attempt saved. Ashley Westwood (Aston Villa) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Rudy Gestede.

Attempt missed. Jordan Amavi (Aston Villa) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Idrissa Gueye.

Booking

Carles Gil (Aston Villa) is shown the yellow card.

Carles Gil (Aston Villa) has gone down, but that's a dive.

Substitution

Substitution, Sunderland. Sebastian Larsson replaces Jeremain Lens.

Attempt missed. Rudy Gestede (Aston Villa) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Jordan Amavi with a cross.

Scott Sinclair (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Billy Jones (Sunderland).

Attempt missed. Idrissa Gueye (Aston Villa) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Jordan Amavi.

Carles Gil (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Patrick van Aanholt (Sunderland).

Substitution

Substitution, Aston Villa. Carles Gil replaces Leandro Bacuna.

Offside, Sunderland. Jeremain Lens tries a through ball, but Steven Fletcher is caught offside.

Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Yann M'Vila.

Attempt blocked. Jordan Amavi (Aston Villa) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is blocked. Assisted by Idrissa Gueye with a cross.

Foul by Ashley Westwood (Aston Villa).

Jermain Defoe (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Carlos Sánchez (Aston Villa).

Steven Fletcher (Sunderland) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Attempt saved. Leandro Bacuna (Aston Villa) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Idrissa Gueye.

Attempt missed. Ashley Westwood (Aston Villa) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses the top right corner.

Idrissa Gueye (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Man City44001001012
2Crystal Palace43018539
3Leicester42208538
4Man Utd32102027
5Arsenal42113307
6Liverpool421123-17
7West Ham42029636
8Swansea31205325
9Everton41215415
10Norwich31115504
11Bournemouth411256-14
12Aston Villa411245-14
13Chelsea411269-34
14West Brom411236-34
15Tottenham403134-13
16Watford403124-23
17Stoke402235-22
18Newcastle402225-32
19Southampton302125-32
20Sunderland4022610-42
View full Premier League table

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