BLACKBURN (England) (AFP) Blackburn Rovers and Sunderland failed to defy the critics expectations here on Monday as they battled out a 0-0 draw in their Premier League clash. Both sides had managed just 14 goals in their 14 matches so far this season and Sunderland could not even take advantage of playing against 10 men throughout the second-half after Rovers central defender Christopher Samba was sent off in time added on of the first-half. The draw - Sunderlands fifth successive stalemate - leaves them only three points clear of third from bottom Wolves. A dire first-half saw Sunderland go closest to scoring with England international Darren Bent - who had to miss last weeks Euro 2012 0-0 draw with Montenegro because of injury - missing on two occasions. Bent, who just missed out on going to the World Cup finals, failed to beat former England goalkeeper Paul Robinson when one on one with him in the 23rd minute. The 26-year-old former Spurs forward went close in time added on in the first-half as his snap shot from outside the area flashed past the right-hand post. That effort came shortly after Samba had been given his marching orders by referee Lee Probert, who consulted with a linesman before wielding the red card to the Congolese international for bringing down Danny Welbeck when he was in on goal. Rovers had only the one chance of note in the opening 45 minutes but Nikola Kalinic headed Hadji El Dioufs cross wide. Bent had the first chance of the second-half but his header from close range went wide when he should have at least forced Robinson into a save while Sunderland midfielder Steed Malbranque saw an effort go over the bar just after the hour mark. Robinson - who snubbed England manager Fabio Capello by announcing his international retirement shortly after being named in his first post-World Cup finals squad - was far the busiest of the goalkeepers. The former Leeds and Spurs guardian made three saves in the final 20 minutes to guarantee the hosts a point as he frustrated first Bent, then substitutes Boudewijn Zenden and Asamoah Gyan.