Benin international scored in the dying minutes after goals from James Collins and Stilian Petrov looked to have given visitors win with Connor Wickham also netting
Stephane Sessegnon struck late on to give Sunderland a share of the points against Aston Villa in a 2-2 draw as goals from Stilian Petrov and James Collins looked to have given Villa all three points at the Stadium of Light.
Connor Wickham also netted his first goal for the Black Cats but it was a miserable return to his former club for Darren Bent as he missed a sitter and endured a torrid afternoon from the Wearsider supporters.
Wickham, who had an impressive start last week against Bolton, should have done better when he was put through by David Vaughan however the teenager blasted his effort well over the bar.
Aston Villa had a quiet start to the game but had an excellent chance to take the lead after a great move involving Emile Heskey and Gabriel Agbonlahor. The latter hit a wonderful cross to the back-post where Darren Bent effort was blocked back onto him by Kieran Richardson and out for a goal-kick.
The visitors took the lead after counter attacking from a Black Cats corner when Agbonlahor broke up-field and hit a cross-field pass to the right where Alan Hutton played the ball to Petrov who was free on the edge of the area and hit a blistering left-footed shot into the top corner.
Steve Bruce’s side nearly hit straight back through Michael Turner but his headed effort from a corner flew just inches over the bar with Given beaten.
Sunderland again came close to an equalizer but Warnock came to Villa’s rescue as he cleared Wickham’s header off the line and cleared the danger away from the box.
The Black Cats finally got their deserved equalizer and it was Wickham who got the goal with a smart left-footed finish past Given following great play from Sessegnon to slip him behind the Villa defense.
Villa started the second half well and put early pressure on the Sunderland defense but couldn’t carve out any clear cut opportunities as delivery from set-pieces was particularly poor.
Their onslaught however did take its toll on the Black Cats as keeper Mignolet was taken off with a suspected broken nose and replaced by Keiron Westwood.The visitors were coming more into the game and seemed the most likely to get a winner but their delivery and finishing let them down. However in the 85th minute Petrov’s cross found Collins who headed into the net to send the Villa fans into raptures.
Steve Bruce’s side rallied and threw everything at the Midlands club and got an equalizer through Sessegnon who headed in from close range from Larsson’s free-kick to give the Black Cats a deserved share of the points.