Sessegnon snatches a point for Sunderland

Sunderland 2 Aston Villa 2

Stephane Sessegnon snatched a point for Sunderland in a storming finish at the Stadium of Light which completely eclipsed the much-publicised return of Darren Bent.

Benin international Sessegnon stooped to nod home a Sebastian Larsson free-kick with one minute left after Richard Dunne had appeared to win it for Villa.

Dunne had risen highest to head the visitors back in front five minutes earlier after Connor Wickham had cancelled out Stilyan Petrov's stunning 20th-minute opener.

Bent, who was booed throughout on his first return to Wearside since his January move south, had missed a fine chance in the 70th minute when he shot straight at substitute keeper Kieran Westwood.

It had been clear from the pre-match warm-up that Bent was set for a torrid afternoon on Wearside after his controversial move to Villa in January.

And the striker was a virtual passenger in much of the early action with the main threat coming from Sunderland's Sebastian Larsson, who fired a pair of dangerous free-kicks.

Bent got the chance he had been waiting for in the 16th minute when Emile Heskey's cross found the striker at the far post but he prodded wide under pressure from Keiran Richardson.

And Villa snatched the lead in stunning fashion in the 20th minute when Petrov was fed by Alan Hutton and lashed a stunning shot for only his sixth goal in 167 Villa appearances.

Sunderland came close to grabbing an equaliser within two minutes, when Bendtner found the head of Turner in front of goal but the defender headed inches over.

And they fashioned another chance in the 27th minute when Wickham headed goalwards in a crowded box but Stephen Warnock headed clear with keeper Shay Given stranded.

The home side snatched their equaliser in the 38th minute when Sessegnon turned Hutton and fed Wickham, who drove home a fine left-foot shot from 10 yards.

The Black Cats defence was still giving cause for concern and they had a mighty let-off in the 42nd minute when Petrov's free-kick trickled unchallenged across the face of goal.

Westwood got his first taste of Premier League action five minutes into the second half when Mignolet appeared to suffer a broken nose in the course of flapping away a Petrov corner.

The home side enjoyed their best spell of the game with James Collins twice forced to clear from dangerous positions, and Bendtner heading just over on the hour.

The home side had a penalty appeal turned down by referee Chris Foy in the 63rd minute when Bendtner met Larsson's cross from the right with a header which struck Hutton at close-range.

Larsson came close in the 70th minute after Chris Herd fouled Bendtner on the edge of the box and the midfielder's curling free-kick was well saved by Given.

And moments later Bent almost caught Sunderland out at the other end when he charged onto Herd's long ball before being pulled back for fouling Wes Brown as he wriggled clear.

As the game exploded into life, Westwood had his moment of glory when he got down to deny Bent from close-range after the striker had been put through by Gabriel Agbonlahor.

But Villa snatched back the lead in the 84th minute when Petrov lofted a free-kick from the left side of the box and Dunne climbed to head home.

Just when it seemed Villa had done enough to snatch the points, the home side roared back and Sessegnon headed home an 89th-minute equaliser from Larsson's free-kick.

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada
Birthplace of Arab Spring in turmoil as angry Tunisians stage massive sit-in over lack of development

They shall not be moved: jobless protesters bring Tunisia to a halt

A former North African boom town is wasting away while its unemployed citizens stick steadfastly to their sit-in
David Hasselhoff's new show 'Hoff the Record': What's it like working with a superstar?

Hanging with the Hoff

Working with David Hasselhoff on his new TV series was an education for Ella Smith
Can Dubai's Design District 'hipster village' attract the right type of goatee-wearing individualist?

Hipsters of Arabia

Can Dubai’s ‘creative village’ attract the right type of goatee-wearing individualist?
The cult of Roger Federer: What is it that inspires such obsessive devotion?

The cult of Roger Federer

What is it that inspires such obsessive devotion?
Kuala Lumpur's street food: Not a 'scene', more a way of life

Malaysian munchies

With new flights, the amazing street food of Kuala Lumpur just got more accessible
10 best festival beauty

Mud guards: 10 best festival beauty

Whether you're off to the Isle of Wight, Glastonbury or a local music event, we've found the products to help you
Unai Emery’s passion for winning and eye for a bargain keep Seville centre stage in Europe

A Different League

Unai Emery’s passion for winning and eye for a bargain keep Seville centre stage in Europe, says Pete Jenson
Amir Khan and James DeGale’s remarkable Olympic performances were just the start of an extraordinary journey - Steve Bunce

Steve Bunce on Boxing

Amir Khan and James DeGale’s remarkable Olympic performances were just the start of an extraordinary journey
Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf