Match ends, Sunderland 0, Norwich City 0.
Sunderland 0-0 Norwich City
Sunderland head into Christmas bottom of the Premier League after a scrappy goalless draw with Norwich at the Stadium of Light.
The Black Cats are five points from safety, despite no wins for any of the clubs directly above them - Fulham, West Ham, Crystal Palace and West Brom.
The game was full of endeavour but quality was sparse.
Wes Brown, who was later sent off, went closest for Sunderland, his header hitting the post after a scramble.
Only one team have avoided Premier League relegation after being bottom at Christmas, West Brom in 2004-05.
The Baggies had the same record at this point as Sunderland, with 10 points from 18 matches.
The first half-hour was summed up by Lee Cattermole's attempt on goal, which was closer to a failed rugby conversion.
Sunderland finally moved up a gear with the break approaching, Jozy Altidore finding himself in space, only to take too long over his shot.
Moments later, Emanuele Giaccherini pulled the ball back to Phil Bardsley, whose shot was saved by John Ruddy at the near post.
With the tempo raised, Norwich went straight up to the other end, Gary Hooper cracking a goal-bound shot from 25 yards that Vito Mannone had to parry away for a corner.
The scrappiness continued after the break, Fabio Borini missing a good chance chance by shooting straight at Ruddy after a miscued clearance.
Hooper - Norwich's top scorer, with three goals in his past four games - also fluffed an opportunity, peeling away to give himself a free header at the back post, only to nod wide.
Sunderland continued to pile forward, with Steven Fletcher shooting wide from Sebastian Larsson's delivery and Bardsley heading straight at Mannone.
Soon after, Norwich goalkeeper Ruddy raced out of his goal, following Borini to the corner flag, only for the Italian forward to pull back to Ki Sung-Yueng 25 yards out. With the goal at his mercy and defenders frantically retreating, the South Korean chipped over.
Sunderland had a huge call for a penalty in injury time, when Adam Johnson's cross struck Sebastien Bassong's hip, despite the home team's claims of handball.
Immediately afterwards, Brown jumped into a challenge with substitute Ricky van Wolfswinkel close to the corner flag, earning himself a red card and a three-game Christmas and new year ban.
Norwich manager Chris Hughton: "We showed grit and determination but a draw was a fair result.
"I felt we were the team most likely to score. A clean sheet away from home is valuable and we need to maintain that going into the Christmas period.
"There's a fair bit of confidence in the team. We've been unlucky with injuries but we've got through that period with great spirit.
"Their handball shout for a penalty was never a handball and Wes Brown's challenge was reckless. The sending off was a correct decision."
Norwich midfielder Robert Snodgrass: "We're trying to kick on now. It's a good point.
"It was a tasty match but this is a good result. Wes Brown's was a crazy challenge. Ricky was going nowhere."
Sunderland manager Gus Poyet: "I'm disappointed. I was expecting more from the team: I was expecting to win.
"Every time we win an important game - like the cup win - the next step is always down.
"We were very poor technically today. Playing extra-time on Tuesday is no excuse.
"I'm realistic. Time is running out (to stay up)."
- 5BrownBooked at 90mins
- 7LarssonBooked at 76minsSubstituted forRobergeat 90+5'minutes
- 4Ki Sung-yueng
- 17AltidoreSubstituted forFletcherat 68'minutes
- 23GiaccheriniSubstituted forJohnsonat 63'minutes
- 31BoriniBooked at 90mins
- 3WhittakerBooked at 49mins
- 5Bassong Nguena
- 16ElmanderSubstituted forvan Wolfswinkelat 77'minutes
- 9van Wolfswinkel
- Martin Atkinson
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Sunderland 0, Norwich City 0.
Attempt missed. Phillip Bardsley (Sunderland) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Ki Sung-Yueng following a fast break.
Corner, Norwich City. Conceded by Vito Mannone.
Substitution, Sunderland. Valentin Roberge replaces Sebastian Larsson.
Wes Brown (Sunderland) is shown the red card.
Foul by Wes Brown (Sunderland).
Ricky van Wolfswinkel (Norwich City) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Fabio Borini (Sunderland) is shown the yellow card.
Foul by Fabio Borini (Sunderland).
Steven Whittaker (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt blocked. Ricky van Wolfswinkel (Norwich City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Bradley Johnson with a headed pass.
Attempt blocked. Leroy Fer (Norwich City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Robert Snodgrass.
Steven Fletcher (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Michael Turner (Norwich City).
Foul by Steven Fletcher (Sunderland).
Michael Turner (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Delay in match Phillip Bardsley (Sunderland) because of an injury.
Foul by Adam Johnson (Sunderland).
Leroy Fer (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt missed. Phillip Bardsley (Sunderland) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.
Attempt missed. Ki Sung-Yueng (Sunderland) left footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Fabio Borini.
Attempt saved. Ricky van Wolfswinkel (Norwich City) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Leroy Fer.
Lee Cattermole (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Ricky van Wolfswinkel (Norwich City).
Attempt saved. Phillip Bardsley (Sunderland) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Adam Johnson with a cross.
Corner, Sunderland. Conceded by Michael Turner.
Attempt blocked. Steven Fletcher (Sunderland) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is blocked. Assisted by Sebastian Larsson with a cross.
Attempt blocked. Fabio Borini (Sunderland) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Adam Johnson.
Substitution, Norwich City. Ricky van Wolfswinkel replaces Johan Elmander.
Sebastian Larsson (Sunderland) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Sebastian Larsson (Sunderland).
Bradley Johnson (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Sebastian Larsson (Sunderland).
Nathan Redmond (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt missed. Bradley Johnson (Norwich City) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Nathan Redmond.
Wes Brown (Sunderland) hits the right post with a header from very close range following a corner.
Corner, Sunderland. Conceded by Steven Whittaker.
Adam Johnson (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.