Flashback: Home win over Villa

by Ashley Houghton

Dunne own goal extends league unbeaten run to seven.

Sunderland extended their Barclays Premier League unbeaten run to seven games with a 1-0 victory over Aston Villa at the Stadium of Light.

Richard Dunne’s first-half own goal proved to be decisive as the Black Cats moved up to seventh in the table.

The hosts were the first to go close to opening the scoring when Steed Malbranque headed wide from Jordan Henderson's cross before former Black Cats’ loanee Stewart Downing drilled against the post after latching on to Ashley Young's pass.

The Villans were looking to protect an eight-year unbeaten run at the Stadium of Light and, though they had chances of their own, Sunderland were edging the play and Darren Bent was inches from connecting with Henderson’s cross at point blank range.

And minutes later the Black Cats were ahead as Malbranque’s cross was diverted into his own goal by Dunne leaving Brad Friedel with no chance.

Ahmed Elmohamady and Danny Welbeck forced smart saves out of Friedel as the hosts look to double their advantage.

Lee Cattermole made a superb block to deny Young’s goal-bound effort as Villa pushed for a leveller before Emile Heskey missed the visitors’ best opportunity when he missed Downing’s low cross.

Steve Sidwell's header was cleared off the line by Henderson before fellow substitute Marc Albrighton had a shot parried by Simon Mignolet as Villa began to dominate proceedings.

Gyan Asamoah missed a late chance on the counter but Sunderland held out to secure the three points.

Sunderland: Mignolet, Bardsley, Turner, Onuoha, Bramble, Cattermole, Malbranque (Mensah, 81), Henderson, Elmohamady (Zenden, 90), Bent, Welbeck (Gyan, 65).

Subs not used: Gordon, Da Silva, Ferdinand, Riveros.