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(Video highlights) Sunderland 3-1 Aston Villa: Jermain Defoe double virtually condemns Villans to Championship

It’s been a bad start to the year for Aston Villa. Losing to Sunderland now sees them seven points off 19th as they look ever likely to be heading towards the Championship.

Remi Garde’s men started brightly, though, and midfielder Jordan Veretout was at full stretch to test Sunderland goalkeeper Vito Manone.

However, they couldn’t make their early pressure count, and Black Cats full-back Patrick van Aanholt strode forward unopposed to hammer a long range drive towards goal, and a cruel deflection from Villa defender Micah Richards only helped it reach its destination.

Villa weren’t down and out, though, and substitute Adama Traore made the most of the space left down the right flank to turn on the burners and put in a cross for Carles Gil to score with this stunning acrobatic effort.

However, at 1-1, it just wasn’t to be for Villa, and Sunderland were allowed to capitalise on more lax defending to feed Jermain Defoe to punish the visitors with this near post piledriver.

Another late strike from Defoe sealed all three points for the hosts, and guaranteed that Villa were not allowed any new year cheer.

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