Belfast Telegraph

Carew on target again but Villa stutter

Aston Villa 1 Sunderland 1

John Carew was Aston Villa's saviour for the second time in five days but Martin O'Neill's side dropped two more precious points in their push for a Champions League spot against visiting Sunderland.

Carew had scored a late equaliser in Saturday's 2-2 draw with Wolves and he again came to the rescue after Fraizer Campbell had given the Black Cats a 22nd-minute lead.

The Norwegian international netted his 14th goal of the season — and his sixth in the last five games — to ensure Villa remain unbeaten in the Barclays Premier League in 2010.

Villa were the first to threaten after five minutes. Ashley Young found himself in space to the right of the Black Cats penalty area and his fierce dipping shot was saved by the legs of Sunderland keeper Craig Gordon.

After 22 minutes, Villa were rocked on their heels when Campbell put the visitors in front with his third goal in the last four matches.

Kieran Richardson was the creator with a perfectly weighted pass which allowed Campbell to beat the offside trap before lofting his shot wide of Brad Friedel.

Villa tried to retaliate and Richardson produced a timely tackle on James Milner as he prepared to shoot 20 yards out.

Then after half an hour the in-form Carew brought Villa back on level terms.

Milner picked out the run of Young and his low skidding cross was turned home by the former Lyon player just inside the six-yard box.

It brought his goal tally to six in the last five games and was no more than Villa deserved on the balance of play.

John Mensah wasted a golden chance to restore Sunderland's lead after the interval.

Jordan Henderson played a short free-kick to Richardson and his floated cross found Mensah completely unmarked six yards out but he headed wide.

Carew continued to pose problems and glanced a header wide from a Stewart Downing centre but Villa couldn’t find a winner.

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