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 Post subject: Sunderland v Manchester City 03/12/2014
PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2014 8:45 am 
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City's dark times at Sunderland's Stadium of Light

Manuel Pellegrini's Blues can be forgiven for breathing a sigh of relief after beating the Black Cats in the Capital One Cup final.

The Stadium of Light has cast a dark shadow over City’s rise in the past five years.

The Blues have suffered from a catalogue of poor performances, shocking refereeing, woodwork striking, goalkeeper heroics and sheer bad luck as they have racked up a dreadful record of four wins and a defeat against perennial relegation strugglers.

That means the Wearside venue is the Blues’ least fruitful ground since their 2008 takeover. They have had more joy at Chelsea, Arsenal and United – and indeed Bayern Munich – than they have had against successive feisty Sunderland sides.

They need to end that run tomorrow night, or risk seeing the narrowing of Chelsea’s lead to six points become stretched and formidable once again.

There are plenty of pertinent lessons to be learned from the succession of four 1-0 defeats City have suffered, so MEN Sport takes a look at what the Blues need to remember in order to draw the Black Cats’ claws.

BEWARE EX-REDS

Last season City had a terribly frustrating November afternoon in Sunderland, largely thanks to United veterans Wes Brown and John O’Shea.

The two ageing defenders, whose stars have been on the wane since they left Old Trafford, managed to summon up some of the residue of their glory days at Old Trafford to deny a misfiring Blue strike-force and restrict Sergio Aguero to a minimum of chances.

Just to make matters worse for the travelling Blues, it was Salford Red Phil Bardsley, another United graduate, who conjured up the winning goal, albeit on the back of what appeared to be a foul on James Milner.

DON’T RELY ON THE REF!

City know this only too well, not least after Mike Jones’ embarrassingly poor performance at Southampton, when he booked Sergio Aguero for diving, rather than award a blatant penalty.

They have not had any favours from the officials in recent matches up at Sunderland either.

Last season Mike Dean failed to spot an X-rated challenge by Seb Larsson that deserved a straight red card – the Sunderland man was not even booked.

And on New Year’s Day 2012, Ji Dong-won came off the bench to score Sunderland’s winner, with the linesman failing to spot the Korean was offside before he rounded Joe Hart in added time to score.

BEWARE EX-BLUES

Last season Adam Johnson came back to haunt the Blues with a winning goal that squirmed past Joe Hart.

City fans had travelled to the Stadium of Light half-expecting Johnson to figure strongly, given their long history of ex-players coming back to do damage.

With Costel Pantilimon now firmly established as Sunderland’s number one after his frustrating time as Hart’s number two, he will have revenge in mind.

And the giant Romanian, nicknamed “Massive” by Hart, has been in good form, helping to thwart Chelsea in the goalless draw.

TAKE YOUR CHANCES

The memory of Carlos Tevez, normally so clinical in front of goal, ballooning his shot over an open goal after being unselfishly set up by Yaya Toure, is a haunting image of City’s recent visits to Wearside.

That astonishing miss would have changed the course of a match that was won by Darren Bent’s late penalty.

But in their last four trips to Sunderland, City’s record is astoundingly profligate – 77 shots, 34 on target, no goals. By contrast, Sunderland have had 37 shots, 17 on target, and scored one in each of those four games.

With Edin Dzeko and Micah Richards both hitting the woodwork on New Year’s Day in 2012, and a dozen other incredible saves and near misses, surely City’s luck must turn some time.

HOPE THE KEEPER IS HUMAN!

Another strong feature of City’s fruitless Sunderland trips has been some breathtaking performances by the home keeper.

Simon Mignolet was unbeatable on Boxing Day 2012, pulling off seemingly impossible stops and blocks, his best display in a run of form that saw him attract Liverpool’s attention – and his position is now in doubt at Anfield.

Mignolet has also figured prominently in other Sunderland wins.

Craig Gordon was inspired against City in 2010, producing five stunning saves as Roque Santa Cruz, Craig Bellamy, Carlos Tevez and Shaun Wright-Phillips all seemed certain to score.

Pantilimon will be desperate to add his name to that list.

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/ ... ht-8209061?


