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Outswinging corner taken by Gabriel Agbonlahor, Header from deep inside the area by James Collins goes over the bar.
The assistant referee signals for offside against Asamoah Gyan. Direct free kick taken by Ashley Young.
Unfair challenge on Ciaran Clark by Jordan Henderson results in a free kick. Stewart Downing restarts play with the free kick.
The assistant referee flags for offside against Richard Dunne. Craig Gordon takes the direct free kick.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Marc Albrighton on Kieran Richardson. Craig Gordon takes the direct free kick.
The referee blows for offside. Ashley Young takes the direct free kick.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Cristian Riveros by Carlos Cuellar. Craig Gordon takes the free kick.
Centre by Barry Bannan, Titus Bramble makes a clearance.
Stiliyan Petrov goes off and Marc Albrighton comes on. Nigel Reo-Coker leaves the field to be replaced by Barry Bannan.
Ciaran Clark sends in a cross, save made by Craig Gordon.
Effort on goal by Asamoah Gyan from inside the box misses to the right of the target.
Darren Bent is ruled offside. Free kick taken by Ashley Young.
Boudewijn Zenden shown a red card for second bookable offence. Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Stiliyan Petrov by Boudewijn Zenden. Brad Friedel restarts play with the free kick.
Cristian Riveros on for Danny Welbeck.
Richard Dunne receives a caution for unsporting behaviour. Phillip Bardsley scores. Aston Villa 0-1 Sunderland.Richard Dunne gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Darren Bent. Boudewijn Zenden crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from right wing,
Booking for Richard Dunne. Phillip Bardsley scores a goal. Aston Villa 0-1 Sunderland.Foul by Richard Dunne on Darren Bent, free kick awarded. Boudewijn Zenden crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from right wing,
The ball is crossed by Ahmed Elmohamady, clearance by Carlos Cuellar.
Centre by Ahmed Elmohamady.
Asamoah Gyan produces a right-footed shot from long range that goes harmlessly over the bar.
Ashley Young crosses the ball.
Foul by Anton Ferdinand on Gabriel Agbonlahor, free kick awarded. Ashley Young delivers the ball from the free kick right-footed from right wing, Anton Ferdinand makes a clearance.
Corner taken by Boudewijn Zenden from the right by-line, Header by Danny Welbeck from deep inside the penalty area misses to the left of the goal.
Emile Heskey is shown a red card for violent conduct. Foul by Boudewijn Zenden on Emile Heskey, free kick awarded. Ashley Young takes the direct free kick.
The ball is sent over by Ahmed Elmohamady, save by Brad Friedel.
Ashley Young fouled by Anton Ferdinand, the ref awards a free kick. Carlos Cuellar takes the direct free kick.
Boudewijn Zenden goes into the referee's book for unsporting behaviour. Unfair challenge on Emile Heskey by Boudewijn Zenden results in a free kick. Ashley Young has a direct shot on goal from the free kick.
Danny Welbeck takes a shot. Fantastic save by Brad Friedel.
Ashley Young takes a shot. Save made by Craig Gordon.
A cross is delivered by Ahmed Elmohamady, James Collins manages to make a clearance.
Steed Malbranque leaves the field to be replaced by Asamoah Gyan.
Steed Malbranque takes a shot. Carlos Cuellar gets a block in. Corner from the left by-line taken by Jordan Henderson, Stiliyan Petrov manages to make a clearance.
Steed Malbranque takes a shot. Blocked by Carlos Cuellar. Corner from the left by-line taken by Jordan Henderson, clearance by Stiliyan Petrov.
Darren Bent takes a shot. James Collins gets a block in.
Stewart Downing takes a shot. Carlos Cuellar delivers the ball. Emile Heskey is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Craig Gordon takes the free kick. Anton Ferdinand makes a clearance.
Darren Bent challenges James Collins unfairly and gives away a free kick. James Collins takes the free kick.
Shot from inside the area by Steed Malbranque clears the bar.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Richard Dunne by Darren Bent. Direct free kick taken by Ashley Young.
Emile Heskey challenges Jordan Henderson unfairly and gives away a free kick. Craig Gordon takes the free kick.
Centre by Boudewijn Zenden, Emile Heskey manages to make a clearance.
Corner taken by Boudewijn Zenden played to the near post, clearance by Emile Heskey.
Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Boudewijn Zenden from the right by-line to the near post, clearance by James Collins.
The ball is delivered by Ahmed Elmohamady.
