Bardsley nets in style at Villa Park.
Aston Villa 0 Sunderland 1
5th January 2011
Phil Bardsley’s late winner earned Sunderland a 1-0 victory over Aston Villa in a feisty encounter at Villa Park.
Emile Heskey was dismissed for the hosts before Boudewijn Zenden saw red four minutes from time as the Black Cats made it two wins out of two in 2011.
Heskey was dismissed just after the hour mark when he raised his arm in an altercation with Jordan Henderson.
The former Liverpool man’s dismissal proved to be the turning point as Sunderland gained control of the game in the final half hour.
Scotland international Bardsley showed immense skill to hammer home the winner from the edge of the area after Zenden’s free-kick crashed into the wall.
Zenden received his second booking shortly afterwards for an innocuous foul on Stiliyan Petrov, having earlier been booked for unsporting behaviour.
The win piled the pressure on Villa boss Gerard Houllier as they slipped into the relegation zone whilst the Black Cats closed the gap to fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur to just three points.
Sunderland: Gordon, Bramble, Ferdinand, Bardsley, Richardson, Elmohamady, Meyler (Zenden, 39), Henderson, Malbranque (Gyan, 55), Bent, Welbeck (Riveros, 84).
Subs not used: Da Silva, Adams, Angeleri, Mignolet.