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  • 29 August 2010
  • • 15:00
  • • Stadium of Light, Sunderland
  • Referee: M. Dean
  • • Attendance: 38610
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Sunderland 1-0 Manchester City: Darren Bent scores stoppage time penalty as Black Cats grab late win

Sunderland 1-0 Manchester City: Darren Bent scores stoppage time penalty as Black Cats grab late win

Hart broken to deny three league clean sheets on the spin...

Manchester City were unable to capitalise on Tottenham’s slip-up against Wigan Athletic yesterday, as Robert Mancini’s lost 1-0 to Sunderand, thanks to a Darren Bent penalty, deep into stoppage time.

In what was a patchy start to the match, neither Sunderland or Manchester City were able to enjoy substantial periods of possession, with the likes of Nigel De Jong and Lee Cattermole proving defensive thorns to the attacking play of both sides.

Arguably the brightest spark in the opening exchanges was Ahmed El Mohamady. Sunderland’s Egyptian midfielder was certainly not lacking in confidence when he attempted to break the deadlock with a thunderous effort from all of 35 yards, which flew harmlessly over Joe Hart’s crossbar.

By the midpoint of the half, the visitors looked to seize control of the game, and began to shuffle to ball effectively around the park; with Yaya Toure looking to thread passes through Sunderland’s midfield to Carlos Tevez, at every opportunity.

And it was the Ivorian who combined with the Argentine to create one of the clearest opportunities the striker will ever receive.

Toure showed fantastic pace and strength as City broke following a Sunderland corner, as the former Barcelona man sped past Kieran Richardson before laying a pass across Simon Mignolet’s penalty area to Tevez, who 10 yards out, with the goal at his mercy, missed the target altogether to the joy of the home faithful.

And that burst seemed to allow the match to blossom into an increasingly open encounter. Toure for one continued to bomb forward, winning a corner off the backtracking Steed Malbranque as City looked to quickly rectify Tevez’ woeful finish. And no one more so than the Argentine himself.

After collecting that ball in the middle of Sunderland’s half, following a lacklustre pass from Anton Ferdinand, Tevez set off on a rampage towards Mignolet’s goal, but Michael Turner was on hand to divert his low effort wide.

And Mignolet was called into action soon after. Once again Tevez was involved, threading a neat pass into the path of the onrushing Toure. With the Ivorian bearing down on goal, the Belgian goalkeeper showed great composure to smother the ball.

With 35 minutes on the clock, the match was halted after a crunching altercation between Turner and Joleon Lescott. Having been awarded what was a contentious throw-in, Barry quickly fed the run of Lescott down the left flank. Cutting into the Sunderland penalty area, the former Everton man’s touch was heavy, and as Turner nipped in to intercept that ball, his right ankle was caught by the City man, as he slid in with his studs showing, a challenge which left the former Hull man reeling in agony.

Before long, Steve Bruce was dealt another blow, with Frazier Campbell involved in an awkward tangle with Micah Richards, in which the former Manchester United striker seemed to twist his knee as he buckled under the challenge of the powerful City man.

But Bruce’s walking wounded made it through to half-time unscaved, in thanks largely to another impressive save from Mignolet  to deny Toure, and Tevez’ uncharacteristic miss.


Campbell's old enemy | Former Red Devils' striker replaced at half-time with knee injury

Having seen his opposite number tested in the first half, it was Hart who saw most of the action after the interval. The England number one had to show both bravery and agility as he sprung from his line to clear the ball with his fists, after a wayward header from Vincent Kompany looked set to play Darren Bent through on goal.

But Richardson spurned a rare set piece opportunity to sting the hands of the City keeper, as the former United man opted for power over placement, and his drilled delivery spiralled wide of Hart’s goal like a untied balloon.

Roberto Mancini was clearly concerned by his side’s start to the second half, and in particular the demise of the impressive link-up play between Tevez and Toure, and it wasn’t long before Togolese powerhouse Emanuel Adebayor was instructed to warm up.

And the normally calm Italian was growing increasingly frustrated, and having seen James Milner fire a tepid shot off target, David Silva was sent to join the former Arsenal striker.

With 25 minutes left on the clock, the match became an open affair once more, with both City and Sunderland rifling out streams of counter attacks.

The most dangerous of these came from the home side, with El Mohamady again the man spearheading the Black Cats’ advances.

The Egyptian fed the ball through to substitute Welbeck, who was just quick enough to knock the ball onto Bent before being clatter by Kolo Toure. Bent then fired an effort goalwards from an acute angle of the right side of Hart’s box, but Kompany was on hand to block the effort. Finally, the ball fell to the feet of Welbeck, but the on-loan Manchester United striker fired his effort over the crossbar.

Mancini finally brought Adebayor into the match with just under 15 minutes remaining, with the striker replacing Joleon Lescott, as Barry dropped back into the left side of City’s defence.

The Italian’s decision almost paid off five minutes later, as Adebayor would have broken the deadlock but for a stunning save from Mignolet. Following a corner kick taken by Milner, the former Arsenal striker diverted a Micah Richards header fiercely towards goal with an exquisite back heel, only for the Belgian to spring into action with another impressive stop.

But in the dying moments of the match, Sunderland were awarded a penalty after a foul by Micah Richards on Darren Bent, with suspicions of offside against the Sunderland striker. Bent, Sunderland’s talisman last season, then picked himself up to fire past Hart, and secure an impressive victory for the home side.


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