A couple of good punches when called upon in the first half. Made a vital punch in the dying seconds after indecision from Turner.
Looked shaky in the opening stages but improved as the game went on. Had a shot from the edge of the box that fizzed past the left-hand post. Struggled to handle Albrighton at times.
A couple of early interventions for his side that broke up Villa counter attacks. Looks solid and has integrated into the Sunderland side quickly.
Excellent goal line clearance to prevent his side conceding an early goal. Was dominant whenever the ball was played long by the visitors and always looked to be in the right place at the right time. A phenom for his side.
Coped relatively well with Heskey and the aerial threat posed by Villa, but looked indecisive on a couple of occasions.
Ahmed El Mohamady
A constant threat down the right flank and had the measure of Warnock. Looks like he has been playing in the Premier League for years and supplied a good pass for Welbeck in the first half. Also had a good attempt on goal that darted narrowly beyond the left-hand post. Went off with an injury in the final moments.
Committed performance from the Sunderland captain, put himself about to good effect and ensured his side won the midfield battle.
Provided good quality crosses into the box from set pieces and open play. Made an impressive run into the penalty area on the cusp of half-time but couldn’t quite get his shot off at the vital moment. Cleared one off the line in the second half.
Good early chance with a header, his passing was intelligent and Sunderland rely on him to dictate the tempo of their attacking play. Provided the cross that lead to the opening goal for Sunderland.
Committed performance, always willing to close down opposition midfielders and came infield to good effect, combining well with his teammates. Had a good strike well saved by Friedel in the first half.
Once again a willing runner for his side, but couldn't make the most of the few opportunities that came his way.
Couldn’t be blamed for the goal and made a good save from Welbeck in the first half. Also looked confident from crosses.
Solid if unremarkable, Welbeck was most impressive when he came infield to test the central defenders. He got little joy down the left flank.
Troubled by Elmohamady’s trickery throughout and didn’t offer much going forward.
Didn’t look confident under pressure from Bent at times, and made a couple of nervous back passes to Friedel. Was called upon less in the second half.
A huge mistake from the Irishman as he diverted a Steed Malbranque cross into his own goal. An uncharacteristic mistake, and one that cost his side.
Very quiet first half but improved slightly in the first 10 minutes of the second half before he was substituted. Had a good chance with a counter attack in the second half that he wasted.
A darting run forward in the first half should have been rewarded with the opening goal but wasn’t decisive in the one-on-one, allowing Turner to get back and recover.
The Villa captain was virtually anonymous before being replaced by Sidwell as half-time approached after twisting his knee.
Bright running down the flanks and had a good chance to give his side the lead after breaking into the box. Alongside Young he provided the biggest threat for the away side.
Villa's brightest player. Good pass to Downing in the early stages that split open the Sunderland backline and combined with Downing in the second half to create a shooting opportunity.
Led the line well and provided a good layoff for Reo-Coker in the early stages that his teammate should have made more of. Also provided a good pass for Ireland but lost the aerial battle against Bramble and Turner.
- 1 C. Gordon
A late introduction as Sunderland looked to solidify their defence and hold out for the three points.
- 29 A. Ferdinand
- 16 C. Riveros
On in stoppage time to replace the injured Elmohamady.
Replaced Welbeck with 25 minutes remaining and struggled to get onto the ball. Had a shot that went well wide but provided a good through ball for Bent.
- 22 B. Guzan
- 24 Carlos Cuéllar
- 21 C. Clark
- 25 B. Bannan
Replaced Ireland 10 minutes into the second half and was a vast improvement. Troubled Bardsley and most of Villa's attacks came through him. The pick being a lung-bursting run from his own half that ended with a shot on goal.
Replaced Petrov and contributed almost as little as his captain.
- 10 J. Carew