James Collins booked for unsporting behaviour. Danny Welbeck fouled by James Collins, the ref awards a free kick. Boudewijn Zenden takes the direct free kick.
The ball is crossed by Gabriel Agbonlahor, clearance made by Anton Ferdinand.
Ashley Young produces a cross, Headed effort from inside the area by Emile Heskey misses to the right of the target.
Foul by Kieran Richardson on Ashley Young, free kick awarded. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Ashley Young from right wing.
Booking for Titus Bramble for unsporting behaviour. Titus Bramble gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Emile Heskey. The free kick is swung in left-footed by Ashley Young, Phillip Bardsley manages to make a clearance.
Emile Heskey takes a shot.
Boudewijn Zenden is brought on as a substitute for David Meyler.
Darren Bent is ruled offside. James Collins takes the free kick.
Danny Welbeck takes a shot. Comfortable save by Brad Friedel.
Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Jordan Henderson, Brad Friedel makes a comfortable save.
Corner taken by Jordan Henderson from the right by-line played to the near post, Emile Heskey makes a clearance.
Centre by Ciaran Clark, clearance by Phillip Bardsley.
Ahmed Elmohamady produces a cross, save by Brad Friedel.
Ciaran Clark booked for unsporting behaviour. Ciaran Clark gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jordan Henderson. Direct free kick taken by Craig Gordon.
Corner taken by Ashley Young from the left by-line, Gabriel Agbonlahor challenges Craig Gordon unfairly and gives away a free kick. Craig Gordon takes the free kick.
Stewart Downing takes a inswinging corner from the right by-line played to the near post, clearance made by David Meyler.
Effort from the edge of the box by Kieran Richardson goes wide of the left-hand post.
Inswinging corner taken by Jordan Henderson from the left by-line, James Collins makes a clearance.
Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Jordan Henderson.
Kieran Richardson challenges Ashley Young unfairly and gives away a free kick. The free kick is delivered left-footed by Stewart Downing from right wing, save by Craig Gordon. Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Ashley Young from the left by-line, Gabriel Agbonlahor produces a headed effort from deep inside the six-yard box which goes wide of the right-hand upright. The offside flag is raised against Gabriel Agbonlahor. Direct free kick taken by Craig Gordon. Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Jordan Henderson from the left by-line.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Ashley Young by Kieran Richardson. The free kick is swung in left-footed by Stewart Downing, save made by Craig Gordon. Corner from the left by-line taken by Ashley Young, save by Craig Gordon.
Kieran Richardson is given a yellow card. Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Emile Heskey by Kieran Richardson. Shot comes in from Stewart Downing from the free kick.
Kieran Richardson goes into the referee's book. Kieran Richardson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Emile Heskey. Direct effort from the free kick comes in from Stewart Downing.
The ball is sent over by Ciaran Clark, clearance by Kieran Richardson.
Ashley Young gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on David Meyler. Free kick taken by Anton Ferdinand.
The ball is crossed by Phillip Bardsley, Steed Malbranque has a headed effort at goal from close range which goes wide of the left-hand upright.
Ashley Young concedes a free kick for a foul on Kieran Richardson. Direct free kick taken by Anton Ferdinand.
The referee gets the game underway.
The ref blows to end the first period.
The second half begins.
The game is over, as the referee blows his whistle.
Aston Villa boss Gerard Houllier has no fresh injury concerns.
Houllier is considering whether to keep faith with the side which earned an impressive 3-3 draw with champions Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
Youngster Ciaran Clark is likely to keep his place at left-back in place of the axed England defender Stephen Warnock after scoring a last-gasp equaliser.
Midfielder Fabian Delph and right-back Luke Young are still sidelined with knee problems.
Assistant manager Gary McAllister stressed the need for Houllier to be given time to stamp his mark on Villa.
He said: "The manager has got to be given time. Everyone needs a bit of time.
"He needs to bring his own people in but, I've got to say, there is not a great deal that needs to be added to this club. It is a few little tickles here and there. There are a lot of quality players here.
"We just feel in certain positions we might need a bit more experience and in other positions we might need a bit more quality.
"But it doesn't need a great deal. It just needs a little bit of tinkering."
Record signing Asamoah Gyan is a doubt for Sunderland.
The Ghana international shrugged off a hamstring problem to score as a substitute in Saturday's 3-0 win over Blackburn, but is suffering from the after-effects of his exertions and a toe injury.
Winger Ahmed Elmohamady is also being monitored after receiving a bang to the head in the Blackburn game, while skipper Lee Cattermole (back) is being rested for a month on medical advice.
