For the fourth season in a row, City lost 1-0 to Sunderland at the Stadium of Light despite dominating most of the game. It was almost a carbon copy of the other games besides Sunderland scoring earlier than usual.
There is always at least one big decision that benefits Sunderland (who can forget Ji’s offside goal?), today’s being a horror tackle by Larsson on Garcia that could have broken his leg, but Mike Dean didn’t even hand him a yellow card. To add insult to injury, Garcia received a yellow card shortly after for a harmless late challenge then went off injured (from Larsson’s challenge) at half-time.
City probed and pressed forward with Navas adding a new dimension in the second half, but Sunderland defended at a level they never will again… until Manchester City roll into town next season.
Aguero, who didn’t have his best game, missed a couple of good chances and Dzeko might have done better with a header after coming on. But despite 24 shots on goal, not nearly enough of them tested Mannone.
City’s away form is close to relegation level, with only 4 points from a possible 18 points. We remain the Premier League’s biggest Jekyll and Hyde outfit, sublime at home and terrible on the road.
Sunderland: Mannone, Celustka, O’Shea, Brown, Bardsley, Ki, Giaccherini (Gardner 73), Larsson, Colback, Johnson (Borini 87), Fletcher (Altidore 77)
Subs not used: Cabral, Westwood, Diakité, Mavrias
Goal: Bardsley 21
Manchester City: Pantilmon, Richards (Zabaleta 71), Demichelis, Lescott, Kolarov, Garcia (Navas 46), Yaya Toure, Milner, Aguero, Nasri, Negredo, (Dzeko 71)
Subs not used: Hart, Navas, Rodwell, Clichy, Boyata
TKA (City) Man of the Match: Samir Nasri
Stats courtesy of WhoScored: