Failed to reach Larsson’s opener, with the Swede putting his shot just inches too far for the England international to reach. Sunderland’s second should have been covered in a more comprehensive fashion, with the ‘keeper watching Bendtner’s header drop nicely at the back corner. Hart’s defenders let him down on the third, Larsson’s marker allowing the midfielder to slot the ball easily past the shot-stopper.
The Belgian showed just how much he’d been missed with his domineering challenges and quick thinking at the back. However, the skipper occasionally failed to organize his back-four, especially when the visitors went on the break for their third of the afternoon.
Made a key intervention in the early moments to deny Sessegnon from going one-on-one with Hart with a daring challenge on the edge of the box. However, the Ivory Coast international’s strength over Larsson for Sunderland’s third allowed the Swede to tap in from close-range.
The Serbian full back’s first contribution to the match was a well taken free-kick that tested Mignolet at his front-post. However, a tendency to fail to deal with Larsson’s energy on the flank left City open on the break on a couple of occasions. Made the key difference on the day in the end with a stunning effort from distance to bring City back on par with Sunderland.
Was only on the pitch for the first 45 minutes after a clash of heads with Colback seemed to be too much for the full-back. The England international did a decent job whilst he was on, but occasionally got caught out by the confidence of McLean.
N. de Jong
Not the best of displays from the Dutchman who wasn’t particularly effective in the midfield battle and lost possession in the middle a number of times and failed to get City moving on the break when given the chance to.
Had the better of his game in the first-half after some encouraging play out on the right, buit was forced to drop to the full-back position after Richards was deemed not able to continue the game and did a reasonable job.
The Spaniard’s form has been question of late and the World Cup winner did seem a little jaded, but had intermittent bursts of energy to give Sunderland some problems and gave the attackers something to latch onto.
Took a while to really get into gear and couldn’t be the often instrumental individual we’ve come to see from the midfielder, but the odd run got City away in the attack and gave the attackers a ball to work with.
Was given a fine chance to score when put through the right channel, the Bosnian shooting with the outside of his foot to force Mignolet into a fantastic save. Tried until the end to get a goal, but had to leave it to City’s other more clinical individuals to save the day.
The Italian was already in the spotlight before the game and Mancini’s decision to pick the striker ahead of Carlos Tevez might just be questioned, with the 21-year-old not having a particularly effective afternoon apart from his well taken penalty. Sparked anger amongst his team-mates and the fans after confronting his fellow players as they prepared to take a free-kick. Redeemed himself near the end however, with a superb effort from just inside the box, curling the ball round Mignolet.
The Belgian ‘keeper was brought into action by City in the first 10 minutes by a Kolarov free-kick that bounced up at his front-post, but was stopped well despite not being able to hold onto the ball. Called upon by Dzeko sometime later and saved magnificently from the Bosnian’s close-quarters effort. Balotelli however sent him the wrong way for City’s equalizing penalty. Was left stumped by both the Italian’s second and Kolarov’s game saving effort.
Put in a very capable performance in a make-shift defense and as soon as the squad player left the pitch Sunderland’s two goal lead was tarnished.
A very positive display and made a whole round of key contributions, but a lack of concentration at the end meant the visitors surrendered their two goal advantage.
The full back had his fair share of problems of frequently going up against Silva and Balotelli, but did well to halt their progress most of the time.
The winger was giving Richards a lot to think about down the flanks, but in the end couldn’t muster enough to keep Sunderland’s lead and was outdone by his counterpart Larsson at the other side.
The attacker was superb at getting Sunderland on the move and the Benin international’s movement was key in giving the City defenders a few headaches at the back, setting up Larsson for Sunderland’s opener. Set the ball rolling for Sunderland’s third, feeding the ball perfectly for Bendtner down the right whilst on the break.
The Swede drilled in Sunderland’s opener brilliantly and with the accuracy to have Hart come just short of getting his fingertips to and was a continuous source of energy for the visitors. Took his second calmly as Kolo Toure allowed for the winger to slot home from short-distance.
The midfielder was unfortunate not to put Sunderland in the lead after some delightful passing from the visitors left the former Birmingham man with a close-range shot that narrowly missed the target. Was the culprit to hand a penalty to City after clumsily knocking into Dzeko just inside the area.
Forced into the left-back position and did an admirable job for an individual of his stature, tackling without fear and bringing some of City’s larger players to their knees. But in the final moments couldn’t keep his composure and saw City get a share of the spoils.
Was highly efficient in the midfield battle, but once more let his temper rule his head and was lucky and was lucky not see a card after confronting the linesman in reaction to City’s equalizing penalty. However, couldn’t keep his strength in the center as City’s determination pulled them through.
Wasn’t giving City too many problems until his goal apart from some effective runs through the middle as the hosts lost possession. The Dane got up brilliantly to put the visitors back in the lead, although slack defending allowed the striker to score easily. After the break, Bendtner was instrumental in adding to City’s wounds after breaking down the right to set up Larsson at the back post and score right in front of the visiting fans.
- 30 C. Pantilimon
- 5 P. Zabaleta
- 22 G. Clichy
Came on at halftime for Richards and kept them moving out on the right.
- 18 G. Barry
Arrived late in the game and did his bit to recover the game for City.
Replaced Silva and induced some more energy into the game, with some key contributions in bringing City back from the dead.