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November 10, 2013
• Stadium of Light, Sunderland
Referee: M. Dean
• Attendance: 40137
P. Bardsley 21'
Phew, what a game! That's all from Sunderland this afternoon. Many thanks for joining us for a spectacular Premier League encounter. Goodbye for now!
Bardsley grabbed the winner but he, along with Brown, O'Shea and Celustka, were utterly outstanding in defence and earned Poyet's men three vital points.
FULL TIME in Sunderland and the Black Cats have won!! A superb 1-0 victory and an incredible defensive performance. City's away woes continue.
90' + 4'
Lescott gets to the corner at the far post but can't direct the header near the goal and it goes behind. That's surely that...
90' + 3'
Danger for Sunderland as Colback is penalised for a foul out on the wing. Kolarov whips it in but Bardsley heads it out for a corner. Pantilimon starts to run up the field...
90' + 2'
Altidore can't hold the ball up and City win possession back. Sunderland so close to a superb win.
90' + 1'
Nasri is penalised for a foul in midfield before Aguero hacks down Larsson moments later. There is real frustration among the City players, but Sunderland are delighted to have the chance to waste some more time.
Navas puts in another ball, pulling back to the edge of the box this time, but Larsson cuts it out and clears. The board goes up and we will have three minutes' added time.
City have another corner and Navas fires it in. Demichelis goes up for it but Gardner gets to the second ball and hammers it out of the danger area.
Milner floats an excellent ball wide to Navas, who volleys a dangerous cross into the box, but again it's cleared. Will they get a clear-cut chance?
Altidore works hard to shield the ball from Milner in midfield and eventually wins a free kick, sparking huge cheers from the supporters. They know how important it is to slow the play down now.
Milner looks for Aguero on the edge of the box but the superb Brown reads the pass and gets in front of the striker to steal it.
Navas drifts inside and looks to slot a pass through the defence, but again Bardsley shuts the door, blocking the ball. The pressure is relentless now, though, as City continue to search for an equaliser.
Milner spreads wide to Navas, who plays in a cross but O'Shea heads it away. The two centre-backs have been magnificent this afternoon.
Johnson has a go next, firing a shot from 25 yards which dips in front of Pantilimon but the goalkeeper holds on to it well. What a finish to the game!
JUST WIDE!! City are so, so close to an equaliser as Aguero gathers a cross from the right and lays back to Kolarov, who drives a fierce shot from 20 yards, but it just swerves wide of the post.
Into the final ten minutes at the Stadium of Light. Sunderland have defended brilliantly and City are playing in front of the hosts most of the time. Surely they'll find a way through at least once, though?
DZEKO HEADS WIDE!! Milner crosses from deep looking for Dzeko and it comes off Celustka for a corner. The Bosnia striker meets the outswinging corner but his header flashes across goal and wide of the post.
Altidore gets through for Sunderland and the hosts have a two-on-one. He slides a pass wide for Gardner, but the midfielder had stopped his run and Demichelis collects possession.
Chance for City as Nasri drives in a cross, but Lescott can only glance a header wide. Aguero keeps it in, though, and pulls it back, but Sunderland hold firm yet again and hack the ball away.
Fletcher is off after a relatively quiet afternoon, with Jozy Altidore on. Presumably he's on to just hold things up and slow City down.
Bardsley plays the ball forward to Colback on the left, but he can only concede a goal kick and City can push forward again. Larsson shows real determination to win the ball from Kolarov before holding off Nasri and eventually earning a free kick. Excellent work from the midfielder.
Toure shows real strength to dispossess Fletcher before holding off Celustka and Gardner to drive forward. He finds Dzeko, who gets into the box on the left, but his driven ball across goal is cleared by O'Shea.
Craig Gardner is on for Sunderland as the hosts try to shore things up, and he immediately does well to win a free kick off Demichelis in midfield. Toure then clips Ki late and the hosts have another set piece to keep the ball and waste some time.
CLOSE FROM DZEKO!! The substitute nearly scores straight away, firing a swerving, dipping shot from 20 yards which Mannone manages to parry away. It goes straight to Aguero, but the striker miscues the rebound and slices it wide.
Pellegrini decides to make two changes as Edin Dzeko replaces Negredo, while Pablo Zabaleta is on for Richards.
The visitors have a corner and Nasri whips it to the near post. Kolarov races across to meet it but his header is nowhere near the target.
It looks like City are readying some changes as there's plenty of activity on the bench. Sunderland are still holding them at bay, but there are still 20 minutes left.
