Thursday 8 December 2016

Sunderland snatch share of the spoils

Mark Staniforth

Published 30/10/2011 | 05:00

Stephane Sessegnon snatched a point for Sunderland in a storming finish at the Stadium of Light, which eclipsed the much-publicised return of Darren Bent. The Benin international stooped to nod home a Sebastian Larsson free-kick with one minute left after Richard Dunne had appeared to win it for Villa.

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Dunne had risen highest to head the visitors back in front five minutes earlier after Connor Wickham had cancelled out Stilyan Petrov's stunning opener. Bent, who was booed throughout on his first return to Wearside since his January move south, missed a fine chance in the 70th minute when he was denied by substitute Keiren Westwood -- the Republic of Ireland 'keeper making his Premier League debut after Simon Mignolet suffered a broken nose.

"Westy has saved us all. He has trained fantastically for weeks and weeks to get his chance and he has pulled off a great save," said manager Steve Bruce.

"It [Mignolet's nose] is badly broken. He's had CT scans to check his jaw and cheekbones and teeth. The ball was fizzed in and Simon was brave enough to go for it. Darren will be agonising over it [the missed chance] as all good players do," said Villa boss Alex McLeish. "There was disappointment at not scoring but there was great movement to get the chance."

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