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Played
April 17, 2014 12:15 AM IST
Etihad Stadium — Manchester
Referee:‬ M. Atkinson‎
Attendance:‬ 47046‎
 
Top of the Match
Adam Johnson
Adam Johnson
Sunderland
Connor Wickham
Connor Wickham
Sunderland
Flop of the Match
Vito Mannone
Vito Mannone
Sunderland
Vito Mannone
Vito Mannone
Sunderland

Manchester City 2-2 Sunderland: City title hopes in the balance despite Nasri equaliser

Fernandinho's lightning-fast opener set the hosts off well but a Connor Wickham double threatened to deliver a hammer blow before the Frenchman grabbed a late leveller

By Jack Davies

Connor Wickham Manchester City Sunderland EPL 04162014
Getty Images
Manchester City's quest to keep pace with Premier League leaders Liverpool faltered on Wednesday as they let an early lead slip but recovered to a 2-2 draw with Sunderland.

Fernandinho struck in the second minute, capitalising on a disastrous Lee Cattermole error, but the relegation-threatened visitors battled back superbly and deserved their second-half equaliser.

Connor Wickham got it, pouncing on the chance to volley home when Aleksandar Kolarov was out of position, and the striker then stole a second on the break in the 83rd minute, though Samir Nasri restored some pride with a goal at the death.

It came largely thanks to a mistake from Vito Mannone and the City midfielder would have wrapped up all three points but for a dreadful miss just moments later.

VIEW FROM THE ETIHAD
By Tom Maston

The Sunderland fans were singing Vito Mannone's name at the end of the match but, at the end of the season, his error might prove very costly in their battle against relegation.

Connor Wickham's double put the Black Cats on the verge of a famous win that they arguably deserved on balance against a slugglish Manchester City side.

Manuel Pellegrini's charges are now well behind in the title race and require both Liverpool and Chelsea to fall to defeats before the season is out. A second title in three years looks very unlikely and the despondent home fans knew it as they left the stadium, shaking their heads.
The result puts Gus Poyet's side back to within six points of safety, with one game still in hand, but City's title bid is left on the ropes, behind the Reds by the same margin even with one extra match to play.

City needed a response after their defeat on Merseyside and it came quickly, with two of Manuel Pellegrini's five additions to the starting XI heavily involved in the build-up as the home side went ahead almost immediately.

Sergio Aguero slid the ball to Alvaro Negredo, whose dummy on the edge of the penalty area completely fooled defender Wes Brown – scorer of the own goal that led to his side's 1-0 defeat against Everton on Saturday – and Fernandinho made no mistake in squeezing his strike between Mannone and the right-hand post.

Former Manchester United defender John O'Shea rose well to meet an Adam Johnson free kick from the right flank four minutes later but the Irishman wasted the opportunity by heading harmlessly wide of the target before nodding another effort narrowly over the crossbar.

City could have doubled their advantage when Fernandinho scooped a volley over the crossbar 11 minutes in but Sunderland were pressing well and might well have drawn level eight minutes later had Fabio Borini been less selfish and squared to a team-mate rather than go for goal himself from a narrow angle.

Despite the early breakthrough, City were struggling to impose themselves on their lowly opponents. Aguero was lucky to avoid serious injury following a dangerous tackle from Brown and the Argentine had calls for a penalty waved away before the break after going down under the challenge of O'Shea.

Substitute Stevan Jovetic tried to slot the ball beyond Mannone shortly after the hour mark but his effort was tame and comfortably collected by the Italian.

Joe Hart had to make himself big at the other end after 72 minutes when Jack Colback found himself through one-on-one but Wickham then turned the game on its head as he tapped home Giaccherini's cross.

Wickham then fired an unstoppable effort into the bottom right-hand corner a few minutes later to deal City's title hopes a second huge blow in the space of four days.

However, Nasri's late shot prompted the error from Mannone to earn City a point before the Frenchman blasted over the crossbar soon afterwards in a golden chance to take all the spoils.


Manchester City

1
Joe Hart
Goalkeeper
3.00
4
Vincent Kompany
Defender
3.00
5
Pablo Zabaleta
Defender
92′
3.00
13
2.50
26
2.50
7
James Milner
Midfielder
2.50
8
Samir Nasri
Midfielder
88′
2.50
14
Javi García
Midfielder
2.50
25
Fernandinho
Midfielder
2′ 87′
3.50
9
Negredo
Striker
68′
3.50
16
3.50

Sunderland

1.50
25
Vito Mannone
Goalkeeper
1.50
5
Wes Brown
Defender
3.00
16
John O'Shea
Defender
3.00
27
2.00
28
3.00
7
3.50
11
Adam Johnson
Midfielder
3.00
14
Jack Colback
Midfielder
2.50
33
Lee Cattermole
Midfielder
3.50
10
3.00
31

Substitutes

30
 - 
2
 - 
6
 - 
22
Gael Clichy
Defender
 - 
17
Jack Rodwell
Midfielder
87′
 - 
10
Edin Dzeko
Striker
68′
2.50
35
3.50

Substitutes

 - 
32
Óscar Ustari
Goalkeeper
 - 
22
El Hadji Ba
Midfielder
3.50
23
 - 
35
 - 
-
Liam Agnew
Midfielder
 - 
17
2.50
30

Coach/Manager

-
 - 

Coach/Manager

 - 
-
 
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  • Own Goal
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  • Yellow Card / Red Card
  • Red Card
  • Substitution IN
  • Substitution OUT
  • Injury
  • Goal.com Rating
  • Goal.com Man of the Match
  • Goal.com Flop of the Match
  • Top & Flop Global Ranking
  • Fans' Man of the Match
  • Fans' Flop of the Match
Results
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Luis Suárez Luis Suárez
Striker
Liverpool
29 0
Daniel Sturridge Daniel Sturridge
Striker
Liverpool
20 0
Yaya Touré Yaya Touré
Midfielder
Manchester City
18 6
Wayne Rooney Wayne Rooney
Striker
Man. United
15 2
Sergio Agüero Sergio Agüero
Striker
Manchester City
15 0