Stalemate for Sunderland at Swansea

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SUNDERLAND kept their first clean sheet of the 2011/12 campaign as John O’Shea made his long-awaited debut in the Black Cats defence.

But the abiding memory of the game for both sets of supporters will be an inability by both teams to make the most a whole bunch of clear-cut chances.

It was an open game from the start and O’Shea could have made a dream debut in the opening couple of minutes, only to head Seb Larsson’s corner just over the bar.

That proved to be the pattern of the whole game, with both sides playing positive football in a game their managers had targeted to take all three points from.

The leading strikers of either side were guilty of most missed opportunities with Asamoah Gyan struggling to make any impact in front of goal and Danny Graham testing Simon Mignolet several times but unable to make the breakthrough.

Swansea had the better chances overall and Steve Bruce will be grateful for his first clean sheet after a very difficult week for him.

Meanwhile, chairman Niall Quinn was absent from the game – presumably away on transfer business looking to recruit a striker Sunderland look as though they badly need at the moment.

* Full report and pictures in tonight’s action-packed Football Echo