"the biggest and hardest thing at this level is to score a goal," Sunderland manager Steve Bruce said. And he should know better than most, having spent the majority of the last 20 years of his playing and managerial career in the Premier League.
A reccurring theme emerged at Liberty Stadium, the Black Cats failing to ignite in attack for the third time in a week. After missed opportunities in front of goal against arch rivals Newcastle United and Brighton and Hove Albion, they can now add Swansea City to the unwanted collection. John O'Shea crashed the crossbar inside 78 seconds before Asamoah Gyan, Stephane Sessegnon and Craig Gardner all proved wasteful.
Bruce, who has been linked with a move for England and Tottenham forward Peter Crouch before the transfer window closes this week, said: "Some of our football was excellent, but we just made the wrong decision at the vital part. When you haven't scored or you've lost a derby game, people become anxious, and when you get anxious, people make the wrong decision.
"We hope we can bring something to fruition and bring someone in. We have one or two irons in the fire and I hope that will give us a spark and we can get off and running.
"We have had to make big, big changes, but I know we are very, very close to having a really decent squad here. But we must win a match. We have Chelsea at home next, can that be the turning point of our season?
"Can we go and get a result against Chelsea and make sure we get off and running again?"
For Swansea, the problems are freakishly similar, with the Premier League newboys yet to record their first goal of the season.
Substitutes: Swansea Lita 6 (Routledge, 71), Dobbie (Dyer, 79), Allen ( Agustien, 79). Sunderland Wickham 6 (Cattermole, 70), Elmohamady 6 (Larsson, 70), Richardson (Gyan, 76).
Booked: Swansea Agustien. Sunderland Gardner. Man of the match Brown. Match rating 6/10. Possession: Swansea 54% Sunderland 46%. Attempts on target: Swansea 6 Sunderland 8. Referee M Halsey (Lancashire). Attendance 19,938.Reuse content