Why Aston Villa 0-0 Sunderland was an inevitable scoreline
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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 free kick 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.