Sunderland 0-0 Swansea City
SUNDERLAND held Swansea to a goalless draw at the Stadium of Light in an instantly-forgettable tie, mustering just one effort on target in the process.
The visitors had significantly more success in breaking down the Black Cats but neither side was able to find a way post the opposing 'keeper in a game lacking quality.
Martin O`Neill named the same XI which beat Wigan Athletic in their last Barclays Premier League match, handing Alfred N`Diaye his home debut.
Swansea boss Michael Laudrup opted to start with Itay Shecter up front, leaving Danny Graham amongst the subs. Dwight Tiendalli came in at right-back for Angel Rangel.
Defender Chico Flores tested Simon Mignolet for the first time in the 17th minute when he progressed down the left before collecting the ball from Shecter`s defected shot and firing a low effort towards the bottom right-hand corner which Mignolet pushed wide.
Sunderland saw a free-kick well punched away by Gerhad Tremmel at the near-post whilst Michu saw an effort deflected comfortably wide in what was a poor half void of any serious chances.
The second period began at a similar tempo to the first although Sunderland showed signs of improvement.
Jonathan de Guzman had Mignolet worried just before the hour mark when he whipped a free-kick narrowly over the Belgian`s crossbar from deep on the right-hand flank.
Right back Tiendalli could have won the tie at the death when he made progress down the right before firing wide on his left foot with team-mates in support
Deep into injury time, Sunderland target Graham could have condemned the Black Cats to defeat by failed to strike instantly, allowing Titus Bramble to block well to preserve a point and a clean sheet.
Sunderland: Mignolet, Gardner, O'Shea (c), Bramble, Colback; Larsson, N'Diaye (McClean), Vaughan, Johnson (Wickham); Sessegnon; Fletcher.
Subs not used: Bardsley, Kilgallon, Mangane, Elmohamady & Westwood (GK).
Swansea City: Tremmel; Tiendalli, Flores, Williams (c), Davies; Britton (Graham), de Guzman; Dyer, Michu, Hernandez (Lamah); Shechte (Ki).
Sub not used: Bartley, Routledge, Rangel & Cornell (GK).
Attendance: 35 628.
Referee: Mr A Marriner.