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 Post subject: Re: Sunderland v Manchester City 03/12/2014
PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2014 8:45 am 
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Location: Ouston / South East Corner
Manchester City boosted their chances of catching Premier League leaders Chelsea on the weekend, while Sunderland managed to do the champions a favour by claiming a surprise point against Jose Mourinho's side.

Less than 24 hours after the Black Cats had held Chelsea to a goalless draw, City were cruising to an impressive 3-0 victory over high-flying Southampton at St Mary's Stadium.

Manuel Pellegrini was predictably delighted with his side's display against the Saints, but the Chilean will be fully aware that a long run of victories is needed if the defence is going to gain momentum over the Christmas period.

A key player in any run will be Sergio Aguero, whose fine form continued at St Mary's, despite the Argentine failing to find the net on another impressive day at the office.

However, City may have to face their next test without influential captain Vincent Kompany after the Belgian limped off in the latter stages of the win over Southampton.

Kompany's possible absence could be crucial as City will also take on Sunderland without Eliaquim Mangala, who is suspended due to the red card he picked up on Sunday.

Sunderland, who are unbeaten in their previous four games, will be hopeful of taking advantage of any frailties in City's defence after gaining confidence with a hard fought point against the leaders.

Gus Poyet is likely to name an unchanged side if the Black Cats choose to adopt similar tactics when the champions arrive at the Stadium of Light on Wednesday evening.

Sunderland:

Recent form: LLWDDD

Possible starting lineup: Pantilimon; Vergini, O'Shea, Brown, Reveillere; Cattermole, Rodwell; Johnson, Larsson, Wickham; Fletcher

Man City:

Form in [League/Comp]: WLWDWW
Form in all competitions: WLDWWW

Possible starting lineup: Hart, Zabaleta, Demichelis, Boyata, Clichy, Toure, Fernandinho, Lampard, Nasri, Navas, Aguero

Sports Mole says: 0-2

http://www.sportsmole.co.uk/football/ma ... 91126.html?


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 Post subject: Re: Sunderland v Manchester City 03/12/2014
PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2014 8:46 am 
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Stubborn Sunderland to be a good test of City's mettle

For many Manchester City fans, the sight of Sunderland on the fixture list is a reason to look for a large immovable object to hide beneath. Of all the teams to give City problems over recent years, the Stadium of Light side have managed to lever themselves to the top of this particular list and stay there through thick and thin.

With a morale-boosting yet somewhat fortunate 3-2 win over Bayern Munich, followed up swiftly with a much more convincing away thrashing of surprise title contenders Southampton, City head to the bleak North East buoyed by a sudden upturn in fortunes and with the gap at the top of the table suddenly looking more manageable.

The way in which Manuel Pellegrini's men dismantled a hitherto impregnable home record last weekend was impressive. A patient and professional performance brought its rewards despite the erratic behaviour of Mike Jones, a referee, who has sent off more City players than any other Premier League official.

While City were making up ground on the leaders and overtaking Southampton to nestle into second place, opponents Sunderland were holding Chelsea to a goalless draw at the Stadium of Light. In an energetic and well-organised display; Sunderland revealed plenty of the spirit which has seen them overcome City 1-0 on their own ground for the last four seasons.

If we are to talk of sides with a hoodoo over the Blues, then this is as close as it comes, especially when recalling the slightly dubious nature of a couple of the winners in those games. Luck, however, tends to even itself out, making four consecutive victories a praiseworthy accomplishment rather than something for City to gripe about.

Leaving hocus-pocus, strange curses and last minute offside winners to one side for a minute, it can be said that are one or two more tangible key factors that will decide where the points go in this game.

In City's favour is a noticeable uptick of good form and improved results. A squad of this quality could hardly have spent the entire season misfiring and, having held onto Chelsea's coattails up to now, City find themselves in an excellent position to push on over the Christmas period. The fixture list has delivered a six-game run-up to and including the Dec. 28 fixture with Burnley that comprises winnable games against mid-table opposition.

While Chelsea also have a relatively simple run towards the end of the year, this is City's chance to take advantage of any slackness that may have been uncovered in the Londoners' inability to carve out a win last weekend, where they were not flattered by the single point that they left with.

