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October 6, 2012
• Etihad Stadium, Manchester
Referee: L. Probert
• Attendance: 47036
A. Kolarov 5'
S. Agüero 60'
J. Milner 89'
Mancini's team remain unbeaten and in the process earn their first clean sheet and record their first consecutive league wins this season. So all in all a good day for the champions. Sunderland never really got going and were second best in every area of the pitch. O'Neill won't be too disappointed with his side's performance against a very slick City display.
FULL TIME: Manchester City 3-0 Sunderland
90' + 3'
Three minutes to be added on.
90' + 2'
Could have been four! Aguero brings the ball down and checks on to his right foot leaving O'Shea in his wake, but Mignolet saves his blushes by rushing out and making a good block.
Goal James Milner
Kolorav earned the free-kick and allowed James Milner to do the honour and the Englishman duly obliged. His firmly struck right-footed effort was bent round the wall and took a deflection off Gardner leaving the hapless Mignolet flapping at thin air. Resounding win for Mancini's side.
GOAL!!! Manchester City 3-0 Sunderland (Milner)
GOAL!!! Manchester City 3-0 Sunderland (Milner)
Yellow Card Craig Gardner
Kolarov is on the go again down the left. He wins a foot race against Gardner before earning a free-kick with a clever check back.
Kolarov has been superb today. The Serb has two shots from a corner, both on target, both well blocked by Sunderland bodies.
But O'Neill's men win it back and Gardner eventually shoots from range earning a corner off of Lescott's head. The resulting corner is cleared and City go on the attack once again. Tevez plays a reverse pass to Toure, whose cross come shot takes a nick on it's way out for another corner.
The Black Cats counter lasts all of five seconds before the hosts regain possession.
Zabaleta goes beyond Silva once again but his cross is blocked for a corner. It's taken by Milner but Richards get his feet in a muddle and Sunderland break.
Mancini's men have just taken their foot off the gas as they look to see out this two-goal advantage with ten minutes or so remaining.
Yellow Card Jack Colback
Steven Fletcher has a shot in anger from outside the box but it's right down Joe Hart's throat.
Micah Richards seems hell bent on getting on the score sheet today. The defender charges forward exchanging passes neatly with Aguero before the move breaks down at the final hurdle.
Yaya Toure shows some neat footwork to evade two challenges but then fires a wild shot into the stands.
Zabaleta wins another corner with a blocked cross as Aguero is primed for a tap-in in the box. City are picking off their opponents.
The champions are all over Sunderland at the moment. Richards again with his head comes close to converting a corner with Mignolet keeping his side in the match, that's if Sunderland are actually still in the match.
Half a chance for Sunderland from a corner. McClean's header is goal bound before Hart punches and earns a free-kick off Danny Rose in the process.
Off the bar! Tevez skips round Mignolet and then cuts it back to Silva who attempts a delicate chip from the edge of the area which beats a couple of defenders but bounces off the crossbar!
Just wide from Tevez! Aguero plays in his international compartiot and Tevez drags is angled shot just wide of the far post. Manchester City well on top.
Adam Johnson is the man coming off for Saha, and the former City player does get a good reception.
Louis Saha is getting ready to come on for the visitors. With his Manchester United connection he can expect a warm welcome...
A mountain to climb for Martin O'Neill's side now. The introduction of Sergio Aguero has added extra incisiveness to City's attacking play.
Assist Aleksandar Kolarov
Goal Sergio Agüero
David Silva starts the move by slipping in Kolorav on the overlap down the left flank and the Serb drives in another wonderful low cross for Sergio Aguero to provide the ruthless finish with the outside of his boot. Super goal.
GOAL!!! Manchester City 2-0 Sunderland (Aguero)
Richards nearly scores from a corner again! He rises highest to meet Silva's cross and forces Mignolet to make an athletic stop, with the Belgian doing well to hold on to the ball.
Russell Stoddart reports: "Mario Balotelli cuts a forlorn figure as he is replaced just seconds after being inches away from connecting with a Kolarov cross in front of goal. The Italian took an age to come off the pitch and didn't even look at Mancini as he walks down the tunnel for an early bath."
