Premier League
SunderlandSunderland0NorwichNorwich City0

Sunderland 0-0 Norwich City

By Kerry WilkinsonBBC Sport
Wes Brown sent off

Sunderland head into Christmas bottom of the Premier League after a scrappy goalless draw with Norwich at the Stadium of Light.

The Black Cats are five points from safety, despite no wins for any of the clubs directly above them - Fulham, West Ham, Crystal Palace and West Brom.

The game was full of endeavour but quality was sparse.

Sunderland display disappoints Poyet

Wes Brown, who was later sent off, went closest for Sunderland, his header hitting the post after a scramble.

Only one team have avoided Premier League relegation after being bottom at Christmas, West Brom in 2004-05.

The Baggies had the same record at this point as Sunderland, with 10 points from 18 matches.

The first half-hour was summed up by Lee Cattermole's attempt on goal, which was closer to a failed rugby conversion.

Sunderland finally moved up a gear with the break approaching, Jozy Altidore finding himself in space, only to take too long over his shot.

Moments later, Emanuele Giaccherini pulled the ball back to Phil Bardsley, whose shot was saved by John Ruddy at the near post.

With the tempo raised, Norwich went straight up to the other end, Gary Hooper cracking a goal-bound shot from 25 yards that Vito Mannone had to parry away for a corner.

The scrappiness continued after the break, Fabio Borini missing a good chance chance by shooting straight at Ruddy after a miscued clearance.

Hooper - Norwich's top scorer, with three goals in his past four games - also fluffed an opportunity, peeling away to give himself a free header at the back post, only to nod wide.

Sunderland continued to pile forward, with Steven Fletcher shooting wide from Sebastian Larsson's delivery and Bardsley heading straight at Mannone.

Soon after, Norwich goalkeeper Ruddy raced out of his goal, following Borini to the corner flag, only for the Italian forward to pull back to Ki Sung-Yueng 25 yards out. With the goal at his mercy and defenders frantically retreating, the South Korean chipped over.

Sunderland had a huge call for a penalty in injury time, when Adam Johnson's cross struck Sebastien Bassong's hip, despite the home team's claims of handball.

Immediately afterwards, Brown jumped into a challenge with substitute Ricky van Wolfswinkel close to the corner flag, earning himself a red card and a three-game Christmas and new year ban.

Hughton happy with Norwich clean sheet

Norwich manager Chris Hughton: "We showed grit and determination but a draw was a fair result.

"I felt we were the team most likely to score. A clean sheet away from home is valuable and we need to maintain that going into the Christmas period.

"There's a fair bit of confidence in the team. We've been unlucky with injuries but we've got through that period with great spirit.

"Their handball shout for a penalty was never a handball and Wes Brown's challenge was reckless. The sending off was a correct decision."

Norwich midfielder Robert Snodgrass: "We're trying to kick on now. It's a good point.

"It was a tasty match but this is a good result. Wes Brown's was a crazy challenge. Ricky was going nowhere."

Sunderland manager Gus Poyet: "I'm disappointed. I was expecting more from the team: I was expecting to win.

"Every time we win an important game - like the cup win - the next step is always down.

"We were very poor technically today. Playing extra-time on Tuesday is no excuse.

"I'm realistic. Time is running out (to stay up)."

Line-ups

Sunderland

  • 25Mannone
  • 12Celustka
  • 2Bardsley
  • 33Cattermole
  • 16O'Shea
  • 5BrownBooked at 90mins
  • 7LarssonBooked at 76minsSubstituted forRobergeat 90+5'minutes
  • 4Ki Sung-yueng
  • 17AltidoreSubstituted forFletcherat 68'minutes
  • 23GiaccheriniSubstituted forJohnsonat 63'minutes
  • 31BoriniBooked at 90mins

Substitutes

  • 3Dossena
  • 8Gardner
  • 9Fletcher
  • 11Johnson
  • 13Pickford
  • 14Colback
  • 29Roberge

Norwich

  • 1Ruddy
  • 3WhittakerBooked at 49mins
  • 23Olsson
  • 10Fer
  • 6Turner
  • 5Bassong Nguena
  • 7Snodgrass
  • 4Johnson
  • 16ElmanderSubstituted forvan Wolfswinkelat 77'minutes
  • 11Hooper
  • 22Redmond

Substitutes

  • 9van Wolfswinkel
  • 13Bunn
  • 14Hoolahan
  • 18Garrido
  • 19Becchio
  • 24Bennett
  • 31Murphy
Referee:
Martin Atkinson
Attendance:
37,778

Match Stats

Home TeamSunderlandAway TeamNorwich
Possession
Home59%
Away41%
Shots
Home18
Away14
Shots on Target
Home4
Away5
Corners
Home6
Away7
Fouls
Home13
Away10

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Sunderland 0, Norwich City 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Sunderland 0, Norwich City 0.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Phillip Bardsley (Sunderland) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Ki Sung-Yueng following a fast break.

  4. Post update

    Corner, Norwich City. Conceded by Vito Mannone.

  5. Substitution

    Substitution, Sunderland. Valentin Roberge replaces Sebastian Larsson.

  6. Dismissal

    Wes Brown (Sunderland) is shown the red card.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Wes Brown (Sunderland).

  8. Post update

    Ricky van Wolfswinkel (Norwich City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  9. Booking

    Fabio Borini (Sunderland) is shown the yellow card.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Fabio Borini (Sunderland).

  11. Post update

    Steven Whittaker (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  12. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Ricky van Wolfswinkel (Norwich City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Bradley Johnson with a headed pass.

  13. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Leroy Fer (Norwich City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Robert Snodgrass.

  14. Post update

    Steven Fletcher (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  15. Post update

    Foul by Michael Turner (Norwich City).

  16. Post update

    Foul by Steven Fletcher (Sunderland).

  17. Post update

    Michael Turner (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  18. Post update

    Delay over. They are ready to continue.

  19. Post update

    Delay in match Phillip Bardsley (Sunderland) because of an injury.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Adam Johnson (Sunderland).