If City are to continue to quiet the doubters, they will have to do it with a makeshift back four, as the fallout from the Southampton game has thrown some spanners in the works. While it is unlikely Pellegrini will want to risk Vincent Kompany, even if he is fit, his partner at the back Eliaquim Mangala will also sit this one out with a suspension after being red-carded at the weekend.

The manager has options, but they are restricted by his unwillingness to consider Matija Nastasic, once such a promising and accomplished young defender, as a viable starter. This means a place for the ever popular Martin Demichelis and a centre back outing for either right back Bacary Sagna or midfield pivot Yaya Toure, with the former getting most people's vote, despite the latter's memorable performance there for Barcelona against Manchester United in the 2009 Champions League final.

It could be said that City's season so far has involved so many changes of personnel in this area of the team that another one should not make too much difference. On top of this, Sunderland's goal-shy attack has not been putting the ball in the net regularly enough for them to climb properly away from the danger zone.

The game is more likely to be won in midfield, however, where the improving Toure and Fernandinho will come up against the sharp tackling and simple dependability of the in-form Lee Cattermole. With ex-City reserve 'keeper Costel Pantilimon, plus a host of ex-Manchester United players standing in their way, the stage is set for a real test of City's title winning nerve.

It is on occasions like these that prospective title-winners stand up to be counted. Needing to emphasise to Chelsea that what they witnessed at the weekend is the resumption of normal service, City must play with the same verve and panache that was seen at St Mary's. If they achieve this, we may well soon have full confirmation that season 2014-15 will have a proper title race after all.


http://www.espnfc.co.uk/club/manchester ... tys-mettle?


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 Post subject: Re: Sunderland v Manchester City 03/12/2014
PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2014 9:56 pm 
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Jolly good- the usual festive 3 points banker!



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 Post subject: Re: Sunderland v Manchester City 03/12/2014
PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2014 8:35 am 
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Poyet plays spy game ahead of Manchester City test

GUS Poyet has enlisted the help of some spies in a bid to guide Sunderland to a fifth straight home win over Premier League champions Manchester City.

The Black Cats go into this evening’s match at the Stadium of Light buoyed by their performance against unbeaten leaders Chelsea on Saturday and the fact they haven’t lost to the Sky Blues on home soil since 2008.

Sunderland’s recent record against Manuel Pellegrini’s side is sure to give Poyet’s squad a psychological boost, but the head coach has sought extra help from the trio of former City players in his squad.

Costel Pantilimon and Jack Rodwell swapped the Etihad Stadium for Wearside in the summer, while Adam Johnson was also signed from the reigning champions two-and-a-half years ago, and Poyet believes their inside knowledge could be crucial as he attempts to guide his team to their third win of the season.

“That could work in our favour,” Poyet admitted. “They know about City. We talk about certain things and it is so much easier when you can confirm those things with these three players.

“When I try to convince them about Chelsea, I could not ask any of the players. They had to take my word for it. Now there are certain things I can confirm with my three players.

“You can say “Is that right?” “Is that what they do?” and “Is that the right idea?”

“City will not change just because we have Pantilimon, Johnson and Rodwell but it is good to get confirmation of what we are trying to say. And I can tell you that they have shared a bit of information with us. Every little bit helps.”

Pantilimon was in goal when Man City were beaten by Phil Bardsley’s first-half strike 12 months ago in what was Sunderland’s fourth successive 1-0 win over City, who will be without central defensive pair Vincent Kompany and Eliaquim Mangala this evening.

Darren Bent, Ji Dong-Won and Adam Johnson were the other three match-winners, and having seen his side draw blanks in four of their last six games, Poyet would take another narrow win.

He said: “I cannot explain four 1-0 wins, but it is nice to talk for once about a positive run because normally we are talking about negatives.

“It is incredible. I don’t know how and I don’t know why. I only remember two of them - the Ji goal, I remember watching on TV and could hardly believe that last minute goal in a game when they defended most of the time, and then obviously last year as well.

“We had 45 minutes of great football then in the second half, we defended for our lives. That shows how difficult it is and how unique it is.

