Black Cats and Canaries play out stalemate.Sunderland picked up consecutive clean sheets with a 0-0 home draw against Norwich City at the Stadium of Light.
Head coach Gus Poyet made three changes from the side that performed heroics in beating Chelsea in midweek with Craig Gardner, Andrea Dossena and Adam Johnson all finding themselves replaced by Phil Bardsley, Fabio Borini and Ki Sung-Yeung.
It was a fairly close match, with neither side really managing to get a firm foothold in the game, until Wes Brown was sent off for a bad tackle on City substitute Ricky Van Wolfswinkel.
The away side could have opened the scoring in a fairly even first few minutes of the game - pacey winger Nathan Redmond ran down the left and cut inside opting to test Vito Mannone from range, the Italian, however, was up the challenge, saving the ball at his near post.
Jozy Altidore and Ki then both had good chances to score; first the American was free on the edge of the box after a well worked free kick but decided to take too many touches before his shot was deflected wide.
Ki was then in a similar position moments later, but the South Korean made the same mistake and did not get his shot away quickly enough.
Gary Hooper tested Mannone from range and once again the stop stopper made a good save, this time leaping up into the top corner to put the striker’s pile driver behind.
Phil Bardsley then got the Lads’ first shot on target, though it was a tame effort that John Ruddy managed to hold easily at his near post.
Seb Larsson, Lee Cattermole and Ondrej Celustka then sent long range shots high and wide before half time as never side really looked like they were going to win it.
The lack of chances continued in the second half but the chances that fell to both sides were golden ones and should have been buried.
Ex-Black Cat Michael Turner sliced a Seb Larsson corner kick up into the air, where Brown jumped above the rest but saw his header bounce wide via the post.
Ki then had another good chance to open the scoring, this time an open goal but his delicate chip from range hit the roof of the net after Ruddy had been beaten to the ball by Borini on the Black Cats’ left flank.
In between these two opportunities was a good chance for the Canaries, backed by around 900 fans from East Anglia as Leroy Fer played in Van Wolfswinkel, who was slightly left of centre, inside the Sunderland area but he was denied by Mannone before Brown coolly cleared.
Brown was dismissed for a late challenge on Van Wolfswinkel in the closing stages as the Black Cats head to Everton in their next outing.