Why Aston Villa 0-0 Sunderland was an inevitable scoreline
Villa stretched their winless run to four games, with only one goal in that time, after suffering following Fabian Delph's 49th-minute red card. The England international's lunge into Jordi Gomez gave the visitors renewed optimism after a first half in which Villa had had the lion's share of possession, as they did on Boxing Day at Swansea before losing 1-0.
Despite their gradual glide down the table since their fine early-season start, Villa haven't lost at home since before Bonfire Night, and Paul Lambert may see this result as a bonus after collecting only their second home clean sheet of the season.
Christian Benteke's header might have clinched it in injury-time, but equally Lambert will have been delieved to see Gomez's 88th-minute effort strike the post.
- Sunderland have failed to score in 5 of their last 6 against Villa, and are winless against them in 7 (D4 L3).
- The Black Cats have kept 4 successive clean sheets away from home – their longest such run in the Premier League.
- Indeed since losing 8-0 to Southampton, Sunderland have conceded just 1 in 5 Premier League away games.
- Despite being sent off in the 49th minute, Fabian Delph was still Villa's second-busiest passer with 55 completed (Carlos Sanchez was top with 85, Ron Vlaar third with 36).
- Villa haven't won a league game in which they have been shown a red card since January 2009.
- There have been 7 red cards in the last 12 meetings between these sides.
- The game's most prolific dribbler was centre-half turned right-back Sebastian Vergini, with 6 attempts. Delph was second with 4.
- Villa have received a joint-league-high 4 red cards so far this season, after not receiving a single one last season.
The Villans kept their first clean sheet at home in 8 games.
Sunderland have scored first in 6 of their last 10 games; the other four finished 0-0.