“To have that result, you have to be spot on in many aspects but for us now, the challenge is to score. After what we did against Chelsea, we want to do something similar but with a goal. We need to get a bit better and we will see what happens. I will take another 1-0. That would be perfect. Absolutely perfect.”

The Wearsiders successfully stifled the threat of 11-goal Diego Costa on Saturday and they will have to go one better when they come up against 12-goal Sergio Aguero.

Poyet is mindful of the threat the Argentina international poses, but he believes Aguero’s threat is greater than the Chelsea striker’s.

“Sergio is as good but he is a different player,” Poyet said. “He is even more dangerous when you are attacking rather than when they are and that is a big task.

“It is about concentrating on a player when they are defending and we are upfield. That is when you have to be spot on because a clearance or a rebound, it could be a break and a one on one.

“We need to be alert. We have to concentrate because he can be so dangerous at any time. But it is a great challenge. That is why we are here and fought so hard to stay in the Premier League last season, so we can play against the likes of Aguero.

“It would be easier to play against a Championship striker but it is part of this year’s challenge.”

Poyet has no fresh injury worries ahead of the game, but the head coach hinted he may rest a couple of players after their exertions against Jose Mourinho’s men.

Sunderland: Pantilimon; Vergini, O’Shea, Brown, Reveillere; Cattermole; Johnson, Larsson, Rodwell; Wickham; Fletcher.

http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/sport/ ... 1641138._/?


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 Post subject: Re: Sunderland v Manchester City 03/12/2014
PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2014 8:37 am 
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Three Key Battles: Sunderland vs Manchester City

Manchester City come up against Sunderland on Wednesday night in a game that promises to be a thriller.

Both sides go into the game off of very impressive results; City cruising past Southampton 3-0 at St Mary’s and The Black Cats held off league leaders Chelsea very impressively in their 0-0 draw.

And with City following up The Blues so soon, many are predicting a repeat from Sunderland as they showed their defensive abilities were up to scratch.

The Stadium of Light hasn’t been the happiest of hunting grounds for the Champions over the past few years but with them needing a win and that fact they can’t afford to lose any more ground on Chelsea they will have to pull something out of the bag.

John Shea vs. Sergio Aguero

A very interesting one this. A seemingly in-form centre back up against arguably the best striker in the world at the moment.

But as we saw on Saturday with Diego Costa, it doesn’t matter how in-form you are, if the opposition shut up shop and defend with their lives, they will keep you out.

And O’Shea put in the perfect defensive display against the Spaniard and I expect to see something very similar against the league’s top goal scorer.

Although, the Argentine will be going with a different approach than Costa; he’s a lot less physical and he creates his own chances which will cause all sorts of mayhem for the Sunderland backline.

It’s sure to be a great battle but one that I fully expect Aguero to come out on top of.

Lee Cattermole vs. Yaya Toure

Just like with O’Shea, Cattermole found himself having one of the games of his life against Chelsea on Saturday and he was up against the best midfield partnership in the league in the form of Cesc Fabregas and Nemanja Matic.

So nothing will scare him going into this second mighty affair in less than a week. He will look to get right in the mix once again and this time is up against one of last season’s stand-out players: Yaya Toure.

The Ivorian bagged an outstanding 20-goals from the centre of the park and is now finally starting to find his form once again after a rather shaky start.

He has two in his last two and with Sunderland expected to sit back for most of the game, his powerful, dynamic bursts will be crucial in finding a way through.

It will certainly be a feisty battle between the two.

Steven Fletcher vs. Martin Demichelis

At the other end of the pitch we see a rather different battle, but none less exciting.

Fletcher hasn’t had the best of season’s but we all know the quality possesses and he can always spring up with a wonderful performance when the big teams come around.

He had a quiet one at the weekend so it would be no surprise if Connor Wickham or Jozy Altidore starts up top. But Fletcher is odds on to get the nod and up against Demichelis he always has a chance.

The Argentine defender had a rocky start to City life but has now found his feet and usually is a consistent figure at the heart of their defence.

But on a cold Wednesday night in Sunderland, when the atmosphere is at its peak and full of optimism he could potentially find it difficult against a side raring to survive once again.

http://www.touchlinetalk.com/three-key- ... -2/109463/?


