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Ten-man Sunderland were held to a frustrating 0-0 draw by Norwich City to go into the Christmas period bottom of the Barclays Premier League table.
It stretched the hosts' winless run in the League to six matches while Norwich remain 14th.
Black Cats defender Wes Brown was sent off late on for a foul on Robert Snodgrass.
Fabio Borini and Ki Sung-Yueng were handed starting places for Sunderland, after scoring in the Capital One Cup defeat of Chelsea in midweek while Snodgrass was back in the Norwich side following a knee injury.
Sunderland were restricted to long-range shots in the first half with Sebastian Larsson firing just over from 25 yards and Borini shooting just wide of the post.
At the other end, Nathan Redmond, Gary Hooper and Leroy Fer were each denied by Vito Mannone.
After the break Borini shot straight at City goalkeeper John Ruddy before substitute Steven Fletcher caused problems at a corner and the ball fell to Brown who headed wide.
In injury-time at the end of the match, Brown was shown a straight red card for his challenge on Snodgrass as Sunderland ended the day four points adrift of safety.
Sunderland manager Gus Poyet: "I'm disappointed. I was expecting more from the team, I was expecting to win.
"Every time we win an important game - like the cup win (against Chelsea) - the next step is always down.
“We were very poor technically today. Playing extra-time on Tuesday is no excuse. I'm realistic - time is running out (to stay up)."
Norwich City manager Chris Hughton: "We showed grit and determination but a draw was a fair result. I felt we were the team most likely to score.
"A clean sheet away from home is valuable and we need to maintain that going into the Christmas period.
"There's a fair bit of confidence in the team. We've been unlucky with injuries but we've got through that period with great spirit and determination."
|26 Dec 2013||v Everton (A)|
|28 Dec 2013||v Cardiff (A)|
|01 Jan 2014||v Aston Villa (H)|
|11 Jan 2014||v Fulham (A)|
|18 Jan 2014||v Southampton (H)|
|29 Jan 2014||v Stoke (H)|