GREAT SAVE BY MANNONE!! Aguero nearly levels things as he receives the ball with his back to goal, but spins before firing a shot from the left-hand side, and it's bound for the far corner before Mannone flicks it around the post.
Oh dear, Kolarov. That's not one to remember. Bardsley slides in well to dispossess Richards and City take a short corner. Nasri lays it back to Kolarov, who fires a wild shot into the stands from outside the box.
Decent effort from Richards, who receives the ball from Nasri and fires a low shot from the edge of the box, but Mannone gets down low to smother it.
O'Shea clears the set piece superbly, but the pressure is relentless. City have the ball outside the Sunderland area and are probing for a gap.
Kolarov gets into an advanced position on the left but Giaccherini tracks back well to block the cross and put it out for a corner to the visitors.
Negredo goes close for City, flicking a header wide of the post, but the flag is up for offside. The visiting strikers haven't been firing on all cylinders this afternoon.
So, with half an hour remaining Sunderland are sitting deep and making it difficult for City to break them down. Navas is getting joy on the right though, with Johnson not helping Bardsley out wide. Poyet may be forced to change things soon.
Sunderland clear the corner but Milner comes back straight away, producing an excellent run through the middle before playing it wide to Navas. The winger gets another cross in but Mannone coolly plucks it out of the air with one hand.
Navas pops up on the right-hand side again; he's been the key man since coming on. This time, though, he's up against Bardsley and the defender stands firm to divert his cross behind for a corner.
WIDE FROM KI!! That's Sunderland's best moment of the half, as Ki picks the ball up in midfield and runs into space before firing a rasping shot just wide from 25 yards.
The officials have a bit of an off-moment, here, as Johnson goes down under a challenge form Richards and basically catches the ball, but nothing is given. The City defender is completely bemused!
Richards gets forward for the first time, but his touch is too strong and it rolls away from him. The defender looks to win it back but hacks away the legs of Bardsley and Sunderland have a free kick.
JUST WIDE!! O'Shea steals it from Aguero but it goes straight to Milner, who plays it out to Navas. The winger creeps towards the area before sliding a cross-cum-shot along the ground, and it rolls inches wide of the far post. It was begging for a team-mate to get on the end of it.
Poyet's men seem to have weathered that early storm. They're enjoying a bit of possession of their own now.
The hosts finally have a chance to alleviate the pressure as Larsson spreads it wide to Giaccherini. He looks for Fletcher with an early cross but completely fluffs the delivery and it goes high into the stands.
Sunderland can't go the whole half like this. The visitors are camped out in their half. It's going to be a long 40 minutes or so for the home supporters.
HOW IS IT NOT 1-1?? Aguero gets past Celustka with a simple throw-in routine and drives into the area before pulling back to Navas. The winger has the goal at his mercy and beats Mannone but Bardsley blocks it on the line.
Giaccherini blocks a cross from Kolarov but City keep the ball. Aguero gets into the box from the left but his cross hits Celustka before coming back to hit the striker, and it goes out for a throw.
City are dominating the early possession and Navas gets to the by-line again before floating it to the far post. Celustka gets up well, though, to head the ball away with Aguero coming in to challenge for it.
Navas makes an immediate impact, haring down the flank past Johnson before crossing towards the penalty spot. Negredo retreats to meet it with his head but can only loop it over the bar.
Jesús Navas González
The actions resumes for the second half as Man City get the ball rolling once more. Jesus Navas is on in place of Garcia, who apparently is suffering with an ankle problem after that challenge by Larsson.
We're moments away from the restart in Sunderland, then. Can the hosts hold on or will Pellegrini's side turn things around? Remember, they don't seem to lose when both Aguero and Negredo start.
If Sunderland hold on Poyet will have won all three home games since taking charge, having registered a famous victory over Newcastle then beating Southampton in the Capital One Cup in midweek.
Well, I mentioned before the start that this game has finished 1-0 three times in a row at the Stadium of Light. Not again, surely? Let's hope not; we want more goals!
That's HALF TIME at the Stadium of Light and Sunderland lead at the break thanks to Phil Bardsley's fine strike. Aguero had the best chance for the visitors but apart from that the visitors have struggled to create any meaningful openings.
45' + 1'
Nasri cuts a frustrated figure as Larsson wins a duel and a goal kick for the hosts. The visitors aren't particularly enjoying things at the moment.
Lovely skill from Aguero as he drives into the box before laying back to Nasri. The midfielder swings it towards the far post towards Negredo, but Celustka snuffs out the danger as we enter one added minute.