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 Post subject: Re: Sunderland v Manchester City 03/12/2014
PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2014 9:40 am 

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3-1 to us. I feel it in my water.

Or.....


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 Post subject: Re: Sunderland v Manchester City 03/12/2014
PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2014 4:32 pm 
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I'm confident we can get a point tonight 1-1.


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 Post subject: Re: Sunderland v Manchester City 03/12/2014
PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2014 4:46 pm 
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Defensive problems for City with both 1st choice CBs out tonight Vincent Kompany (injured) and Eliaquim Mangala (suspended). This means an untried pairing in the middle. Lets hope Fletch, or Wickham, or AJ or somebody can take advantage through the middle.

http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/sport/fo ... ve-8214804


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 Post subject: Re: Sunderland v Manchester City 03/12/2014
PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2014 5:45 pm 
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This is Sunlan. We'll get tonked.



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 Post subject: Re: Sunderland v Manchester City 03/12/2014
PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2014 6:35 pm 
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"Blessed is he who expects little" tonight I think



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 Post subject: Re: Sunderland v Manchester City 03/12/2014
PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2014 8:42 pm 
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Sunderland: Pantilimon, Vergini, Reveillere, O'Shea (c), Coates, Cattermole, Larsson, Rodwell, Buckley, Wickham, Fletcher.
Subs: Bridcutt, Brown, Cabral, Gomez, Altidore, Alvarez, Mannone.

Man City: Hart, Zabaleta, Boyata, Demichelis, Clichy, Fernandinho, Toure, Nasri, Navas, Jovetic, Aguero.

Subs: Cabellero, Angelino, Sagna, Fernando, Lampard, Milner, Pozo


Not sure about Coates. Pity AJ is out - he actually deserved a start.

Reasonable team tho.



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 Post subject: Re: Sunderland v Manchester City 03/12/2014
PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2014 9:07 pm 
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Location: Cardiff, Wales But still a Sanddancer.
I was just about to say " 1-0, we always win 1-0" but it is 1-1 :(


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 Post subject: Re: Sunderland v Manchester City 03/12/2014
PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2014 10:43 pm 
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Pantilimon, not much to do but fetch ball from net
Vergini, the odd mistake but still a class act. Can’t wait till he scores.
Reveillere, cool, calm and unferturbed.
O'Shea (c), difficult night against one of the best but did well I thought
Coates, at fault for their first but I’ve seen worse CBs in a Sunlan shirt.
Cattermole, SAFC MotM (again)
Larsson, the usual which recently has been pretty good
Rodwell, should have put more of a shift in tonight – something to prove shirley?
Buckley, started really well but faded badly and quickly. Surprised he stayed on.
Wickham, the usual mix of decent and shite.
Fletcher, felt sorry for him. No service at all. Hope his back is a minor knock.

Altidore, toiled but caused no trouble
Alvarez, too little to really rate him. Not the best time to come on

We were beaten by a much better team with much better players. Unlike Chelsea, City used the width of the pitch and pulled us about. They also played with much more pace. If Fletch is fit I expect us to give Liverpool a game.



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 Post subject: Re: Sunderland v Manchester City 03/12/2014
PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2014 8:48 am 
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Agree with Les.

Thought we started brightly and deserved the goal when it came. Was happy until that point. Then we conceded quickly through stupid mistakes and our heads dropped and we were just outclassed by a better team. It was bitterly cold as well, so I came home frozen and miserable :( Disappointed with the early leavers. People started pouring out on 70 mins and by the end, there was hardly anyone left. I stayed till the bitter end. I must be mad :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Sunderland v Manchester City 03/12/2014
PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2014 8:49 am 
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Unfair to throw Sebastian Coates in at the deep end

THE RETURN of Sunderland’s walking wounded is supposed to produce several extra additions to the win column over the festive period.

Gus Poyet hopes that having the likes of Ricky Alvarez, Emanuele Giaccherini and Billy Jones back in the picture will make the difference from converting draws into wins.

The Sunderland boss has seen his side happily manage to keep their points tally ticking over while they have been down to the bare bones, so a few extra bodies and a touch of added-on quality won’t do any harm.

That’s the idea anyway.

But there is a big gulf between being physically fit and match fit. The evidence was striking last night, as Sebastian Coates was asked to perform the near-impossible.

