Sunderland v Manchester City –
Final Score/Result: Sunderland 1-0 Man City
Man Of The Match: Phillip Bardsley
Manchester City have dropped down to eighth in the points table after this loss as their away form shows no sign of improvement. Man City have lost four out of their six away matches so far this season, and this is certainly not a record a side aspiring for titles would want to have. Sunderland meanwhile grabbed their third win in their last four matches in all competitions as Gus Poyet maintained his 100% record at home. They are now four points away from getting out of the relegation zone.
Sunderland started the match brightly as Manchester City struggled to get a grip on the game. Then in the 21st minute left-back Phillip Bardsley provided the lead to the home side. Wes Brown, who started his first game since 22 months, played a lovely ball over the top of the City defence and Bardsley shaked off the challenge from Milner and wonderfully finished past Costel Pantilimon. The replay showed that the 28-year-old might have fouled Milner on his way to score the goal, but that couldn’t mean less to this Sunderland side, who have had anything going their way this season.
Manchester City came back to life after conceding that goal and upped the tempo in the final third. Sergio Aguero missed a golden opportunity to head home an equaliser in the first half after Kolarov put in a wonderful cross from the left. But the ball came too fast for Aguero to direct it properly.
In the second half City came out with more purpose as Manuel Pellegrini brought on Jesus Navas in place of Garcia. The Spaniard came close to scoring the equaliser after been set up by Aguero down the left, but his shot was blocked on the line and Aguero’s shot from the rebound was also saved. Sunderland looked threating on the break as well and kept good possession in spells. Edin Dzeko replaced Negredo in the 71st minute, and the Bosnian striker immediately forced a good save from Vito Mannone with a long range shot. In the end, Sunderland managed to hold on to the lead and maintained their good record against Manchester City at home.
Manuel Pellegrini, who has endured a difficult start to the season, expressed his concern regarding Manchester City’s away form and insisted that his side must improve on the road if they want to compete for the title.
“I am concerned because we are losing too many points away.
“Of course, it’s very difficult if you don’t win away to try to fight for the Premier League.” – The Manchester City manager said.
But despite the poor results on the road Pellegrini believes that Man City have been playing in the ‘correct way’ and need to persist with it.
“We will continue the same way because in the four defeats I am sure we are playing the correct way and I hope the wins will come.
“We had the chances to score and win the game but we didn’t and we lost. Sunderland defended really well.
“The Premier League is very close. We have a lot of points to fight for and a lot of time.” – Pellegrini added.
Pellegrini lamented his side’s failure to convert the chances the managed to create in the game and was almost in disbelief that Sunderland won this game with only one shot on target.
“It’s incredible the way we lost this match.
“Sunderland are not in a good position, so I understand the way they played.
“But they had just one shot on our goal. We had the possession, we had the chances and we didn’t score.” – He told the press after the game.
Sunderland v Manchester City – Statistics
Phillip Bardsley produced a wonderful performance for Sunderland in this game. The Scotsman has been in good form recently and scored the winner in this match. This was his second goal in this last two games after scoring against Southampton in the League Cup. It has been a wonderful turn around for the 28-year-old who failed to get a game under Paolo Di Canio. The above heat-map depicts his movement and positioning on the pitch against Manchester City.