Sunderland survive Cattermole red card to grind out point at Wolves



Posted Sunday, December 10, 2017 by PA

Ten-man Sunderland frustrated Wolves to claim a deserved 0-0 draw at the Sky Bet Championship leaders.

Lee Cattermole was sent off after two yellow cards in just 54 seconds after the break, but the impressive Black Cats held on against their out-of-sorts hosts.

The visitors were forced to play the final half-a-hour without Cattermole, but a fine rearguard action, led by John O'Shea, earned them a point as the hosts missed the chance for a seventh straight win.

Wolves dominated for long spells but failed to create a clear opening, with Diogo Jota, Leo Bonatini and Ruben Neves off target.

Nuno Espirito Santo's side at least extended their lead at the top to five points, but second-placed Cardiff have a game in hand at Reading on Monday.

Sunderland remain second bottom and a point from the safety line, but four games into his reign Chris Coleman has begun to improve a struggling team.

It was a fine battling performance as the Black Cats matched Wolves in a forgettable opening half-an-hour as the visitors settled quickly and never allowed the hosts to gather momentum.

An expected Wolves onslaught did not come and Sunderland's confidence grew as they remained compact and organised to thwart dangermen Jota and Ivan Cavaleiro.

Wolves never forced the issue, though, and Jota's wild effort which almost hit the corner flag summed up their frustration.

The lacklustre leaders finally carved out an opening in first-half stoppage time, but Bonatini sliced horribly wide from 15 yards.

Fresh from the break Wolves camped in Sunderland's half but still lacked ideas and it was Lewis Grabban who had the game's first shot on target after 57 minutes when he drilled at John Ruddy.

Yet the visitors' gameplan almost unravelled when Cattermole was dismissed when he recklessly collected two yellow cards in 54 seconds.

First the midfielder clattered into Romain Saiss on 61 minutes and then, almost immediately, a heavy touch saw him slide in on Jota to receive a second caution - and his ninth career red card.

With a man advantage Wolves began to find more space, but initially failed to test the shaky Robbin Ruiter, with Neves twice firing over.

Midfielder Neves shot at the goalkeeper with 10 minutes left and Jota continued to misfire when fired over five minutes later.

Wolves were running out of time and Jota and Cavaleiro forced Ruiter into two smart stops, but they could not force a winner.

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