Toure has possession outside the box and floats the ball over the top looking for Aguero, but Mannone charges out confidently to snatch it away.
Johnson picks the ball up on the left before cutting into midfield. He does well to hold off pressure from Garcia before winning a free kick. The City midfield is looking rather frustrated at the moment.
Oh, that's really good from Sunderland. O'Shea and Ki look to be under some real pressure in their own half, but they pass it confidently and manage to get an attack going down the other end. Johnson tries to cross with the outside of his left foot but it evades Fletcher and goes behind.
Nasri wins a free kick in exactly the same position to the one moments ago, but this time Mannone comes out well to claim the high ball at the far post.
Kolarov looks for Aguero through the middle with an early ball, but Brown again cuts it out before playing a pass forward to Ki. The Black Cats' defence has looked much stronger with him in the side.
Nasri floats the set piece into the area and it's only cleared as far as Aguero, who tries to work some space to shoot but Colback sticks close to him before winning a goal kick off the striker.
Mannone charges out of his box to head a ball away; that could have gone very wrong! City have possession again and Nasri wins a free kick inside the Sunderland half, giving them a chance to load the area.
Johnson drives into the box and goes down under a challenge from Milner. The referee immediately says no, though, despite protestations from the winger and the fans.
After a turgid opening 10-15 minutes, this game has really livened up. City are still pushing forward with Sunderland pressing well. O'Shea clears a cross but Negredo brings it down with a superb touch before dragging a shot wide from 20 yards.
CLOSE FROM AGUERO!! After Ki nearly slides Fletcher through at the other end, Kolarov hammers the ball across the Sunderland six-yard box, and Aguero meets it at the far post but misses the target with his header from close range. Quite a let-off for the hosts.
Toure rifles in a low cross from the right but Brown gets low to blast a header well away. He's looked very sharp on his return to the side.
City have responded well to the goal and the pressure following it. They're keeping the ball well and play is almost exclusively in the hosts' half at the moment.
Milner swings in a left-footed ball from the right and Celustka can only head up into the air. Negredo picks it up and tries to fire a ball across goal but it deflects behind for a corner.
City win a corner and it lands by the six-yard box, causing all sorts of problems. O'Shea can't get it away but Celustka reacts quickly to hack the ball away.
Poyet is very animated on the touchline. He's applauding his players and encouraging him all the time. Still plenty of time left in this match, though, and you sense there will be more goals.
Yellow Card Javi García
Fletcher is caught late by Garcia in midfield after a very good turn on the ball. The City man has the privilege of being the first man in the book this afternoon.
The visitors were just starting to get on top in terms of possession, but that goal has definitely rocked them. Giaccherini pushes forward on the wing and wins a throw for the hosts, who are passing it around patiently now.
Sunderland have their tails up now. Colback plays wide to Giaccherini, whose dangerous low cross is just about cleared by City.
There was a hint of a foul on Milner in the build-up, but nothing was given. Bardsley still had plenty to do, though, and it was a really good strike.
Assist Wes Brown
Goal Phil Bardsley
BARDSLEY SCORES!! SUNDERLAND LEAD!! It's a fabulous goal from the defender as he gets on the end of Brown's long ball forward. Milner and Demichelis miss the ball and Bardsley cuts in from a tight angle before curling it around Pantilimon and into the far corner. A brilliant finish!
Kolarov tries a long-range effort but it's blocked by Johnson, whose excellent clearance almost sets Fletcher away down the other end, but Garcia reads it well adn comes across to put the ball out for a throw.
Larsson goes in for a 50-50 with Garcia but his challenge is high and Garcia feels the full force of that one. The Sunderland midfielder can count himself lucky to escape without a booking, there.
Negredo shows some excellent power to drive down the left-hand side before firing in a low cross looking for Aguero at the near post. Unfortunately, though, he had already run the ball out for a goal kick.
There's a bit of a mix-up between Kolarov and Milner on the flank, and Celustka sprints in to steal the loose ball before giving it straight to Lescott. Still rather scrappy in Sunderland.
Milner lays back to Kolarov on the corner of the box, and the full-back plays it into the middle again but O'Shea heads away well. It's spread wide to Giaccherini who does well to cut inside and sprint forward, but he's clipped by Kolarov and wins a free kick.
Nasri floats a lovely pass out to Kolarov, who chests the ball slightly too firmly and it goes out for a goal kick. It's not quite coming together for City yet but you get the feeling it'll click soon.