Nedum Onuoha (hamstring) and John Mensah (ankle) are likely to miss out once again, while Michael Turner and Fraizer Campbell (both knee) are still on the casualty list.
The Black Cats bounced back from a 2-0 home defeat to Blackpool with a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Blackburn on Saturday, 24 hours before Villa signalled what they hope will be the start of a fightback with a creditable 3-3 draw at Chelsea.
Bruce said: "To be fair to [Villa boss] Gerard Houllier, he has had a few injuries to his big players. When I saw them the other day, they had that familiar look about them.
"They were big, strong, powerful, they had pace in good areas. If you finish sixth in the Premier League for the last three years you are a good team, and he had most of them playing the other day."
Villa in drop zone
Aston Villa dropped into the bottom three of the Barclays Premier League for the first time in seven years as their former loan signing Phil Bardsley earned Sunderland a 1-0 victory at Villa Park.
Gerard Houllier's side slipped into the relegation zone on goal difference as a result of Wolves' shock victory over champions Chelsea at Molineux.
Villa had striker Emile Heskey sent off for violent conduct before Bardsley's decider and then Black Cats substitute Boudewijn Zenden was given his marching orders for two bookable offences.
A small section of Villa fans chanted "you are going to get sacked in the morning" towards Houllier after Bardsley had broken the deadlock.
But the calls for Houllier to go were more intensified at the final whistle.
The last time Villa were in such a lowly position was in November 2003 during David O'Leary's reign as manager.
But Sunderland's second away win of the campaign keeps them on course for a European spot.
The first chance fell to Sunderland midfielder Steed Malbranque after Carlos Cuellar failed to make contact with a deep cross from Bardsley.
But Malbranque failed to test Brad Friedel with his header which drifted a couple of yards wide.
Kieran Richardson became the first player to be yellow carded after five minutes when he brought down Villa striker Emile Heskey in full flight.
Villa started to exert some pressure and Sunderland keeper Craig Gordon did well to finger-tip away a Stewart Downing free-kick under pressure.
A fine pass from Villa skipper Stiliyan Petrov allowed Nigel Reo-Coker a run at goal but he was halted by Malbranque's challenge.
Reo-Coker then played in Ashley Young but his first touch was not the best and Craig Gordon was able to collect.
Bardsley produced a fine tackle inside his own box to deny Heskey after he had made a powerful run.
Ciaran Clark became the first Villa player to be yellow carded after 29 minutes for a reckless challenge on Jordan Henderson.
Clark's mistimed pass then almost proved costly as it was seized upon by David Meyler but Darren Bent was unable to make the most of his pass.
Sunderland were forced into a change after 38 minutes when Meyler pulled up suddenly, slumped to the ground and had to be stretchered off and he was replaced by Zenden.
Heskey, who played under Bruce at Birmingham and Wigan, was guilty of a glaring miss five minutes before half-time.
Downing did well to get to the by-line and shake of Zenden's challenge before sending a low ball across the box.
Heskey seemed certain to score but, from three yards out, he shot against the crossbar.
Sunderland skipper Titus Bramble was booked for holding back Heskey and the Villa striker then headed wide from Young's cross when well placed.
James Collins was booked in injury-time for a challenge on Danny Welbeck.
There was a quiet start to the second period but Malbranque could have broken the deadlock after 50 minutes.
Collins' clearing header lacked conviction and was nodded back down by Bent to Malbranque who volleyed over from eight yards out.
Collins came to the rescue in atoning for his own error three minutes later. He was shaken off the ball by Bent who went around Friedel but Collins recovered to block his shot on the line.
Sunderland were now in the ascendancy and Cuellar diverted a goalbound shot from Malbranque around the post.
But Sunderland were the more threatening and Friedel got his body behind Welbeck's stinging low drive.
Zenden was yellow carded for bringing down the powerful Heskey but Villa were reduced to 10 men after 68 minutes when Heskey was sent off.
Henderson appeared upset Heskey did not put the ball out of play so Asamoah Gyan could have treatment.
He responded by shoving Henderson in the face and was given his marching orders by referee Peter Walton.
With 10 minutes left Bardsley broke the deadlock with a low 25-yard drive after Zenden's free-kick had been blocked.
Welbeck was stretchered off after 83 minutes and replaced by Cristian Riveros.
Zenden was also sent off for a second bookable offence when he fouled Stiliyan Petrov two minutes later.
"Is AVB on the brink of getting the sack?"
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