What a chance! Kolorav plays an absolute blinding cross from a deep position drilled across the ground and Balotelli is inches away from turning it in. It turns out to be the Italian's final involvement as Sergio Aguero comes off the bench to take to the field.
Adam Johnson is nearly fed through on goal by Sessegnon, but Kolorav makes a last ditch sliding challenge to deny the winger a chance against his former side!
Top save from Joe Hart to deny Fletcher but the Sunderland striker is flagged offside. Great header and a fine save to match it, but the flag goes up and it wouldn't have counted.
Off the line! Two chances for Richards, his first header hits Colback before Richards then volleys towards goal but Danny Rose is in the right place to head off the line. Mancini shrugs his head on the bench. Lively start to the second period.
Rasping shot from Yaya Toure from about 20 yards out after some superb trickery from Silva to feed the skipper.
Barry loses out to Larsson in midfield before the Swede finds Fletcher superbly. The Scot's volley is blocked and Larsson follows up with a volley which he gets all wrong and it ends up sailing harmlessly over.
Good early pressure from the visitors. City old boy Johnson does well to advance down the right before crossing with his right. Lescott turns it away for a corner which is then taken short and wasted by Sunderland.
Sunderland take the kick-off to get the second half underway!
Russell Stoddart reports from the Etihad: "City deserve to be in front at half-time at the Etihad but although they have only occasionally threatened to add to the goal given to them by the Aleksandar Kolarov free kick in four minutes. Mario Balotelli looks like a man who has found a fiver and lost a tenner. The moody Italian has contributed little and came off at half-time shrugging his shoulders and complaining to referee Lee Probert."
HALF TIME: Manchester City 1-0 Sunderland
45' + 2'
Larsson plays a clever ball from deep into Fletcher who tries to flick an effort past Joe Hart but gets the wrong type of contact on the ball, allowing Hart to claim comfortably.
45' + 1'
Sunderland have been bright in the final five minutes or so of this first period. They will need to continue this momentum into the second half.
Two minutes of time to be added on.
Cross from Larsson finds McClean in a pocket of space in the City box but the winger's shot is horribly miscued and the ball rolls to Sessegnon who is in an offside position.
Russell Stoddart reports from the Etihad: "His side might be behind for the first time this season, but Martin O'Neill looks quite content pacing the technical area. The Irishman is urging his troops to press City and they are carrying out his orders. Looking at the body language of the two dug-outs you would be hard pushed to know which side is in front."
Decent shot from Barry driven at goal from about 20 yards sails wide of Mignolet's post.
Silva has a great chance to get in behind Rose, but he stops and waves his arms in the air. He felt he was impeded but didn't play to the whistle. Wasteful from the Spaniard.
The Argentine nearly scores again as he gets on the end of Gareth Barry's swinging ball into the far post, but the striker's first time shot isn't hit cleanly allowing the Black Cats to clear. Meanwhile, Balotelli is on the floor again, with O'Shea pulling his innocent face this time.
Terrier like work from Tevez. Gardner's sloppy pass is intercepted by the Argentine who shrugs off a challenge before winning a corner with a deflected shot.
The tempo of the match has fallen and that's probably down to City sitting on their one-goal lead.
Couple of meaty challenges going in from both sides. David Silva of all people is deemed guilty and Sunderland finally have some respite.
Colback over runs the ball allowing City to steal possession. Milner plays a low driven cross along the face of the goal with O'Shea doing particularly well to keep Mario Balotelli at bay.
Richards leaves a rather sizeable mark on the poor James McClean as the Irishman attempts a cross into the box. Looks like a man on a mission does Richards.
The break is on for the hosts as Toure advances with the ball but his pass aimed at Balotelli is miscued and Sunderland regroup, bit of a let off that.
Over a quarter of this match gone and Mancini can be pleased with his sides performance. Sunderland are yet to really threaten Joe Hart's goal.