Chance for Fletcher! Larsson picks up the ball on the right flank, and whips in a superb early cross from the right, and Fletcher is in plenty of space in the box but can't direct his header on target from 12 yards.
Negredo tries a cheeky flicked backheel into the path of Toure, but it's just behind the Ivorian and Bardsley nips in to collect the ball. The Sunderland defender has been reading the game well, so far.
Johnson looks for the run of Giaccherini with a curved pass around the City defence, but it's just in front of his team-mate. Good movement, though.
It's been a pretty even opening ten minutes, with most of the play going on in the middle of the park. Kolarov has been getting forward a lot already for the visitors so clearly Pellegrini wants to see plenty of deliveries from wide.
Negredo tracks back to win the ball and plays it wide to Milner, but Larsson does superbly to sprint back and slide in to win possession.
Kolarov's delivery from the corner isn't as good, and it goes out the other side for a throw. City win it back quickly from Ki and Milner cuts inside before trying a speculative left-footed shot from range, but Mannone saves comfortably.
Milner sets Kolarov away down the left and the defender whips in a dangerous ball looking for Negredo. Bardsley gets across well, though, to head it behind for a corner.
There's no real zip to the start of this game, but Sunderland will be happy with that, especially as they've seen plenty of the ball early on.
Toure shows some good footwork to get out of a tight spot in midfield before finding Negredo, but Brown steps in to steal the ball back for Sunderland.
Colback comes face to face with Demichelis and the City defender comes out on top, winning a throw off the Sunderland midfielder. Both sides slowly feeling their way into the game at the moment.
The hosts have it in midfield but are forced backwards with City pressing high. Larsson spreads it wide to Celustka, who wins a throw on the right-hand side.
It's a bit of a scrappy start with both sides exchanging possession, before City tidy things up at the back with Lescott and Demichelis. Milner squares the ball inside to Negredo, who tries to slide a ball through the defence but it's quickly shut out.
There's an impeccably-observed minute's silence for Remembrance Sunday, before Sunderland kick the game off.
The teams are out and it's a bright day up in Wearside. Can Poyet's men spring a surprise and make it a very good day for the north east?
Just five minutes to go until we get underway at the Stadium of Light. I've thrown a lot of stats at you, most of which make worrying reading for Sunderland, but you never know...
In today's early match Newcastle have just picked up a fine 1-0 win at Tottenham thanks to a goal from Loic Remy and an inspired performance from Tim Krul between the sticks. That result means Pellegrini's side can go up to third in the table with victory today.
In the five games City haven't won this season, Aguero and Negredo haven't started up front together. Coincidence? I think not. The fearsome duo have 15 goals between them in the last eight games.
Another goal-related fact for you now: Sunderland haven't kept a clean sheet in 14 games. You suspect the hosts will have to score goals to get at least a point today.
One thing we can hope to rely on today is that there will be goals. City's record aside, this fixture hasn't seen a goalless draw in the league since 1938.
Manchester City, though, are the Premier League's top scorers with a mightily impressive 28 goals in 10 games. That's more goals than Sunderland have had shots (24) this season.
History could be on the Black Cats' side this afternoon; they have won this fixture 1-0 three times in a row at home, most recently thanks to an Adam Johnson winner on Boxing Day last year.
The visitors, meanwhile, are without the injured David Silva as Manuel Pellegrini makes five changes from the 5-2 win over CSKA Moscow in midweek. Micah Richards and Joleon Lescott both earn starts in the City defence, while Costel Pantilimon stays in goal ahead of Joe Hart.
Gus Poyet is without Lee Cattermole and Andrea Dossena for Sunderland after the pair were both sent off in the defeat at Hull last weekend. Wes Brown, meanwhile, makes his first start for almost two years.
MAN CITY: Pantilimon; Richards, Demichelis, Lescott, Kolarov; Milner, Toure, Garcia, Nasri; Aguero, Negredo. // Subs: Hart, Zabaleta, Dzeko, Navas, Rodwell, Clichy, Boyata.
SUNDERLAND: Mannone; Celustka, Bardsley, Brown, O'Shea; Ki, Larsson, Colback, Johnson, Giaccherini; Fletcher. // Subs: Westwood, Cabral, Gardner, Altidore, Diakite, Borini, Mavrias.
The teams are in so let's bring you the line-ups, starting with the hosts...
Hello and welcome to LIVE coverage of the Premier League as Sunderland host free-scoring Manchester City at the Stadium of Light. The Black Cats beat Southampton in the Capital One Cup in midweek, but can they make it two wins from three in the league this afternoon?
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