Aston Villa face a few more nervous weeks after failing to move any clearer of the relegation zone on Saturday.
Both sides had their chances as Nicklas Bendtner and James McClean both went close for the visitors, while Andreas Weimann missed a few opportunities for the home team.
Not even a minute had passed before Gabriel Agbonlahor had the first chance, closing down Sunderland goalkeeper Simon Mignolet following a back-pass, with the forward getting a block in, but the Belgian keeper made up for his error, saving the follow up shot from Weimann.
Agbonlahor was causing trouble moments later as he cut inside Michael Turner down the left before shooting towards the bottom far corner, but Matthew Kilgallon stuck a foot out and conceded a corner.
Next to go close for the hosts was Charles N'Zogbia, who cut in from the right, taking on two defenders before shooting low towards the bottom far corner, but again Mignolet was equal to the effort.
It took Sunderland almost 40 minutes to create their first real clear-cut chance, as McClean crossed from the by-line on the left, but Bendtner headed over.
Villa started the second-half in a similar fashion to the first, as Weimann charged into the area only to smash another effort into the side-netting.
Soon after Stephane Sessegnon slipped in behind Phil Bardsley and played in a low cross, but McClean put his shot over from seven yards.
Controversy soon struck as Mignolet was penalised for handling the ball outside the area, but it was a close call with the Belgian appearing to release the ball just as he crossed the line.
As the match progressed, the action got a little more frantic as first a lucky ricochet played the ball into Bendtner’s feet, but Stephen Ireland cleared off the line, then seconds later a tantalising cross from McClean was smashed over by Larsson.
Minutes later Sunderland thought they had taken the lead as Bendtner slid in at the far post to tap home, but the linesman had his flag raised, claiming the Dane was offside.
Frustration and anger were obvious from the Villa fans right near the end as Weimann was through on goal, but elected to cut back and pass to Bannan instead of shooting, with the Scottish midfielder blasting over.
As the match entered injury-time Craig Gardner received a second yellow card for a foul on Marc Albrighton, but with it coming so late on Villa were unable to make the most of it.