The rustiness in the heart of the back four, coupled with several heavy sets of legs, saw Sunderland’s resilience ebb away as they suffered their second heaviest defeat of the campaign and saw a four-game unbeaten run come to an abrupt conclusion.

There was no disgrace in that. After the lethargy which plagued them earlier in the campaign, Manchester City now look back to being genuine title contenders, with their confidence clearly boosted by last month’s Champions League victory over Bayern Munich.

But with a fully-fit back four might that outcome have been different? It perhaps wouldn’t have been so comfortable for City as it was.

You had to feel a little sorry for Coates.


The Uruguayan has barely played a competitive game in the last 18 months, let alone this season.

Circumstances dictated that Poyet had to turn to the Liverpool man – the knock to Wes Brown, the continued absence of Billy Jones and Patrick van Aanholt, plus the loanee’s ineligibility against his parent club this Saturday – almost forced his selection.

But to be pitched into the starting line-up after recovering from a thigh problem without the odd outing for the Under-21s, or a few minutes as a substitute, was tough.

To do so against a striker of such outstanding quality as Sergio Aguero made Coates’ task horrendously difficult.

Even the majority of the home supporters applauded the removal of Aguero with 15 minutes to go after the Argentine had done the damage with such evident quality.

If there is a discussion to be had over whether Aguero or Diego Costa is the Premier League’s best striker, then the City man won that battle hands-down in a four-day period of judging.

While Aguero skipped past Coates’ challenge far too easily for the equaliser – when the centre-half just needed to stand his ground – the rasping finish beyond the Argentine’s ex-team-mate Costel Pantilimon couldn’t have been more emphatic.

Equally, the wonderful flick from Yaya Toure’s fizzed pass for City’s second instantly propelled John O’Shea and Santiago Vergini into no man’s land before Stevan Jovetic finished it off.

But it was that too easy quick-fire equaliser which proved fatal to Sunderland’s hopes of recording a fifth consecutive Stadium of Light victory over City.

The momentum and confidence gleaned from Saturday’s stalemate against Chelsea had been all-too evident in the opening 20 minutes.

Jack Rodwell should have broken the deadlock early-doors against his former club when Seb Larsson sent Will Buckley in behind the City defence down the right-hand side of the area.

Buckley pulled the ball back invitingly for Rodwell, in space 15 yards out, but he could only send a weak shot against the legs of Pablo Zabaleta, who had raced back into the goalmouth.

When Sunderland did get their noses in front though, it wasn’t against the run of play, albeit Poyet’s men benefited from a splash of fortune.

Larsson sent a wonderful return pass in behind the City defence for Wickham to chase onto and Zabaleta was forced to produce a last-gasp challenge which richocheted off the striker and beyond Joe Hart.

Had Sunderland had chance to draw breath, establish base camp and defend that lead, then adrenaline may well have seen them produce another stoic rearguard action akin to the one from Saturday.

But the quick-fire nature of Aguero’s equaliser – and the preventable manner of it – knocked all the stuffing out of Sunderland.

Suddenly, they looked like a team who had run, and run, and run, and run, and run against Chelsea.

The accuracy in Sunderland’s passing ebbed away swiftly. Possession began to be squandered far too easily and it looked to be a matter of time before City got their noses in front.

So it proved. Jovetic confirmed the inevitable before the second half became a stroll for the visitors.

The third was again preventable, albeit it was a wonderful finish from Zabaleta, who was doubtless keen to make amends.

Coates didn’t read Samir Nasri’s dinked through-ball for Zabaleta, who elegantly lifted it over Pantilimon.

The fourth simply rubber-stamped City’s superiority – Santiago Vergini going with Aguero’s run, rather than playing the offside trap, and allowing the Premier League’s top scorer to elegantly guide James Milner’s cross beyond Pantilimon.

Thankfully, City turned off the after-burners at that point and strolled through to the conclusion.

Jozy Altidore – on for Steven Fletcher, who went off with a back injury after a rugged challenge from Dedryck Boyata – tried to create something out of nothing, but with Sunderland collectively shattered, the American was ploughing a lone furrow.

