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Premier League

  • 21 December 2013
  • • 15:00
  • • Stadium of Light, Sunderland
  • Referee: M. Atkinson
  • • Attendance: 37778
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Sunderland 0-0 Norwich City: Honours even in dour game

Sunderland 0-0 Norwich City: Honours even in dour game

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Both sides played out a stalemate, while Wes Brown was sent off late on for the hosts to cap a frustrating day that saw the Black Cats stay bottom of the Premier League table

Sunderland and Norwich City played out an uneventful 0-0 draw at the Stadium of Light on Saturday afternoon.

Wes Brown was sent off late on for the hosts to cap a frustrating day that saw the Black Cats stay bottom of the Premier League table.

The home side were looking to arrest a run of five games without a top-flight victory but failed to find a way past a stubborn Norwich defence.

In a first half devoid of quality, Fabio Borini came closest for the hosts, drilling an effort wide from the edge of the penalty area, while Norwich's best opportunity came from Gary Hooper's driven strike.

The second half followed a similar pattern, with Ki Sung-Yueng coming closest for Sunderland, while Hooper again had Norwich's best opportunity.

VIEW FROM THE STADIUM OF LIGHT
By Chris Davie

A frustrating afternoon for Sunderland was summed up by Wes Brown’s late red card for a reckless and unnecessary challenge on Gary Hooper. Gus Poyet’s men had all the possession, particularly after the restart, but they could only muster half-chances.

Before his dismissal, Brown went the closest to putting the hosts in front as his header from three yards out clipped the outside of the post. The trio of Jozy Altidore, Fabio Borini and Emanuele Giaccherini were not able to test Norwich’s defence sufficiently, something which Poyet may address with additional arrivals in the January window.

Sunderland will be bottom of the table on Christmas day with nine points, while a draw for Norwich City puts them 14th. Not a very merry Christmas for the Black Cats.
As the game petered out, Brown was given his marching orders for a challenge on Ricky van Wolfswinkel. The draw leaves Sunderland four points adrift of safety, while Norwich remain 14th.

After scoring in Sunderland's 2-1 Capital One Cup quarter-final win over Chelsea on Tuesday, Borini and Ki won starts, while Snodgrass returned from a knee injury to start for Norwich.

And it was the Canaries who engineered the first opportunity of the match, when Nathan Redmond cut in from the left and forced Sunderland goalkeeper Vito Mannone into a smart save at his near post. And, although the hosts were showing plenty of intent, they were forced into long-distance efforts.

Sebastian Larsson came closest with a strike that cleared the crossbar from 25 yards in the 20th minute and Borini then flashed an effort wide from the edge of the penalty box just after the half-hour mark.

At the other end, Hooper's strong 20-yard effort was parried to safety by Mannone.

Norwich then had another chance to take the lead against the run of play but Leroy Fer shot tamely at Mannone as both sides entered the break goalless.

The second period continued in a similar fashion, with both teams failing to create clear-cut chances.

Borini almost capitalised on miscommunication within the Norwich defence in the 65th minute but stabbed his effort straight at goalkeeper John Ruddy.

For Norwich, Hooper connected with Snodgrass' centre - but his effort went harmlessly wide.

Sunderland introduced Steven Fletcher for the last 20 minutes and he caused panic from a corner that resulted in Brown heading wide from close range.

Sunderland then appealed for a penalty when Lee Cattermole went to ground under a challenge from Snodgrass - but it was turned down, while Ki lifted an effort onto the roof of the net when Ruddy rushed off his line.

And they were forced to settle for a point when Brown was given a straight red card in injury time for an over-the-top challenge on Van Wolfswinkel. A day to forget - for both sides.

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