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Coventry 0-0 Sunderland: Sky Blues and Black Cats share points in stalemate

Dan Neil shoots for Sunderland but it is saved
Dan Neil had a shot for Sunderland but this was a game for the goalkeepers

Coventry and Sunderland shared the points in a Championship stalemate, although both sides might have snatched it late on.

The two teams have struggled to replicate the form of last season which took them into the play-offs, and could not be separated.

The hosts dominated the opening 45, with Anthony Patterson twice saving from Matty Godden, while the influential Kasey Palmer sent over a fine ball which Ellis Simms, who scored seven goals in 17 for Sunderland before a loan recall by Everton last season, could not convert.

Former Black Cats goalkeeper Ben Wilson foiled his old side when he was called upon to make a double save from Dan Neil and Dennis Cirkin.

That chance seemed to rally the visitors, with Jack Clarke, Trai Hume and Luke O'Nien all taking shots at the Coventry goal.

Substitute Yasin Ayari and Haji Wright came close to beating Patterson late on, while skipper Kyle McFadzean blocked Jude Bellingham's effort to ensure the game remained scoreless.

The result leaves Coventry 11th in the Championship, and also ended Godden's three-game scoring start to the season.

They shaded the overall chances, and shots on target, and are now unbeaten in three after their opening weekend loss to rivals Leicester, but could not find a way past Patterson, who was in inspired form.

Sunderland boss Tony Mowbray has highlighted their need to sign a striker, having seen Simms move to Coventry on the back of his stint at the Stadium of Light last season.

Bradley Dack has shouldered some of the responsibility while Ross Stewart looks to regain full fitness, but neither he, nor Bellingham, who has impressed since joining from Birmingham this summer, could not break the deadlock.

Mowbray's side are 18th in the table, with only one win from the opening four matches.

Coventry manager Mark Robins told BBC Radio CWR:

"It was two good teams trying to win a game.

"We've got to be better in the final third. We got into decent positions but it just fell down at the end bit - they'll be saying similar things.

"Two really good sides cancelled each other out in the end and we just couldn't find that winner."

Sunderland manager Tony Mowbray told BBC Radio Newcastle:

"I'd probably have been pleased with a point and a clean sheet beforehand but the game panned out a little bit different than I thought.

"I thought we'd come and dominate possession like we did last year but they were good first half with the ball, picked us off and pushed us back.

"We readjusted a few things and I thought we were better second half. We got in some good positions but the final ball wasn't there.

"We're always disappointed when we don't score. We don't have a killer number nine and I'm not sure we will by the end of the window - they are not falling off trees are they?"