With City – and particularly Aguero – in that sort of mood, Sunderland cannot beat themselves up at their wonderful Stadium of Light run against the blue half of Manchester coming to an end.

But the bigger concern is that Sunderland are not going to be a lot fresher when they head to Anfield on Saturday.

Facing a Liverpool side – who were still vulnerable despite victory at 10-man Leicester on Tuesday – was always the most attractive of these three quick-fire games against the Premier League’s big-hitters.

Yet to record a first victory at Anfield in 31 years, Sunderland are still going to need to be somewhere near their maximum.

Physically that will be tough for Poyet’s men.

They must somehow rediscover some energy in the legs and go again.

With only two or three in reserve really able to boast a healthy level of match-fitness though, Sunderland are going to have to dig deep to begin another unbeaten run.

SUNDERLAND: Pantilimon, Vergini, O’Shea, Coates, Reveillere, Cattermole, Rodwell, Larsson, Buckley, Wickham (Alvarez 66), Fletcher (Altidore 55). Subs not used: Bridcutt, Brown, Cabral, Gomez, Mannone. Booked: Cattermole (71)

MANCHESTER CITY: Hart, Zabaleta, Boyata, Demichelis, Clichy, Fernandinho, Toure, Nasri, Navas (Pozo 83), Jovetic (Milner 56), Aguero (Lampard 74). Subs not used: Caballero, Sagna, Angel Tasende, Fernando. Booked: Boyata (65)

Attendance: 41,152

http://www.sunderlandecho.com/sport/sun ... -1-6986778


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 Post subject: Re: Sunderland v Manchester City 03/12/2014
PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2014 8:50 am 
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Logic prevailed as Sunderland were overwhelmed by Man City

Logic prevailed. For all the confidence Sunderland ought to have drawn from the excellent display against Chelsea, a nasty 4-1 home defeat by Manchester City four days later was totally predictable. This was an encounter between one team assembled with unlimited resources and another possessing the qualities and limitations of journeymen.

It would be far too easy to conclude that the outstanding Sergio Aguero, scorer of two and maker of another of City's goals, was the man who made the difference. This was a dominant team effort that needed no more than the impertinence of Sunderland taking the lead to turn City's swagger into goals.

If only the game could have ended after 20 minutes. Sunderland made the brighter start. Will Buckley won what should have been a dangerous free kick out on the left. That led to nothing. Then Connor Wickham got a leg in the way of Pablo Zabaleta's attempted clearance to open the scoring and raise hopes that a fifth successive 1-0 win in this fixture might not be quite as fanciful as it seemed.

In between, though, there had been relentless City possession. And it took no more than two minutes after Wickham's fortunate goal to make another upset seem an absurd proposition.

Aguero prodded the ball past Seb Coates before leaving former City goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon flat-footed with a strike that was in the back of the net before the Romanian could even react. Better defenders than Coates will be outclassed by Aguero. But it was difficult to escape the thought that Coates had been pressed a little too early into combat after the protracted injury problems that have dogged him since his arrival on loan from Liverpool.

There seemed a distinct lack of the communication and cohesion in the back four that had so effectively suppressed the threat from Diego Costa and his Chelsea teammates just days ago.

Coates played because Wes Brown, a solid part of the defiance of Chelsea on Saturday, had not recovered from a knock in that game. Buckley was a starter because Adam Johnson, who invariably plays well against his former club City was also unavailable through injury. Both were missed. Brown for the solid qualities that generally triumph above the odd costly howler, Johnson for that burst of skill or speed that unsettles defenders.

Buckley's early flourish included one darting run that might have ended with a clever scoring finish but instead set up another recruit from yet another ex-City man, Jack Rodwell, for a half-chance that was easily blocked by Pablo Zabaleta. It was a poor choice, and Buckley made almost no other contribution to the Sunderland cause from that point on.

There are times, as in the goalless draw against Chelsea, when greater possession commanded by opponents hardly matters since they are denied the opportunity to do much with it. On Wednesday night it was different; City's possession was not only overwhelming, it looked capable of leading to goals at will. The very different teams were playing very different games.