Kolorav takes this one too and it's heading into the top corner, had Larsson not sacrificed his head to stop the left-footed shot which was absolutely rifled in by the Serb.
High boot from Gardner catches Balotelli in the face and City have another free-kick right on the edge of the area. Balotelli vs Gardner also seems to be hotting up.
Sunderland cannot maintain possession in the final third and Fletcher looks an isolated figure in attack at the moment.
Two great chances! First Zabaleta sneaks in behind Rose but Mignolet does well to smother before Tevez wins the ball back and shoots across the face of the goal with Zabaleta again close to turning it in.
Good move from City but Kolorav's final ball across looking for Tevez in the box is cut out.
Balotelli is laid out on the deck near the centre circle after coming together with Craig Gardner. No decision made and Balotelli is up on his feet. Never quiet with that lad is it?
Balotelli cuts in from the left-flank to fire a right-footed shot under pressure at Mignolet which sails well over the bar.
First prolonged spell of possession for City has every player gets a touch and the home fans applaud their team's efforts.
Couple of corners are swung in by Larsson but Sunderland make nothing of them.
Fine ball from Gardner towards the far post and Fletcher is nearly on the end of it. Good defending from Zabaleta to get his head on it and the visitors have a corner.
James Milner looks in pain after coming out worse in a challenge against Sessegnon. The Englishman looks fine to continue.
Free-kick to Sunderland after a nice turn from Fletcher to decieve Silva who leaves a leg out. Johnson swings in the free-kick which takes a deflection on its way to the area before Sessegnon eventually blazes the ball over the bar.
Sunderland are doing their best to keep the ball under some good pressure from the City forwards, they are giving the Black Cats very little time on the ball.
Goal Aleksandar Kolarov
What a start for City! Kolorav and Balotelli stood over the free-kick and after a short discussion it was the Serb who struck it, and what a strike it was. A sweetly struck left-footed curler round the wall and into the corner, it was curling towards Mignolet but the shape on the ball took it past the Belgian stopper.
GOAL!!! Manchester City 1-0 Sunderland
Yellow Card Carlos Cuéllar
Sunderland started the match brightly with plenty of touches early on, but it's City who are the first to threaten. Carlos Tevez nicks the ball in midfield and is cut down by Cuellar has he approaches the box. Yellow card for the defender and a free-kick just outside the area.
Manchester City kick-off and the match is underway!
Goal.com's man at the ground Russell Stoddart reports: "Teams out at the Etihad. We've had the handshakes and the captain's are in the middle. Still lots of empty seats here. Perhaps a few caught out by the early start."
The teams have emerged from the tunnel and there is a real atmosphere building inside the ground. Adam Johnson enjoys a friendly exchange with a couple of former team-mates before the real business kicks off.
Meanwhile, Sunderland were the only team not to lose at the Etihad Stadium in the Premier League last season. Seems things are pointing towards a result for the Black Cats this afternoon...
This might be hard to believe but, Manchester City are still looking for their first consecutive wins in the league this season. Not exactly Championship form from the title holders is it?
Sunderland: Mignolet; Gardner, Cuellar, O'Shea, Rose; Johnson, Larsson, Colback, McClean; Sessegnon; Fletcher. Subs: Campbell, Kilgallon, Vaughan, Meyler, Bramble, Saha, Westwood.
Manchester City: Hart; Zabaleta, Richards, Lescott, Kolarov; Milner, Y. Toure, Barry, Silva; Balotelli, Tevez. Subs: Pantilimon, Clichy, K. Toure, Rodwell, Nasri, Aguero, Dzeko.
We should be in for a cracker this lunchtime, the Black Cats caused Roberto Mancini all sorts of problems last season. Who could forget Ji's last gasp winner at the Stadium of Light? Or how about City's remarkable comeback from 3-1 down with only minutes to play? Let's hope for similar levels of excitement today!
Good afternoon ladies and gents! Welcome to Goal.com's play-by-play coverage of Manchester City vs Sunderland LIVE! from the Etihad Stadium.
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