Match: Sunderland v Villa
Date: 6th March, 2018
Competition: Sky Bet Championship
Venue: The Stadium of Light
Attendance: 26,081 (1,062 Villa supporters)
Weather: 5c, still
Oviedo OG 66
Lewis Grabban netted against his former club as Villa registered a 3-0 win at Sunderland.
The striker made it three goals in his last three games in claret and blue to open the scoring at the Stadium of Light before James Chester's header on the stroke of half-time and Bryan Oviedo's second-half own goal sealed a comprehensive away win for Steve Bruce's men.
After John Terry had thumped a header wide and Scott Hogan had clipped the top of the net with a header of his own, the visitors spurned a glorious chance to take the lead when a long clearance upfield suddenly released Ashley Fletcher in behind the Villa defence.
Presented with a clear run on goal, the striker's heavy touch forced the ball to roll behind for a goal-kick instead of affording him a shooting opportunity.
With ten minutes of the half to play, Grabban cropped up at the far post to convert Albert Adomah's deflected cross that had bounced inside the six-yard box on its way through.
Then, in first half stoppage time, the visitors doubled their lead when Chester met Robert Snodgrass's corner and directed his headed effort into the ground before it hit the back of the net.
The hosts started the second half with a renewed purpose and Callum McManaman saw his snapshot pushed over by Sam Johnstone.
For all Sunderland's endeavour and possession, it was Villa who made it 3-0 just after the hour mark.
Conor Hourihane drove the ball low and hard across the face of the six-yard box. Close enough to Bryan Oviedo in the Black Cats' goal, the cross cannoned into the net off the opposition goalkeeper's heels.
Jack Grealish, absent since the derby-day victory over Birmingham City due to injury, was introduced from the bench shortly afterwards and it wasn't long before he was in the thick of the action, forcing a smart save from Steele.
Mile Jedinak, another substitute, was also denied by the stopper while Lamine Kone's late intervention prevented Adomah from adding a certain fourth on the counter.
SUNDERLAND: Steele; Kone, O'Shea (Asoro 45), Browning (Jones 30); Love, Cattermole, Ejaria, Oviedo; McManaman, McGeady, Fletcher (Maja 65). Unused subs: Camp, Williams, Lualua, Maja, Honeyman.
ASTON VILLA: Johnstone; Elmohamady, Terry, Chester, Taylor; Snodgrass, Whelan (Jedinak 61), Hourihane, Adomah; Grabban (Bjarnason ), Hogan (Grealish 67). Unused subs: Bunn, Lansbury, Onomah, Davis.
Referee: Andrew Madley
Assistant Referee 1: James Mainwaring
Assistant Referee 2: David Avent
Fourth Official: Jeremy Simpson