On the four previous occasions that City had visited the Stadium of Light, a 1-0 home win was the outcome. Before that there was a 1-1 draw and there have also been superb Sunderland performances at the Etihad, and in last season's Capital One Cup final, at Wembley. This was the occasion when the difference in resources was plain to see. Sunderland toiled whereas City flourished.

Aguero's equaliser combined simplicity, power and aplomb but there is so much more to his game than deadly finishing. This was on full display when his exquisite flick from Yaya Toure's pass set up Stevan Jovetic, who found the gap between Pantilimon's legs that put City ahead on 39 minutes.

Any relief Poyet may have taken from being only a goal behind at the interval was shattered early in the second half when Zabaleta's classy chip effectively put the game beyond doubt. Aguero's second and City's fourth simply completed the misery for Sunderland.

Poyet should not be too disheartened by this abrupt end to the mini-revival he has orchestrated since the awful 8-0 reverse at Southampton, with a win and three draws out of the five ensuing games. City also won by a three-goal margin at high-flying Southampton at the weekend and will clearly win many more games than they lose as they seek to close the gap on Chelsea at the top of the Premier League.

Sunderland ambitions are more modest. Points need to be accumulated to avoid a repeat of last season's desperate relegation scrap. On the evidence of this lesson in top-class football from City, those points will have to be taken in the games against teams outside the top four or five.

http://www.espnfc.co.uk/club/sunderland ... y-man-city?


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 Post subject: Re: Sunderland v Manchester City 03/12/2014
PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2014 10:13 am 

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We were OK until we scored. We weren't very good after that. Passes going astray etc etc what is beginning to peeve me is the lack of shots on target which is a continuing feature of our performances at home.

The defence were found out last night (OK Brown wasn't playing) but mark my words we will concede a hatful of goals on a few more occasions. Pedestrian springs to mind.

Thought Larsson was probably MOM for us, Wickham is annoying Prick. For his build he's as soft as shite and it is laughable when he tries to head a ball when challenged

Anyhow, 1pt out of 6 against the 2 top teams, being the realist/pessimist that I am I was expecting NIL. So thats a bonus

Was not at all surprised about this performance after the sterling effort by all against Chelsea

It is the penalty paid for supporting SAFC

Haway the Lads



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 Post subject: Re: Sunderland v Manchester City 03/12/2014
PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2014 10:30 am 
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on that basis, City are streets ahead of Chelsea, we just couldn't live with their pace and movement. Coates is getting some abuse on Facebook and no doubt the SMB but Wes Brown can't play three games in a week and Coates can't play on Saturday so it makes sense to swap it around


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 Post subject: Re: Sunderland v Manchester City 03/12/2014
PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2014 10:38 am 

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I have only seen Match of the DAy so far. It was nice to see Connor score. Manchester City looked frightening to be fair.


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 Post subject: Re: Sunderland v Manchester City 03/12/2014
PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2014 11:34 am 
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they were very very good tbf to them ! we were never going to get anything
s a is simply outstanding !



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 Post subject: Re: Sunderland v Manchester City 03/12/2014
PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2014 1:52 pm 
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City also seem to be an easy team to ref; even before they were out of sight, there were no committees surrounding the ref demanding cards for fouls, they just got on with heading for our goal


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 Post subject: Re: Sunderland v Manchester City 03/12/2014
PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2014 8:16 pm 
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Like Towers, I think we scored too early. Once we scored we were left trying to hang on to the lead for 70+ minutes. It was a bit like kicking a hornets nest as City did not want to be behind (and they weren't for long).

I much prefer us opening the scoring against Man City around the 93rd minute as there is always the chance of us hanging on until the end then. :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Sunderland v Manchester City 03/12/2014
PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2014 8:43 pm 

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Tufty wrote:
Like Towers, I think we scored too early. Once we scored we were left trying to hang on to the lead for 70+ minutes. It was a bit like kicking a hornets nest as City did not want to be behind (and they weren't for long).

I much prefer us opening the scoring against Man City around the 93rd minute as there is always the chance of us hanging on until the end then. :lol:


:D


:thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:

Trouble is got to have a shot on target 1st, you know in between the two posts with a crossbar on it. If I was coach I would have them in classroom and draw diagram of what a goal looks like. Get paid thousands for this brainwave



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